It has been about 12 years since I graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (I-L-L-I-N-I) with a degree in Media Studies and a double-minor in Gender & Women’s Studies AND Sociology. Now while I loved my major and minors, I can honestly say that I barely remember any of those specific classes I had to take, let alone the million and one prerequisite (Gen Ed) courses that most universities require in order to graduate.
Now that I’m an adult and well into my career in marketing, I can’t help but think that colleges should offer courses that we will use in our daily adult life. In fact, we should have college students take an entire semester of “Adulting 101” classes that should be treated as Gen Ed courses! If I were to ever have a university named after me (Lena I. Dell University), these are the 5 courses I would require all students to take in order to graduate. Do you agree with my list?
#1 Financial Literacy
This wouldn’t be a City Girl Savings article if this course wasn’t number one! I’m not ashamed to say that being within the CGS community has changed how I view my finances, but it would have been amazing if college offered a course that taught us how to budget, how to understand credit, investing, how to buy a house, taxes, you know…the financial aspects of adulting.
Unfortunately, society leaves it up to the parents/guardians to teach us about personal finance, but what if they weren’t taught by their parents? Ohhh at my university, you’d need a B+ to pass 🙂
#2 Career Planning
Ask yourself this question: When did you learn how to interview for a job? Better question – did you seek this skill out or was it mandatory to learn? I’m still not confident in my cover letter skills and I have been in the adult workforce for over 10 years!
For women, and especially women of color, learning how to know your worth when applying for jobs AND learning how to confidently negotiate your salaries would have been gems to learn in college! I’m so happy I chose to invest in myself with job/career coaches, but it would have been so cool to learn these skills before the age of 21!
#3 Personal Branding
Now this one is for my Millennials for real – how dope would it have been to learn how to market and brand ourselves right before the social media phenomenon occurred? How about being aware of your digital footprint (social media, old Tumblr blogs, opinionated think pieces) because anything on Beyonce’s internet lasts forever.
I personally would have loved to learn branding etiquette in college. I think anything that relates to putting your best self into the world is a skill that should be taught to everyone, especially college students going into professional careers. Check out 5 Easy Ways to Incorporate More of You in Your Branding.
#4 Home Economics
Now I don’t know about you, but I wish I took this class in high school. Unfortunately, this course was just an elective in my high school…and wow, do I wish I took it!
If you grew up watching TV in the 90s, you’d know that there was ALWAYS that episode of a show where one of the main characters is doing some kind of project/activity in Home Economics. I’m just now really being intentional in learning how to cook, which I’m loving, so this would have been a great skill to learn in college – instead of just knowing how to boil water for Ramen noodles 🙂
How about learning other life skills, such as how to sew, how to change a tire, and the infamous doll baby to learn how to care for a baby…that would have been a sight to see at campus Greek parties!
#5 Health & Fitness
Listen, if this course was offered at the collegiate level, I probably would not have gained the Freshman 15, or 25 – no judgment here. Learning how to properly read labels on food packaging, learning about macros, BMI, and the importance of exercise and stretching! Millennials, what body part is aching today? Haha, it’s my lower back today…
This would have been a crucial class to take because when we’re young and in college, we think we’re invincible with this “Young Forever” mindset, which is great to have, but as my parents say, “Just Keep on Living”…oh, and we needed to learn the importance of sleep in college as well.
What about you – what other adulting courses do you wish you took in college? Do you think it would have changed your career path or even how you live your life today? What was your most memorable course you took in college? Let me know! Drop a comment to share!