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The “Other Stuff” You Should Learn Before College

The “Other Stuff” You Should Learn Before College

Most of the time, our blogs focus on test prep skills, interview strategies, and tips for writing terrific essays. We’re dedicated to helping high school students learn how to gain an academic and personal edge, and hopefully gaining admission to your preferred university.

But there’s a lot more to college than just getting in and making good grades. For most students, this will be the first time they leave home for any extended period of time, and live on their own to some degree. And while you might make the Dean’s List or excel at varsity sports, how much will you know about everyday life? While you’re still in high school, make sure to master these basic life skills to ease the transition to living on your own.

Laundry. As silly as it sounds, many high school students move away to college, without ever having washed a single load of laundry! Unless you want to be that girl in pink socks, or the guy with the shrunken tees, learning to do basic laundry before you move away is a good idea.

Basic home maintenance. Whether you live in the dorms or share a house with other students, you will need to perform some basic home maintenance tasks. You’d be surprised at the number of young people who call home, asking why their vacuum suddenly stopped working, only to be asked if they’ve ever changed the bag! And do you know how to plunge a toilet, unclog a drain, check the lint trap in the dryer, or clean out the bottom of the dishwasher? These are routine tasks that you might forget, if you haven’t practiced them at home beforehand.

Navigation. We’re all so dependent on our smartphones these days, but what happens if you lose your phone or the battery dies? Can you get around without GPS? Make sure you know some basic navigational skills before venturing out into the world.

Money management. Right now, your parents probably pay all of the household bills. But unless you live in the dorm, you’ll have your own rent and utility bills pretty soon. Even if you opt for a dorm room, you need to know how to manage a checking account and protect your credit score.

Car or bike maintenance. At the very least, everyone should know how to change a flat tire and check their oil. Unless you drive a very new vehicle, which gives you alerts for maintenance tasks, downloading an app to keep track of everything is a good idea. If you plan to take a bike to campus, learn how to replace the chain and take care of the tires.

Time management. Throughout high school, you had parents and teachers on your back, reminding you of every little thing. This won’t happen in college, so start managing your own schedule and responsibilities now.