One of the things that is a Hastings College tradition is the January Term, or J-term. During J-term students have only one class for three weeks. Classes can be fun classes, like a class on J.R.R. Tolkien or serious classes, like a class on food insecurity. For my J-term, I took Foundations in Personal Finance.
I took this class because I was anxious about the future. There were days when I would lay in bed worrying about how am I going to pay for my student loans or how am I going to be able to maybe get a mortgage one day. I would have panic attacks if I had to spend more than $20 on anything, even things necessary for survival. I took a similar class in high school called Take Charge, but all it did was leave me even more scared and confused as I entered my senior year of high school and then freshman year of college.
Foundations in Personal Finance is taught by Deb Johnson, who is a flute professor and teaches freshman Music Theory. She teaches this class because she is passionate about giving students the tools they need to build wealth and manage their finances. In this class I learned that a credit score is actually an "I Love Debt" score, I learned how to budget, I learned how much you can save by buying store brand groceries instead of name brand, I learned the difference between retirement plans like 401(k) and Roth IRAs, but most importantly, I learned that I am going to be ok.
I am so glad I took this class. Now I rest easier at night knowing I have the tools and resources at my disposal to be able to retire wealthy, to be able to live a debt free life, to do the things I want to do, and to have financial peace. This class is also offered during the regular semester, and I truly think that it should be required for graduation. No matter what your major, this is the one class that is going to change your life.