Many American teenagers spend an enormous amount of time and energy to excel in school, master a sport or an instrument, and prepare for the SATs to gain entrance into the college of their choice. During college they prepare assiduously to obtain their dream job by finding summer positions and crafting internships to build their resumes. The coddling of parents and the protective college community eventually gives way to the long sought-after independence.

But how prepared are these graduates to cope with the practical realities of adult daily living or to develop a sustainable personal future? We do not want kids to jump into deep water without swimming lessons or drive a car with no instruction. Yet we expect newly minted young adults to navigate the complexities of life in the “real world” without a map or compass. Left to acquire the tools they need in a “hit or miss” fashion, their early forays can be needlessly littered with obstacles and have unintended consequences. A young adult’s sustainable future is best assured with education focused on the requisite daily life skills.

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