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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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    Aug 1 2013: About the university bit. Many students are pushed into studying by their parents, society or their own beliefs. What they believe they should do or what others tell them to do may not be necessarily the right thing to do. In fact, following the mainstream leads to mediocrity.

    There are better ways to go about life, such as thinking outside the box to live on the edge. It's much more exciting and not hard to do, once you get rid of the beliefs installed by the family, friends and the society (as well as culture, religion).

    Being put through the school, university and other formal education strips away most of the inner creativity. I hope that more and more people will wake up to the fact that they can learn more from immersing themselves in the experience of life rather than reading books to get a degree.
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      Aug 4 2013: Leaning more from life by immersing themselves into life (OJT, On the job training), will work if you have the necessary, book, class learned experience to establish a base of critical analytical skills such as: mathematics, Science, Language, Basic Physics, etc. But, as an all inclusive method to an end, I think it is very limited in today’s technological society.
      • Aug 4 2013: Immersing yourself and OJT are not the same thing. In fact, that's kind of the opposite. OJT is someone teaching you how to do something, and the attitude of immersion is figuring out whether you are doing something for the "right" reasons before being told how to do it. Immersion is a balance between doing something that can be appreciated by the general populace, and doing something not just because the general populace wants you to do it.

        We don't just need sharper analytical skills (though they couldn't hurt, unless the person used them to avoid immersion as can actually be the case), we need to realize that the rules of the world we were born into cannot dictate our lives perfectly, and that those rules can be broken once they are well known. You might immerse yourself in acting (this is basically the example used by Ken Robinson in his talk) and still contribute to what the OP might recognize as a "higher purpose." People always have the opportunity to immerse themselves in life (being living people) - it's their attitude towards what they do and why they do it that is unique to today's technological society.
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          Aug 4 2013: I'm still confused Chris. Perhaps you could direct me to a video that would expand on your suggestion.

          When I think of immersion in the sense we are examining it here, I think about learning a new language in a different country. Even if I lack reading and writing skills, in my own language, I can still learn another by this method but having some skill would certainly help. Having learned the language, I would still need training if I were to seek employment in a scientific or engineering field, even if I knew the language. If I were a vagabond with an income, I wouldn't need any job or life training and might learn something special about life in my travels. So yes, I'm still a bit confused as to what you mean, especially if you are applying this method with your students.

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