High on graduating from high school, we all have that feeling of, “I’m ready to take on the world; nothing can stop me.” Turns out it’s almost never really true. As much as we think we know everything about everything, there is so much basic, practical knowledge that slips through the cracks. Here are some essential life skills, because when the real world calls, you never know what you might need.
1. Changing a Flat Tire
As great as it is to have a membership with Triple AAA or a boyfriend/mechanic, learning how to change a flat tire could literally be a lifesaver (especially on the off chance you’d leave your phone at home that morning).
2. Sewing a Button
First, some deep breaths. No one said you need to become a seamstress overnight — you’re not going to look like Cinderella’s mice – but knowing how to sew a button could turn a possible outfit faux pas into something chic, or even princess-esque …Of course, sewing a button or a small tear inshirt/pants is important too.
3. Using a Fire Extinguisher
“You’d be surprised how many people don’t know how to use a fire extinguisher, and it’s a basic safety tool,” Steph Speranza, SUNY Geneseo graduate and Disney College Program participant says “One time my roommates were baking some drop cookies, and hadn’t realized that our oven coil had broken. A couple sparks were seen and I immediately grabbed the fire extinguisher. Thankfully we didn’t need to use it, but knowing that we were ready to was a relief.” Instead of waiting for a candle to tip over, a pan fire, an exploded microwave or a blow-dryer backfire, go get a fire extinguisher. Please.
4. Balancing a Checkbook
Whether you personally have balanced your money well in the past, or your parents have micro-managed your cash since, erm, forever, you’ve got to brush up on how to balance your checking and savings accounts. It starts with opening a checking and savings account.
5. Using Baking Soda
As weird as it sounds, everyday household items like baking soda can be used for a variety of things like nail care, and treating mosquito bites. Trust CM, baking soda is your most flexible (plus: tied for most crucial to making a homemade volcano) addition to your dorm shopping list.
6. Reading a Map … Made of Paper
So you probably have a GPS, or you’ve downloaded the latest navigation app. That’s all very nice and good until you’re in the middle of nowhere with no outlets and the only person who knows anything about where you’re going is gas station worker who looks like a naked mole rat and is randomly jabbing at things on a beat-up map. At that point, knowing and understanding how to read a map would be quite helpful. It would definitely be a useful, handy skill.
7. Fixing a Running Toilet
Plumbing may not be something that many of us have too much knowledge about (confession, myself included), but if you’re in your new apartment (or hotel room, as I can speak from personal experience, but would rather not here), it’s an all-too-important life skill to have. Let’s face it: it could take a while for someone to come to help, and a wet, soggy floor covered with all sorts of … smells is not something anyone ever would want to spend their afternoon cleaning up.