Growing up, school felt like a chore: I woke up, ate breakfast, went to school, headed back home, did homework, ate dinner, went to bed, and repeat. I didn’t see the point of it all.
It wasn’t until my senior year of high school where I realized how important education was. I didn’t understand that those 14 years of grade school weren’t for torture, they were to prepare me for college.
Last year, only 43 percent of high school students who took the SAT met the College Board’s standards were ready for college, according to The Daily Californian. In addition, more than 300,000 high school students who were qualified to take advanced placement courses did not take any.
English, math and science are the core subjects in our education system and in many high-paying careers. By learning these subjects, we are getting the tools to success. But many of us don’t know how to use them and apply them to real life.
College is definitely preparing me for my career and is giving me the skills I need through education. In the last two years at California State University at Long Beach, I believe I’ve learned the fundamentals in my major courses and have applied it during hands-on exercises and experiences — but it’s not the case for everyone.
VoiceWaves spoke to high school and college-enrolled youth and asked them, “Do you feel like you are being properly prepared for college and career?”
“As a student, I’m not able to fully absorb the material of a subject without practicing it. In-class learning provided me background knowledge and useful facts to know, however professors never taught me how to apply these skills outside the classroom in a career. As a young person still attending college and pursuing a career in the arts, the best education for me is to get more experience outside of the classroom and in actual work environments to prepare me for life after college.” –CSULB senior Cienna Acevedo
“During high school, I was never really offered any insight [about how to decide] what I wanted to do in the future. I had no idea what college I wanted to go to or what I saw myself doing. All that mattered was to pass these classes and get a diploma.” —LBCC sophomore Chris Yun
“My college experience so far hasn’t been too great. As of now, I feel that I’m not quite yet being prepared for my career.” —LBCC sophomore Kai Gonzales
“I felt that my experience during high school was not rewarding…and menial tests such as the SAT and the ACT did not prepare us for college. We did not receive proper preparation for college that allowed us to excel above and beyond.”–CSULB junior Cat Tompkins
“Thankfully, I was in a very rigorous GATE program at Millikan that required students to take AP classes for college credit. I successfully passed the classes and exams so I came to CSULB with enough credits to be considered a sophomore by my second semester, which really helped prepare me. I originally believed these classes would be a huge waste of my time, but I gained valuable skills from them.” –CSULB junior Rudy Cardoso-Peraza
“The English class I took this year helped me understand how to set up and write essays. It helped me understand how to divide my information into 10 paragraphs, even 5 pages, making it easier to do these assignments. Up until this year I didn’t exactly understand the main reasons for writing assignments, but now I’m realizing that they were assigned to prepare us for college. This is a skill I’m thankful to have learned, and it’ll be helpful to me when I start to attend a college or university.” –Millikan High School senior Alma Rodriguez
“Schools should have programs with mentors that will give us advice and teach us skills we’ll need for college, like how to choose the right classes, how to make a financial plan to pay off college, or how to maintain good grades without getting distracted from outside activities and other useful information.” –Cabrillo High School junior Kimberly Agbayani
“College readiness cannot simply be acquired in the classroom and it is the school’s job to offer other options for the students. For instance, as a freshman in 2012 I was encouraged by my counselor to join Youth Leadership Long Beach, a program that was open to any high school student. Eventually I was accepted. During the first meeting I was shocked to find out that I was one of the only three Cabrillo students that had applied. Two years later, having graduated from the program, I discovered that for the year 2014 none of Cabrillo’s students had applied. Not because they were not interested but because the school had not informed them of it.” –Cabrillo High School junior Evelyn Molina