The role of the university is to prepare students for the ‘real world,’ but how can this happen if we fail to learn the basics of life? Valuable lessons in personal finance, nutrition and life skills are not being focused on at Boise State. This is why Boise State needs to offer home economics. Home economics can directly help students who struggle with basic life skills, which can include education, cooking, personal finance, problem solving and organization.
Home economics has changed over the years in order to stay applicable to the present day. The actual expression ‘home economics’ is a 20th century term for the ‘study of domesticity’ that was taught in the 19th century. In these early classes, the lessons taught were in areas “such as cooking, laundry, sewing, housecleaning, care of the sick and sanitation,” according to Middlebury College. Although these skills are still important today, students learn most of these through household guardians and the internet. A dedicated home economics class would focus on areas that are harder to learn online or through guardians. The classroom environment of a modernized home economics course would offer students skills that can act as their backbone of knowledge as they go through life.
No other class provides such emphasis on these life skills, with the opportunity of mastering basic life necessities.
Today, home economics classes would teach students about personal finance by showing them how to open bank accounts and how to balance checking accounts. Modern home economics classes have also expanded to teach the difference between debit and credit cards so there is no confusion for students when it comes to using their money productively. These lessons would be timely because most high school and university students are getting a debit or credit card for the first time. Creating firm habits in paying bills promptly and keeping track of expenses will only help students succeed, all of which are necessary for a productive society.
Students also need to learn healthy habits during their developmental stage in order to take care of themselves in their adult years. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease, “about one in six children and adolescents ages 2 to 19 (are) considered to have obesity,” and “more than two in three adults were considered to be overweight or have obesity.” Students tend to pick up bad habits that will end up harming them as they grow up. In order to encourage healthy lifestyles it’s important to show students how to shop for the right ingredients and teach them the basics of cooking a meal that are learned over years of practice. Julia Wolfson, author of the University of Michigan School of Public Health Study explains.
“Cooking one’s own meals can be a key strategy for avoiding obesity because it gives people control over the ingredients in what they eat.” Wolfson says.
Wolfson also says it’s important to make cooking an everyday activity by teaching helpful skills, rather than looking at it as a chore that one has to do every day and for special events. Changing the perspective on healthy cooking will bring more awareness to its benefits.
Millennials frequently struggle with certain day-to-day obstacles more than previous generations according to Overcoming Obstacles, non-profit education publisher. Some say this is due to the increase of technology in modern times. Overcoming Obstacles has already begun to prepare students for the future. Their goal is to make young people successful in life by providing them the proper information on life skills. They define life skills education as the behavioral and societal skills young people need to successfully navigate life and develop to their fullest potential. Adding specific classes to help students learn important life lessons through their developmental years will only benefit their growth into young adults and beyond.
In life, change is a constant, but the skills from home economics will always be present in anyone’s life. A newly modified home economics classes will benefit students in learning the correct skills in finance, nutrition and in life in order to succeed.