Don't be that kid who calls their mom asking how to do laundry (Image via YouTube)

Things Everyone Must Know How to do Before Going to College

Your parents won’t be going to college with you, therefore it’s time to learn how to survive on your own.

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Your parents won’t be going to college with you, therefore it’s time to learn how to survive on your own.

Everyone knows that going to college requires a certain level of independence. It is typically the first time in a young person’s life in which you are almost fully on your own with no one supervising your every move anymore. College is a transitional period in your life that gives you the chance to take your life into your own hands and start to establish how you will live and conduct yourself as an individual. Given this undeniable fact, there are a few basic life skills that you must know before you are out living on your own.

Do Your Own Laundry

The time has officially come for you to wash your own clothes; the days of having your mom magically wash, dry and fold your clothes whenever you need them are over. If you do not know how to do this simple task on your own by the time you are in college, then you are in for a rude awakening during your first week of freshmen year. Not only will you be without clean clothes, but you will also be subjected to ridicule from your fellow classmates.

You’ll need to figure out how to properly operate the machines, as well as how to measure and use laundry detergent and fabric softener if you prefer. Being able to perform this task on your own will ensure your independence as you start to establish yourself in the world of a college student.

Schedule Doctor’s Appointments

While you are living on your own, you are more than likely to get sick at one point or another. Since you are likely to be far away from your primary care doctor, you’ll have to learn how to call and schedule and doctor’s appointment with a new doctor.

Being able to do this requires some basic knowledge such as your address, birthday and insurance information. You are now expected to take care of this task by yourself given that you are off on your own, and that you are officially recognized as a legal adult. The first step in establishing your independence is proving that you can take care of yourself, which includes your physical and mental health.

Clean Your Room

This task may seem like common sense, but in some cases, students find it difficult to maintain their cleanliness when their parents are not there to make sure it is done on a regular basis. When you’re in college, no one cares if you clean your room, so it is easy for your mess to get out of hand.

Cleaning your room does not just mean tidying up and organizing your belongings. Before you can be on your own, you have to figure out how to thoroughly clean and cleanse the area in which you live. You have to be able to find the proper cleaning products that will make sure your room is as clean as possible.

Making sure that you disinfect, dust, vacuum and sweep your room is one of the most important parts of being out on your own. If your room is put in place, then the rest of your life will reflect it as well. Also, as a plus, if your room is deeply cleaned every once in a while, you will be less likely to get sick!

Use Public Transportation

Learning how to navigate your new hometown is essential as a college student because public transportation is the easiest, not to mention cheapest, way of getting from point A to point B. Familiarizing yourself with reading bus or train schedules will make the transition into college much more seamless, given that you will be confident enough to make your way around campus and the surrounding areas.

Brew Your Own Coffee

Let’s be honest—if you depend on Starbucks for your daily caffeine boost, you’ll be out of money in the blink on an eye. That doesn’t mean you have to give up the one thing that’ll get you through a full day of classes and homework. Learning how to brew coffee, whether it be in a Keurig or coffee pot, is one of the most vital skills you can have as a college student because it will save your bank account and your mid-afternoon slump.

If you can brew your own coffee, you can start to explore how you prefer your perfect cup and you can save valuable time that you would’ve wasted standing in the eternally long line at any coffee shop on campus.

Calculate Tips

From now on when you are at school, you won’t be going out to dinner with your parents, which means that you will be responsible for paying for your meal, including the tip for your waiter. If you don’t know how to tip, you’ll be completely flustered when the server brings your check or when the delivery person shows up at your door with whatever late night snack you are craving.

Understanding how to tip, and how much, will help you prove to yourself and everyone you are dining with that you know exactly what you are doing and that you are capable of utilizing your own finances. It will also ensure that your waiters will not resent you for regularly calculating the wrong tip for them.

Being able to do all of these things without any help will also boost your confidence in yourself as you enter the new chapter of your life. There is nothing more unsettling than feeling unprepared, and learning how do the things on this list will eliminate many feelings of unpreparedness that you might encounter.

While there are a lot of useful life skills that all adults must know how to do, these are just a few to get you started. Mastering these tasks will help you to ease your way into the adult world where you, and only you, are responsible for your actions.

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Annie Farrell

James Madison University
Writing, Rhetoric & Techincal Communications

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