By Rosie Kean
For Unwind magazine
It’s no secret that college prepares us for the working world. The classes you’re taking will get you your degree — and your degree will hopefully land you a job. But what about life after college? Being a full-fledged adult seems like a daunting endeavor, especially after living as a college student for four years. To make the transition into the real world a little easier, here’s a list of 22 things you should know by the time you graduate.
- How to balance a checkbook: It’s important to keep track of your expenses and know how much money is in your bank account.
- How to iron your clothes: Wrinkled clothes never make a good impression, and you can save money by ironing your clothes yourself.
- How to budget your money wisely
- How to do your taxes
- How to change a tire: Depending where you are when you get a flat, it could take hours for someone to come and change your tire for you. Avoid waiting and just do it yourself.
- How to cook meals that aren’t microwaveable: Microwave meals are great in college, but once you graduate, you should move away from the Easy Mac and Hot Pockets, and start making healthier, home-cooked meals.
- How to manage stress: College provides plenty of practice with stress. Still, it’s important to make sure you can deal with stress in a healthy way before you step into the “real world.”
- How to put gas in your car: Editor’s Note: If you are from New Jersey or Oregon, you are excused from this rule.
- How to schedule a doctor’s appointment: Your mom can’t be scheduling all your appointments forever.
- How to open a bank account
- How to pay off a loan: As much as you may hate it, college loans are a necessary evil for most students. You need to know how to pay them off.
- Understand how insurance works
- How to network: Making connections with the right people will really help you in whatever career you choose.
- How to read a map: It may seem like an outdated skill, but it’s helpful for the rare but inevitable times when your phone dies and you’re in the middle of nowhere.
- How to delegate: Your future bosses will be impressed with your leadership skills.
- How to write a good resume and cover letter: Writing a resume is the first step in getting a job — and it needs to be done well if you want to be even considered for the position.
- How to present yourself professionally
- How to defend yourself: Hopefully you won’t ever need to use it, but the world can be a scary place. Knowing a few basic maneuvers to protect yourself isn’t such a bad idea. Plus, knowing you can kick someone’s butt if needed is a great confidence booster.
- How to sew on a button: It’s a simple skill that will prove itself very useful when a button pops off of your favorite shirt.
- How to properly make a bed: Lazily pulling the sheets up to the pillows after you wake up doesn’t count.
- How to clean a bathroom and kitchen
If you could only know one thing by the time you graduate, it should be yourself. College is a time for finding yourself and learning how to be an individual. Always know who you are. A strong sense of self will be your compass in life — it will guide you to wherever you are meant to go.