Education - Page 1 - Ask Margit

- Page 1
Ask Margit
By Margit B. Weisgal
Contributing Writer
What school doesn’t teach you

Long-term, we must begin to build our internal strengths. It isn’t just skills like computer technology. It’s the old-fashioned basics of self-reliance, self-motivation, selfreinforcement, self-discipline, self-command.
—Steven Pressfield, author and historian

“What’s a FICO score?” The student’s query came during a discussion on funding and financing for potential businesses during an entrepreneurship class. Their average age was early to mid-20s, so what flitted through my mind was, “What other life skills did these students lack?”

Sharon Glazer, Ph.D., professor in the division of applied behavioral sciences at the University of Baltimore, had a similar observation when she took a group of graduate students ranging in age from 22 to 35 abroad. “When we were preparing for the trip, many of them didn’t know about money issues: when, where and how to exchange dollars for Euros, for instance. Some only had debit cards, not credit cards, and those weren’t necessarily usable overseas. And, if they had a credit card, they learned they had to contact the issuer about the upcoming travel. Even getting through the airport, including passport control, was ‘a life changing experience.’ Experiential skills, such as how to be self-sufficient, are ones you learn only through doing. Students need more of these.”

Being on your own, being responsible for everything in your life, is filled with new experiences, especially without the safety net of living at home with all its built-in benefits. Don’t panic. Look at this as a learning experience beyond what classes you take. Use this time to become a responsible adult who can survive – and thrive – on your own, not just while you’re in college, but for the rest of your life.

Ask Margit, continued on page 10