Freshman 101 Class Fails Freshmen in the Real World by Miranda Jacobs –
Every Freshman must enroll in Freshman 101–it’s a requirement in college, however that class does not teach freshmen the necessary skills to survive after college.
I remember sitting in my Freshman 101 class like it was yesterday. The room was full of anxious freshmen, like myself ready to learn what the world and college had to offer. The first day was all about introductions. We learned who each other was and each individual major, we learned about our teacher and the other subjects she taught, we learned about where to find the building for our next class and we learned about Blackboard; which would become the bane of all our existence. There were no real complaints the first day as we had learned things that would be useful in the immediate future, but what about things we needed to learn that didn’t pertain to understanding Blackboard or making new friends.
By the third week, Freshman 101 had not lived up to its name and began to feel like a real class. There were papers due every week, homework assignments to be done online and quizzes making sure we read the syllabus. This is not how I or my fellow colleagues pictured this class, however, being freshman, we dare not complain or tell a teacher who had taught at the school for 10 years that her information was irrelevant.
4 years later, I graduated and found myself signing the first contract for my first job. As I had been applying to jobs for months, this was an incredible feat for me. Along with the new hire paperwork came forms I had never seen nor heard of: W4, NC4, 1099, and how to set up an IRA. After googling every word on the paperwork, I finally decided to just put 0 on all applications and sign, I mean after all, what could be the harm right? Wrong. My first pay check was a lot less than what I thought it would be. The max amount of taxes were taken out leaving me barely able to pay my bills. Even after paying bills, I blew the rest of my money on clothes and eating out. A savings account was a foreign things to me I was not yet ready to visit.
Weeks later, I got a flat tire driving on the side of I-40. Of course I didn’t know how to change a flat tire, nor did I know there was a spare in the trunk, so I called a tow truck tow my car to the nearest Mr. Tire. On the way to Mr. Tire, I thought about how helpless I was, not being able to fill out the paperwork at work, living paycheck to paycheck because I didn’t know how to save and spending a lot more money than needed on a tow truck because I could not change a tire. And then I thought about Freshman 101. How a class that should have taught me all of these things was more concerned about my freshman year survival than after college survival.
At almost every college, you will find some form of a Freshman 101 designed to smooth the transition for first years from high school to college. Although the transition is important, it is equally important to teach freshman the basics of surviving in the real world. Things like how to manage simple car maintenance, how to save money now and for retirement, and how to do your taxes would go a long way.
Watch REAL Advice for College Freshman
About the Author: Miranda Jacobs is a recent grad from North Carolina A&T State University. She is also a former swim team member of the North Carolina A&T Women’s swimming team. Miranda works at an insurance company as a Claims Analyst. In her free time she enjoys reading, writing, hiking and bike riding. Her ultimate goal is to write an autobiography about her life, inspiring those who grew up in a neighborhood like her.