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Are young adults today lacking life skills that inhibit them to determine an individual life track?

So I'm an Asian American raised under immigrant parents who came to this country to start a family. Therefore, I wasn't taught much about the system pertaining to everyday life skills. For example,

*How to do taxes
* What taxes are
* How to vote
* What political parties are
* How to write a resume/cover letter/anything related to getting a job
* How to write a check/balance a check book
* Anything to do with banking
* How to do loans for college
* How to jump start a car or other basic emergency things
* How to buy a car or house

We are distracted with the free flow of information that we forget how essential these skills are in order to promote confidence for independence.

I understand that these can be learned through parents or as you go on, but what about the 99% protesting on Wall Street? If they knew about credit scores or interest rates, would so many students have taken out those loans?

Throughout my study, I found most high school graduates who are going to college don't have any idea of what they want to study. I believe it is because they lack the confidence to believe in themselves to pursue a higher purpose in life.

I hope I explained my idea clearly enough as this is my first conversation here on TED. I hope to hear from most of you!


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    Jul 16 2013: In my opinion, young adults generally are not well-equipped with life skills that would help them to live an independent life. However, I don't believe that those skills that you have listed above fall into the life skill category. I do believe that those skills mentioned are quite common in our society today. Most teenagers can open a bank account, make a credit card to make purchases online or even ask for loans. I mean anything to bank, there is always the information desk there to help. No one is born with the banking know-how but we all learn as we interact.

    What I think the adolescent truly lacks is something like cooking at home, fix your own bike or car, or do something manually without using computer or google. Jamie Oliver did an experiment and found out that many kids in primary school does not know what an apple or banana actually look like.
    Nowadays young people rely too much on technology where there is a vast amount of information to take in. As a kid growing up, we don't know what information to take in and what not to, so we tend to go with which that interests us. Parents leave their children to be educated in school, which is place where they value academic ability more than anything else, let alone basic life skill or even emergency skill.

    These are the skills that not only the youth but also the grown-ups cannot do very well. I have met a famiily where 3 generations are not taught to cook at home and all of their food are either processed or fast food. It is a problem of how we educate our children. Home used to be the place where most life skills are passed on from generations to generations. But look now, families are getting smaller and smaller. And parents have to work all day to make a living. Who will be there for the kids?
    • Jul 16 2013: You're totally right.

      I agree that because parents have smaller families and more work hours, the next generation is unable to think for themselves and thus become independent. I think most parents want to believe that public education will be enough for a child to make to college.
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      Jul 16 2013: I like the assertion you make in the first sentence of the second paragraph: "What I think the adolescent truly lacks..." I'm thirty and throughout my twenty I envied the generations coming after me for having access to so 'much technology where there is a vast amount of information to take it in' as you put, but now I see the downside to it, which you pointed out as well. They are inundated with all this information, which is in and of itself useless unless you can process and apply it. If you can't remember something you know when you need to know it, you're really no better off than if you didn't know it all to begin with.

      Experience is what is lacking. Trail and error. Hands-on doing. It reminds me of what Confucius said: "TELL ME AND I FORGET. SHOW ME AND I REMEMBER. LET ME DO AND I UNDERSTAND."
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      Jul 17 2013: Hi Son,

      I agree. Althought I don't think there is anything wrong in searching the web, this may also expand your knowledge. You cannot learn everything in the world from the parents, that's just not feasible.

      Daniel - thanks for the quote, one of my favourites.

      Son - searching the web and yuotube may also teach us something. You can read, see and explore on your own, then do it and then understand even more than your parents could (at least my parents, they didn't have internet). There is cooking there as well, with ingredients my parents didn't even know existed.

      Funny thing is... there is little to find there on how to plan your life economy effectively.

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