You have probably gotten a lot of advice for college, mostly dealing with doing well in your classes and making friends.
While both of those things are important, it’s equally important to make sure you are comfortable with some basic skills you may have taken for granted while living at home with your parents!
Before you take your first step on campus as a full-time student, make sure you learn these five skills:
1. Laundry Basics
If your parents have done your laundry for you all the way up to the summer before college, consider yourself lucky. But now it’s time to learn to do your laundry yourself (unless you want to trek back to your parents’ house for help every weekend).
Have a parent or a sibling walk you through the process. Then load up on quarters and detergent the summer before college!
2. Cooking Simple Meals
The best advice to know on the first day of college is the kind you will use every day, and cooking tips certainly qualify. You’ll get tired of eating toaster pastries, pizza delivery and ramen noodles daily. In fact, it won’t be long before you’re crave that home-cooked meal (how long before Thanksgiving?). This is why you should learn how to take advantage of your dorm’s kitchen.
Get some recipes from your parents, and try them out the summer before college so you’re ready to use the oven and stove in your dorm building. Even if your dorm doesn’t have a full kitchen, you’ll probably have a microwave in your room. There are entire cookbooks and websites devoted to healthy meals you can make in the microwave — test them out at home so you can impress your new roommate!
You might be in charge of making your bed at home and keeping your room tidy, but your parents probably do all the deep cleaning. Once you get to the dorms, you will be in charge of that, so start preparing for it the summer before college.
You will need to dust regularly, vacuum and occasionally clean out your mini fridge. Since you’ll also probably be eating in your dorm room often, remember to pick up crumbs and throw plates and old pizza boxes in the trash. Otherwise, you can expect a bug problem — or worse.
Plus, if you have a bathroom attached to your room, it is up to you and your roommate to keep it clean, so ask your parents for bathroom cleaning advice before college and come equipped with cleaning solutions and supplies.
4. Basic Car Maintenance
If you’re planning on taking your car to college, make sure you take time during the summer to learn how to check your car’s oil, brake fluid and coolant levels. Keeping your vehicle well-stocked on these fluids can prevent major car problems.
Learning how to check your tire pressure is another important task to do before you bring your car to campus, since keeping too little air in your tires can damage them or even cause them to blow out while driving.
5. Taking Public Transportation
Sometimes car problems are unavoidable. Or, maybe you won’t have a vehicle on campus. Either way, you should make sure you know how to use public transportation. Find out if there is a bus route or subway near you, and get a copy of the schedules.
Your college may also have a shuttle that can take you from school to local amenities, such as the grocery store or mall. Some good advice for college is to get the phone number of the shuttle service, along with a cab company just in case you have no other options for getting around.
Can you think of any other life skills you are not taught in college, but need to know? If you ‘re already a college student, which skills do you wish you had learned the summer before college?