By Taylor Brown
Convocations are a unique part of Berea College’s education. Diverse individuals take time out of their schedules to come here and talk to us about their careers, their lives or their professions. While this is a great opportunity to expand our minds, I wonder if it’s necessary for convocations to be mandatory. Perhaps, a possibility to replace people’s stories or concerts with useful skills for the future.
This may come off as, just another student complaining about having to give up an hour or two on Thursdays for a convocation. However, are convocations more beneficial to students now, than what they could be if students were taught life skills needed after graduation?
There are quite a few convocation speakers that I absolutely loved listening to, or from whom I took something from their speech. For example, Dr. Willie Parker came to talk to us about his profession; giving reproductive care to women in need. While I think this was an excellent speech, how much more could we have gotten if he also told us about preventative measures we can take to avoid pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, and causes of other reproductive problems. I recognize that it’s not Dr. Willie Parker’s job to inform us of things of that nature, and that having this knowledge is useful before, during and after college. This is just one example out of many I could give.
One thing in particular that I’m interested in seeing is more enforcement of financial literacy classes. Fortunately these classes do exist, but it’s not mandatory for students to enroll or attend these classes like it is for us to go to convocation every Thursday in the afternoon or evening. I think financial literacy is incredibly important because it can save you a lot of trouble after college. Generally speaking, students are aided financially by their families, college or other grants, scholarships and loans. It’s easy to forget that one day, we’re going to have to manage our finances on our own in order to survive and be successful.
Learning how to properly manage a bank account, budget, invest in credible stocks and how to build credit is essential in being able to survive in our society. I think financial literacy is an important skill, and should be enforced more because we’re learning skills that are relevant in just about every facet of life. Convocations are still a great attribute to have, however I don’t think it should take priority over learning life skills.