Originally Posted: May 10, 2017
Last Updated: Jan 9, 2019
Getting ready to head off to college? Here are a few basic—but important!—skills to have under your belt before you leave home.
1. How to cook (the basics)
Dining hall food and ramen get old fast. That’s why you should learn to cook at least a few basic meals. Even if you don’t have a fancy suite with a kitchen on campus, learning how to cook can also save you time and money, and can open doors to healthier options. Your dorm may limit the kinds of cooking appliances you’re allowed to have, but you can accomplish some basic hot meals with just a microwave or hot pot—and you might be surprised by what you can whip up. If you get creative with ingredients, you can make some really tasty, quick foods without even heating things up. YouTube is full of great ideas for student cooking; check out Mastering Student Meals Series on Brothers Green Eats to get started!
2. How to take notes
You may have been able to coast by in high school, but college requires better note-taking and study skills. Take the time to learn now so you don’t find yourself trying to learn after failing your first exams. Here’s a helpful guide from a college student!
3. How to apologize
When dealing with roommates, friends, family, and even professors and bosses, it is crucial to learn how—and when—to apologize. You don’t want to hurt people you care about, not to mention burn bridges for your future. Even if something isn’t totally your fault, an apology can help repair a relationship and make your life a lot easier.
4. How to vote
Take a few minutes to learn how to vote—it’s more than just checking off every box in your political party! Also, register if you’re not already registered, and find your local voting laws and either register to vote in your college town when you move there or request an absentee ballot when the time comes (pro tip: put a reminder in your calendar now reminding you to submit your request a few months before the next election)!
5. How to write an email
Be sure to make a good impression with your teachers and professors with decent e-mail-writing skills. Include a proper greeting in your e-mails, identify yourself, and use correct grammar and spelling. Good e-mailing skills will also come in handy when you’re applying for scholarships, jobs, and internships.
There are plenty of important skills you should know as a college student, but these basics are a good place to start! But if we missed any you think we should include, let us know on Twitter @CollegeXpress.