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South Carolina Honors College

Dear SC, Consider This ...

If someone asked me five years ago, “How should we improve the state of South Carolina?”, I wouldn’t have had any idea how to respond. In a few years, I’m heading off to college, and I realized how little knowledge I have about managing life in the real world. Many students will face the same situation when they move out to college, join the military, or take on their family business. Knowing the skills to survive and live on my own are endless – from managing a credit card to saving money, and all of these tasks are unfamiliar to many high schoolers.

South Carolina should improve the type of education they teach students in high school, as I feel the core teachings of financial responsibility should be prioritized in our education system.

In addition, they should teach students how to maintain a healthy lifestyle in college, maintain a social life, and build job connections while being a student. I feel the lack of this knowledge is one of the biggest reasons why students struggle with life during and after college because they lack the most important information to their own survival.

At the end of the day, their current high school knowledge means nothing if they have no way to seek a job to implement it in.

Education is a broad tree with many branches of knowledge that people can learn from. With this being true, I have found the most important question we should be asking is, “what knowledge is the most important to our survival in the modern day?”

What makes someone intelligent or wise? Is it the endless facts and knowledge they have or is it the experience they gain over time? What kind of knowledge should we learn in school to achieve success in our lifetime?

Debbie Kelly, associate professor of psychology at the University of Manitoba, says knowledge is the ability for someone to use their own knowledge in “novel situations,” (University of Manitoba News Today).

Over time, as I reflected on these words, I came to the realization that the smartest people are the ones who can use their knowledge to survive.

Every person has a different life situation and is put into different circumstances that may not always be fair. When it comes down to it, the color of someone’s skin, economic situation, or being a minority may determine the type of opportunities they’re given, but even though this is the case, why is it that so many people have still been able to succeed despite their limitations? Given these ideas, it can be determined that education is the basis for the path they take the rest of their lives, and one of the ways to be successful is knowing how to use their time and money wisely.

Every second of the day $2,858 of student debt is accumulated, according to, and this can be accredited in part to poor money management of college students and the lack of knowledge about these skills. The amount of debt is only increasing because of the interest being added every year. In 2018 there were 19.65 million students entering college in the United States, and more than forty percent of those students leave college and don’t use their degrees, CNBC reported.

Knowing all of these facts, South Carolina should put more effort into teaching students what type of education is best for them, whether it means going to college or not. We should also be teaching students the importance of prioritizing mental and physical health, along with outlining the new types of responsibilities they will face after high school.

These types of skills should be incorporated with our normal curriculum so we can apply the knowledge of school with real life as we work to build a resume or seek opportunities to build job experience. For all of us to succeed in life, it’s important to not only know all the core subjects but to know how to stay afloat while we navigate life’s many obstacles and hardships along the way.

So, as I reach the end of this letter to you, I have researched and come to the ultimate conclusion that the most intelligent of us are not the ones who know the most information, but the ones who know what to do with that information.

Haya Kidwai

Works Cited

University of Manitoba -. “What Makes Someone Smart?” UM Today, 24 April 2014.

Nova, Annie. “Why Your First Job out of College Really, Really Matters.” CNBC, CNBC, 2 July 2018.

Duffin, Erin. “U.S. College Enrollment Statistics 1965-2028.” Statista, 13 Mar. 2020.

“Student Loan Resources: Financial Aid & Loan Debt Management.”, 1 Apr. 2019.

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