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OSU should teach life lessons, not just stick to the books

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As I walked to class Monday, grumbling about having a case of the Mondays, I realized it was the last time my week would start by trudging to a lecture. And then the panic set in.

With graduation just around the corner I am supposed to be equipped with all the skills necessary to enter the world as a successful, contributing member of society.

Classes for my journalism major, along with my time at The Lantern, have molded me into an apt editor, fluent in AP style and capable of cranking out an article about most anything. But that seems to be where my education stopped.

At Ohio State, those majoring in journalism are forced to choose a minor from a narrow list of possibilities. So, I’ve spent my final quarter on this beautiful campus cramming in classes about sociology. While I have nothing negative to say about the field — I have learned some interesting facts about gangs and the deviants that walk among us — I have to say I’m not certain how any of this will impact my life.

In 10 years, when I’m a journalist thriving in a “dying” field, will it be my knowledge of the Crips or my understanding of mental illnesses that ensures my job? No, it will be my time at this paper and the things I learned while living in such a diverse community as this.

When I am ready to buy a house, will my knowledge of Russian films help me learn to get a loan? When my car won’t start, will it be my in-depth knowledge of the Italian language that helps me fix it? The answer to all of these is no. I don’t know what a mortgage even is or how people can ever afford to retire, but I do know that John Hinckley, Jr. attempted to assassinate Ronald Reagan to impress Jodie Foster on March 30, 1981. If, when I’m 90 years old and still unsure how to retire, I’m on a trivia show, I’m sure my GEC’s will be great. But otherwise, I don’t get it.

As I sit here, about to leave this place — the best home I could ask for — I am confident I will be able to Google my way to success, but I can’t help but ask for more.

I think it’s time to rethink the forced curriculum. Why force me to take a handful of classes to make me “well-rounded,” but not offer me classes on mechanics, how to set up a retirement fund, what to do when your toilet doesn’t stop running, or the most baffling, how to fold a fitted sheet?

I will be leaving this place grateful for the education it has given me and the opportunities to meet people from all walks of life, but my wish is that future students will also be given these important life skills that I will be forced to learn through my own experiences. 

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