No matter how young you are, there are some things that everyone should know. Especially as seniors get ready to move away and sophomores and juniors begin to drive, it begs the question: what do you need to know to be successful? And when I say successful, I don’t mean good grades — I mean life skills. Here, I’ve compiled a list of life skills that everyone should learn as they grow up, and over the next school year, I’ll be going in depth on each of these — plus possibly a few more. 

You NEED to know:

  • How to cook: I know that most college students rely on the dining halls to feed them, but at some point, everyone needs to know how to feed themselves. There’s only so long that you can live on campus, and either way, you’ll eventually be sick of cafeteria food. This is probably the most important skill to learn, so definitely put in the effort to learn!
  • How to swim: This one may seem obvious to many, but there’s a pretty large amount of people who don’t know how to swim. This skill isn’t just necessary for those who live by the beach — you never know what could happen. If the dangers don’t convince you, imagine having to tell your college friends who want to have a pool party that you’re twenty-one years old but still can’t swim. 
  • How to do CPR: Even if you don’t work with kids or the elderly, it’s better to be prepared. Again, you never know what may happen and you could be the person to save someone else’s life!

You SHOULD know these:

  • How to change a tire: Imagine this — you’re on your way to lacrosse practice, slightly behind your friend’s car who is also on her way. Next thing you know, she’s pulling over in a parking lot a few minutes away from the field, and you pull up next to her and see that her tire is completely flat. In a funny turn of events, this is exactly what happened to me yesterday. Now, I can proudly say that I know how to change a tire without the help of AAA, and this is something that all drivers should know how to do. Sometimes it’s faster to do it yourself. 
  • How to speak a second language (at least a little bit): You don’t have to be fluent, but it’s recommended that you know at least a few basic phrases, especially if you’re traveling to a non-English speaking country. Just know how to ask for directions or where you are, as it would be horrible to be lost in a foreign country. The majority of the world doesn’t speak English, so don’t expect every country to be able to understand you — you also have to put in the effort. 
  • How to ride a bike: Despite seeming like a childhood activity, many college students bike to campus, with some campuses like UCSB even revolving around bikes! It’s a great and easy way to get around in college when you may not have access to a car, so it’s a skill that you should earn before you move out if it’s even a possibility that you might need to know it.


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