Many of you will be stepping onto campus this upcoming fall, finally free of your parents. It’s your first year of college, and you just can’t wait to be free and come home late….or not at all make your own decisions. What you don’t realize, however, is how much those parental units have done for you while you were living at home. And trust me – this is something you’ll realize fast.
So I’ve compiled a list of eight things every college student should know how to do now that they aren’t living with their parents. Prepare yourselves, people. If you don’t know how to do these things, either learn now or make friends who do and are willing to do it for you to teach you.
1. Laundry – Obviously you are going to have to do this some time or another. No matter how big your closet is, how many pairs of underwear you stock up on, or how many times you spray Febreeze on your jeans, eventually you are going to need to come face to face with the industrial washing machine. And when you do, you better believe you’ll want to be prepared so you don’t end up with teeny, tiny jeans and Jungle-Juice stained halter tops.
2. How to iron – For those job fairs, semi-formals, and when you didn’t feel like putting your clean laundry back in the drawers and left them sitting in your laundry basket for weeks on end.
3. Safe sex – Duh. Put a raincoat on, and pop that pill. Also, get tested. Because like they say in The Hangover, “that sh*t will come back with you.”
4. Your alcohol limit – You’re going to be around a lot of alcohol in college, so be careful. I can’t tell you how many girls I see stumbling around the clubs, or being carried up the stairs to their dorm. I even saw a freshman passed out in the middle of our dorm hallway. Have fun, but start slowly and know your limits. No shots are worth a night in the hospital.
5. Fixing computer problems – Either know the basics (control + alt + delete) or make friends who do. When your printer won’t print and your paper is due in an hour, if you already know how to fix it, you won’t freak out nearly as much.
6. Basic cooking – Like boiling water, making grilled cheese, or cooking the perfect oatmeal in your microwave when you sleep through breakfast and have a long day of class ahead of you.
7. Getting your ass out of bed – You pay tons of money each year for these classes, so getting out the door and to class is a necessity. In high school when I wasn’t up, one of my parents (or my brother) would bust through my bedroom door and tell me I had five minutes to get to class. You won’t have that in college, so get used to waking yourself up. And don’t think you can depend on the roomie to rouse you; usually she won’t have the same exact schedule as you, so you’re on your own, girlfriend.
8. How to study – It goes without saying that college courses are way different than those fluff classes you took in high school. That means that the study requirements will change as well. Don’t think you can roam onto campus and get by without cracking a book. Take some time to evaluate your ideal study environment (at a desk or on a bed? Total silence or with some background noise?) and schedule. It’s up to you to make things work in college, so figure out what works for you early so you don’t suffer later.
Learn them. Know them. Live them.
It will make your freshman year so much easier.