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Life 101: The most valuable class you’ll never take

April 15th, 2010

Growing up.

It’s what we’re expected to do when we graduate from this place. But do any of us – barring that overachieving Boler School graduate student – really know how to tackle it? 

We could tell you more than you care to know about Argentinean economic policies or the male XLR cord needed to power a speaker system. But, when we leave here in four weeks, will any of that matter?

Not really. Now, don’t get us wrong; John Carroll University is a fine institution and has taught us invaluable skills, which will no doubt help us in our professional careers or mold us into Jeopardy-dominating machines (I’ll take “Non-practical Information for $37,000 a year, Mr. Trebek”). 

Aside from the aforementioned awesome Boler student, do you know the differences between a W-9 and a 940-EZ tax form? Or how about actually understanding what it says in your first tiny studio apartment lease? 

Still blanking? We have a plan, more of a proposal, actually a marginal concept. 

We, the people (Joe and Craig), in order to form a more perfect graduating senior, would like to establish Last Year Seminar (LYS), or Life 101. We know what you’re thinking: How did Buzz Aldrin get booted from “Dancing with the Stars?” He’s an American hero! He walked on the moon! How many people do you know that have walked on the moon? Kate Gosselin, really?

But, we should really talk about our plan. If you think about it, it’s an easily comprehendible concept. JCU gives you a First Year Seminar to grow as a class and expand your horizons and all that tomfoolery. Well, how about a class to help you transition out of college and into the real world? 

First, the course objective: “To educate graduating seniors on the fundamental concepts of living an adult life. Upon completion, students will be able to more thoroughly identify and understand the necessary steps, including, but not limited to the following: financial responsibility, taxes, insurance, health and fitness, interview preparation, adapting to a new setting, governmental procedures, and dating (not that we need that part, but maybe other people; but definitely, DEFINITELY not us. We’re actually leading that discussion).”

Now, we realize that these components can all be currently learned at JCU; however, it would require a few more classes that we really can’t fit because of our precious core requirements. 

A major part of the class would be speaker-based. Professionals or professors with expertise in each of these fields would give a 50-minute talk about the basics – maybe with a handout of some sort to take home. Unlike FYS, it would not be a requirement because too many people wouldn’t take it seriously, and would waste the time and energy put forth by the speaker. This class would be held once a week and be worth one credit with no homework, yet attendance is mandatory (except in cases of death, kidnapping or Mexican drug cartel violence).

Now, some highlights of the course.

First, financial responsibility. These are things like paying off your credit card debt, buying a car, or actually, pretty much anything that involves a dollar bill. Finance majors can skip this day. What about a 401K … what is it? Is it just a shortened form of 401,000, or is it a financial investment program for employees to maximize their retirement benefits? No, definitely not the latter. 

Secondly, health and fitness day. Whether you’re working a 40-hour workweek or crashing in your parents’ basement, you’re not going to have Jeff’s cheese enchiladas to power you through the day. It’s a completely different lifestyle – we think – we read it in Cosmo. 

Finally, interviews. Do you know how to professionally present yourself? How much company research is necessary? Are you ready for that curveball question: “If you were an eagle that had to defend your un-hatched eggs, how would you creatively problem solve while maintaining your sales quota?” 

Look, all we’re saying is that if a class like this were available, you’re looking at the star pupils. Jokes aside, considering we are entering the real world, a class that taught you important adult-living concepts would really get us ready for being big boys. We’ll take, “Awesome Ideas” for 401K (Is that the proper use?).