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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 23 2013: I am a university graduate in Canada. I was very lucky to pursue my passion for 2 reasons.
    - My parents told me they would always be proud of me and wanted me to find, on my own, what would make me happy.
    - I took 2 years off after high school. I took courses in the area I thought I'd want to study and then worked full time in customer service in the fashion industry. After that, I knew it was for me.

    I think there are a few things about education and career planning that need to change that would help young people leaving high school.

    - it's okay to try and be wrong. Don't stick to a degree you don't like and waste time and money just because you're already in it. Try something different. That one year in psychology could make you an even better marketer, or vice versa. No education is a waste!

    - If you're not sure, try it out. Work a warehouse/reception/customer service position in that industry to learn more before committing to a degree/diploma.

    - Accept that the first career/industry/field that you pursue might not be forever. The job market is constantly changing and there will be opportunities 10 years from now that don't exist today.

    I think the pressure to chose a career path that you will follow for the rest of your life is overwhelming. I think it should be thought of more as a journey, sometimes you're standing on a hill and can see miles ahead and know with certainty where you want to go and other times you're in a valley and it's hard to see what's next so you tread lightly, one step at a time. Sometimes you'll want to run and sometimes you'll want to rest but choosing an area of study is the first in a long line of decisions, it's just the beginning of a very exciting journey full of failures and successes. Everyone has to start somewhere.

    95% of my graduating class had been accepted to university before graduation. I hadn't applied anywhere and many people made me feel like that meant I wasn't going anywhere and that is what needs to change.
    • Jul 24 2013: Hello, Anna! I totally agree with "No education is a waste" These days, most students are eager to find their major early and want to study only that field deeply. It could be suit for someone. But I think it is better to experience and challenge anything which can be done in this moment! Time flows so fast, we do not have enough time. "Look inside yourself, and follow your heart" is important.

      Steve Jobs' speech in Stanford University : He took courses about Caligraphy, some might think it is useless, but he got a lot of help when he invented the font used in Apple mobile tools. Everything is connected!

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