I graduated from college in spring of 2021, but the last time I discussed finances in a school setting was in the seventh grade. It was Family and Consumer Science class, and I learned how to write a check and sew a pillow. Though, the check memory is fuzzy, and the pillow is long gone.
Now, I wonder how my financial skills might be different had topics like those in “Planning Your Future” been discussed in my college classes. Topics like budgeting, credit cards, and other financial skills were certainly never covered in any of my classes, let alone ones like Computer Science (though the closest I came to this discipline was mathematics).
I never talked with a trusted adult like a professor or classmates outside of my close friends about these kinds of topics. I now realize the limited scope of these kinds of conversations with those already in my circle of friends and family. I wonder what it would have been like to have those conversations with people I wouldn’t have otherwise--what would have happened if I talked about budgeting with my Linear Algebra class, discussed credit cards at the beginning of an Abstract Algebra lecture, or learned about financial health during partner work in Differential Equations?
My recently graduated friends often joke that college never taught them how to be an “adult.” This is a hard concept to pin down, but maybe including a chapter like “Planning Your Future” in all kinds of classes could have helped.
For now, I can only wonder, and take these tips and lessons for myself.