Eight essential life skills to learn before going away for university

Eight essential life skills to learn before going away for university

University life can be daunting - you're on your own, probably for the first time - but these eight tips can make your time there a bit less scary

You've chosen your courses and know which clubs you want to join. But what are you missing? Don't forget about these eight life skills you should absolutely have before leaving for university this autumn.

1. Do laundry

We've all heard a horror story about the new student who dyed his clothes pink in the wash. Don't be that guy. The solution is simple: learn how to do laundry in the comfort of your home before hugging Mum and Dad goodbye. While you're at it, take the iron for a spin.

2. Make your favourite meal

Everyone gets a little homesick from time to time, but learning how to make a home-cooked favourite will help ease those sad feelings. Plus, cooking alongside a parent, relative or sibling is a great way to bond before you go.

3. Use a credit card and chequebook

With so many options out there, it can be hard to choose a bank and credit card that are right for you. Don't pick a card based on how it looks or follow what your best friend is doing. Do your research, sit down with a banker and make a smart choice. Although plastic is more widely accepted, you should also learn how to write a cheque. Google can help with that.

4. Create a budget

Let's give a shout-out to the parents who helped us buy new clothes and pay for concert tickets. But since the Bank of Mum & Dad doesn't exist on campus, you'll now have to learn how to budget your money wisely. Apps like Toshl Finance can help you save cash, track expenses and set restrictions.

5. Clean a bathroom

Globs of toothpaste and the occasional hairball may find their way into your bathroom at home, but your parents/helper won't be there to pick up after you. Learn how to clean a toilet, scrub a wash basin and wash down a shower. These skills will make you a great roommate.

6. Use kitchen appliances

Yes, there's probably a dining hall on your future uni campus, but it's also important to learn how to use common appliances, like a microwave, stove, oven and blender. Trust us, those microwave skills will come in handy on movie nights.

7. Make appointments

Some people dread making appointments. They'll let their hair grow for months just to avoid calling their stylist. Practise this simple skill this summer to avoid problems later on. Book a dental check-up, schedule a haircut and book a table at a restaurant.

8. Eat healthy

Many students gain a lot of weight in their first few weeks - in the US, they call it the "freshman 15", meaning you gain 15lb, or about 7kg. With so much freedom to eat whatever you want, it can be hard to resist the junk. Start eating healthy, clean food before leaving home. Once you get to uni, you'll feel better about keeping up those good habits.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Simple life skills


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