A whole new chapter of life starts in about a month for many recent high school graduates. And while your child may be prepared for college academically, “adulting” is about more than just making deadlines and studying for final exams.
To help prepare your college freshman for life beyond the classroom, take the time to teach them these four important lessons they’ll need to know before they head off to school.
How to change a tire
If your freshman will be taking a car to college, make sure he or she knows how to resolve one common but frustrating problem: a flat tire. While online tutorials can be helpful in a time of crisis, there’s no guarantee they’ll have a strong cell phone signal on the side of the road. Mastering this skill before disaster strikes can turn a catastrophe into a minor inconvenience.
In addition to teaching your child how to change a tire, make sure their spare tire has plenty of air, and load the car up with a jack and any other necessary tools. Even if your child won’t be taking a car to college, they should know how to change a tire in case a blowout occurs while he or she’s hitching a ride with a friend.
How to do laundry
While pink is certainly a nice color for summer, it’s not so nice when everything you own turns pink in the washing machine. If your child doesn’t already do his or her own laundry, conduct a tutorial on hot and cold water, dark and light fabrics and how to measure out laundry soap and fabric softener. Cover the basics now so your student’s first load in the dorm laundry room won’t end up shrunken and stained.
How to open and manage a bank account
Managing personal finances is arguably one of the most important lessons of adulthood. Checks, debit cards, even lines of credit are all complicated concepts once you factor in considerations like overdraft fees and interest charges.
Teach your freshman the basics of money management so that they’ll emerge from college with a healthy respect for personal finance and perhaps even a stellar credit score. Additionally, many university campuses offer money management resources to help students make sense of personal finances and student loans.
How to cook basic meals
With so many dining options and meal plans available on college campuses these days, figuring out how to feed oneself properly can be overwhelming for a new college student. Even if your new freshman will be living in a dorm room without a kitchen, he or she should still learn how to prepare some basic, healthy meals to keep both the body and the mind healthy.
A takeout pizza is okay every now and then, but your student shouldn’t be ordering out every night. Scrambled eggs, pasta, baked chicken and roasted vegetables are all easy dishes to learn that require only inexpensive staple ingredients and basic kitchen tools.
Learning these lessons in the weeks before your student leaves the nest will help him or her focus on what really matters: earning that degree.