A Stanford dean on skills every 18 year old should have

1. An 18-year-old must be able to talk to strangers — faculty, deans, advisers, landlords, store clerks, human resource managers, coworkers, bank tellers, health care providers, bus drivers, mechanics—in the real world.

The crutch: We teach kids not to talk to strangers instead of teaching the more nuanced skill of how to discern the few bad strangers from the mostly good ones. Thus, kids end up not knowing how to approach strangers — respectfully and with eye contact — for the help, guidance, and direction they will need out in the world.

2. An 18-year-old must be able to find his way around a campus, the town in which her summer internship is located, or the city where he is working or studying abroad.

The crutch: We drive or accompany our children everywhere, even when a bus, their bicycle, or their own feet could get them there; thus, kids don’t know the route for getting from here to there, how to cope with transportation options and snafus, when and how to fill the car with gas, or how to make and execute transportation plans.

3. An eighteen-year-old must be able to manage his assignments, workload, and deadlines.

The crutch: We remind kids when their homework is due and when to do it— sometimes helping them do it, sometimes doing it for them; thus, kids don’t know how to prioritize tasks, manage workload, or meet deadlines, without regular reminders.

4. An 18-year-old must be able to contribute to the running of a house hold.

The crutch: We don’t ask them to help much around the house because the checklisted childhood leaves little time in the day for anything aside from academic and extracurricular work; thus, kids don’t know how to look after their own needs, respect the needs of others, or do their fair share for the good of the whole.

5. An 18-year-old must be able to handle interpersonal problems.

The crutch: We step in to solve misunderstandings and soothe hurt feelings for them; thus, kids don’t know how to cope with and resolve conflicts without our intervention.

6. An 18-year-old must be able to cope with ups and downs of courses and workloads, college- level work, competition, tough teachers, bosses, and others.

The crutch: We step in when things get hard, finish the task, extend the deadline, and talk to the adults; thus, kids don’t know that in the normal course of life things won’t always go their way, and that they’ll be okay regardless.

7. An 18-year-old must be able to earn and manage money.

The crutch: They don’t hold part-time jobs; they receive money from us for what ever they want or need; thus, kids don’t develop a sense of responsibility for completing job tasks, accountability to a boss who doesn’t inherently love them, or an appreciation for the cost of things and how to manage money.

8. An 18-year-old must be able to take risks.

The crutch: We’ve laid out their entire path for them and have avoided all pitfalls or prevented all stumbles for them; thus, kids don’t develop the wise understanding that success comes only after trying and failing and trying again (a.k.a. “grit”) or the thick skin (a.k.a. “resilience”) that comes from coping when things have gone wrong.

Remember: our kids must be able to do all of these things without resorting to calling a parent on the phone. If they’re calling us to ask how, they do not have the life skill.


In high school, you had a cafeteria full of people you at least sort of knew. And going out to eat is usually a group activity. So until you hit college, you may never have to eat alone in public. But if you only have a little while between classes, you’re not always going to be able to find someone to come to the dining hall with you. No one’s going to judge you for eating alone (we’ve all done it plenty of times), but it’s best for you to get comfortable with it before hand.


Having money in the bank is such a good feeling. Arguably the best feeling. Knowing I could buy something ridiculously overpriced is oddly satisfying. Living in a dorm is great in that your rent, utilities, and groceries are all essentially prepaid, so any income you have is yours to spend as you will. Shopping sprees are always tempting, but when you get on campus, try to save money wherever you can. Eventually, you’re going to have to leave the dorms, and the “real world” of apartment life is a lot less scary when you have some money saved up to fall back on.

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Grow Up and Buy Your Own Damn Groceries

When people first move out, they’re completely at a loss on how to buy groceries. Sure, you know how a grocery store works in theory and you’ve used it to buy crackerjack or whatever it is kids are into these days, but you’ve never really had to fill an entire kitchen with supplies. And then do it again and again ad nauseam. So you make multiple trips because you keep forgetting things and all kinds of shit goes to rot in your fridge or on your counter. But fear not, young one, we are here for you.

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How to be Less Socially Awkward

1. Recognize that you’re not the only person who feels this way. Many of the people around you will be feeling self conscious and ill at ease as well.
2. Try not to over-analyze every situation, and how you come across, or appear to other people. That will only undermine your self confidence, and make your behaviour seem unnatural and forced.
3. Try to figure out the source of your feelings. For example, have you been criticized, bullied or shamed, or been made to feel that you’re just not good enough?
4. Recognize the thought patterns that are common at these times – like “I’m useless, inferior and don’t know what to say.” Then tell yourself you’re playing the same old record again.
5. Notice people who like you and who affirm who you are, and notice why they like you – then remind yourself of that.
6. When you start to feel anxious about being with other people remind yourself that others seem to like your company.
7. Imagine a scene where you’re feeling confident. Replay that mental picture as often as you can. It will help to change your feelings so you feel more confident.
47 Hacks People With ADD/ADHD Use To Stay On Track
Everything from color-coding to bouncing on an exercise ball.
By Grace Spelman

As with all these things, your mileage may vary, but I thought this was better than the lists I’ve seen on ADDitude. (On a side note: Buzzfeed is apparently full of people with ADHD. I’m not surprised).

A few of these I actually do. (Like writing everything down and keeping my keys by the door). Others I’ve never thought of, and would like to try.

Which “hacks” do you do, or want to try?

How to Do Your Laundry Without Ruining Your Wardrobe

Doing laundry for yourself is like a rite of passage most of you should earn in your teens, but the sad fact of the world is that the majority of you still have your mommies washing your clothes every holiday break til you graduate college. Whenever it happens, this is something you gotta learn and if you do it wrong, there can be some disastrous consequences for your clothing, so let’s get it right.

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How to Start a Conversation When You Have Nothing to Talk About

Starting a conversation to get to know someone or breaking an awkward silence can be very stressful. To start a conversation when you have nothing to talk about, use these guidelines.

1. Introduce yourself if necessary. If you don’t know the person, breaking the ice is very simple: look approachable, tell the new person your name, offer your hand to shake, and smile.
2. Remark on the location or occasion. Look around and see if there is anything worth pointing out. Examples of location or occasion comments include: “This is a gorgeous room!”, or “Great dog!”
3. Ask an open-ended question. Most people love to talk about themselves, and open questions can help with this. These require an explanation for an answer rather than just a simple yes or no. Open questions tend to begin with who, when, what, why, where, and how.
4. Keep the conversation going with small talk. This keeps the conversation light and simple, and helps to establish similarities.
5. Synchronize. Once the other person has started talking, follow his or her cues to keep the conversation going smoothly. Use active listening to reflect what they’re saying and, perhaps, feeling.
6. Helpful techniques and cues to convey your interest include: Say the other person’s name from time to time; give encouraging feedback (by nodding, saying “ah-ha”, “wow’, “oh” “That’s amazing!”, etc.); keep your body language open and welcoming; and make comfortable, genuine eye contact with the person.
7. Be aware of your internal monologue. When you suddenly feel that you’re not able to engage in conversation with someone else, it’s likely that you’re saying negative things to yourself. For example, you may be worrying that you’re boring, not good enough, too unimportant, intruding, wasting their time, and so on. Try to keep in mind that everyone has these self-doubts from time to time.
8. Respond thoughtfully to someone who remains awkward or uncomfortable. If he or she appears withdrawn and uninterested, don’t persist for too long. Try a bit more, and then make the decision to move on and talk to somebody else. Also, be careful not to ask too many questions as they may feel shy discussing themselves.

Source: (Adapted)


At university I learnt how proper preparation and rehearsal can make doing presentations a lot easier, they don’t need to be a big deal! I just wish my teenage self knew this…I can’t tell you how many projects I did last minute because I was nervous and didn’t want to think about presenting. 

anonymous asked:

Tuff and different kind of question here ladies, how to master the heels and feel as comfy as sneakers :D ?

Now these are the kinds of questions I am 100% qualified and prepared to answer! I live in heels. I don’t even know the last time I wore sneakers.

  • Don’t wear brand new heels for really long stretches of time. If you know you’re going to work at 10-hour day, today is not the day for new shoes. Heels need to be broken in just like any other shoes.
  • Invest in comfy heels in the first place. My personal favorite is the Comfort Plus brand sold at Payless. These have cushioning built in and really give you great support on the arches.
  • You can buy gel inserts for all kinds of heels. There are other types of insoles, but I really swear by the gel ones. Buy the ones specifically designed for heels. Feel them first and make sure it gives you support where you need it (I need it on the toes, but you might need it in the arches). You can even buy some just for the toes for shoes that are open on the sides, but if you do that, buy one set for each pair and use the sticky backs to secure them, otherwise they’ll be all over the place.
  • Buy the right kind of heels for your feet. Everyone’s feet are different and the way you walk will also dictate what kind of shoes are best for you. If you have weak ankles, don’t buy shoes that put all of your weight over your ankles. Also consider rounded vs pointed vs square toes—it’s not just about what looks best. Your foot may just be shaped better for one kind or another. If you have square feet, they don’t go into a pointed toe. It’s like preschool blocks.
  • Find the right height (for you). You can mix it up by all means and have a few different heights for different occasions, but you’ll probably find that you’re more comfortable at a certain height. For me, it’s somewhere around 2 inches, which lots of women find too high. I hate kitten heels and feel really uncomfortable in them. If you’re not someone that wears heels and doesn’t know yet, start out around 1″-1.5″. Don’t go straight to 3″ heels. You gotta work up to that shit.
  • I feel like this should go without saying, but whenever possible, try on the heels and walk around before you buy them. I recognize this isn’t an option for buying online, but if you’re in the store, try them on. Make sure you can walk in them and won’t want to cut off your toes or heels a la Cinderella.
  • If buying online, only buy from somewhere with an easy return policy. 
  • Wear heels often! If you never wear heels, don’t wear them every day (unless you need to for a job or something), but rather, work up to it. Wear them once a week to get used to them until you feel comfortable wearing them more often. Eventually, you’ll think nothing of them and wear them 90% of the time like I do. If you want to, of course.