Are we ready?


The question remains after graduation are students ready for the real world?

Magnet Staff, Editorial

With the school year winding down, many seniors are starting to wonder what their diploma means. Does it mean that students are ready for life after high school? Does it actually prepare students and give them the abilities to be successful in the real world? Some Owatonna High School students do not see their time as a student at OHS as a privilege and they feel as if the diploma holds no point. Other OHS students need their diploma and secondary school degree to be able to be successful in life. The real question is whether or not the OHS is taking full advantage of what the diploma could mean to all students. It could mean allowing students to create a senior seminar and spend time creating a project in their own field of interest. It could also mean teaching students how to address an envelope and balance a checkbook. It could be something that students work towards because they want to, not because they need it for college and think that they need it to get started on their journey for a prosperous life. At the beginning of the year, OHS students are given slogans and are told that with more education comes more money. While these aspects are true, is the OHS really using the diploma to its highest potential to light a desire to succeed in OHS students?

The OHS takes pride in preparing students for their future in school and out of school. An opportunity to prepare students for adult life lies within the required courses for graduation. With OHS required courses including a variety of classes such as algebra 2 and world history, what OHS graduates are lacking are required classes that teach students how to be an adult. These classes include personal finance, succeed on your own and life on your own, three classes that are offered as electives but not as required courses. OHS senior, Tyler Kain, thinks that those classes should be required. Kain said, “I think it’s important for us to be ready for things that we will experience in real life. Calc and chemistry may be important for some people, but for a majority of people they will not use the skills they learned in these classes nearly as much as classes like personal finance.” Some students do not learn these skills at any point in their life and by having these classes as required courses, the OHS would be putting better prepared students into society.

I think it’s important for us to be ready for things that we will experience in real life. ”

— Tyler Kain

Another way to prepare students for life beyond the classroom is to have them engaged in a subject in which they have a specific interest. Hanna Hosler, former Owatonna student and current senior at University Schools in Greeley, CO, had to do a senior project at her school in order to graduate. Hosler said, “The senior project lets you focus on a certain area you are passionate about. I did mine for children because I love them and am going to major in early childhood development, others did a volleyball summer camp because they are passionate about their sport, some did an EP [an Extended Play or first album] because they strive to be musicians. It also helps you learn how important deadlines are, how to present, which is something we’ll have to do in college more and how to arrange things and just overall helping us become better individuals.” By having seniors do a project as a graduation requirement, the high school would better prepare students for their futures, as well as engage them in a new way of learning.

The whole point of the diploma is to say that students are ready for wherever their lives may take them. But are we ready? The OHS and the diploma are simply a launching pad for students to make their way into the great unknown. It is up to the individual to use their OHS diploma to its highest potential.