What do you think everyone needs to know?
Here are a few things that I have found useful knowing. I’m glad I have learned these things over the years. Obviously this list isn’t for everyone and I’m not saying every single person needs to know how to do every single thing on this list (cooking and budgeting would probably be priority). However, I think if your goal is to become a very well-rounded, experienced, knowledgeable person, it may be of some use to know how to do these things.
My old roommate asked me this same question once and I said “cook, do laundry, iron, sew (very basic), and budget”. She stared at me after realizing she didn’t know how to do any of it and said “oh well I’ll just hire people for all of that”. Sure that’s all good and well, whatever floats your boat but I truly believe that each person should be a self sufficient, functioning, mature human being (at least by the time you graduate college)
Of course I don’t expect everyone to cook a 5 course meal, iron a collared shirt properly, or sew a quilt. Also I realize this list is mostly for girls. I do believe both girls and guys need to be fully functioning mature self-sufficient people, however when’s the last time you saw a guy sew? Doesn’t mean he shouldn’t know how to do it…just guys don’t typically think “hmm there’s a hole in this shirt, let me sew it up”…it usually just ends up in the trash
Before graduating high school:
- How to make your own lunch. Stop having your mom make and pack it for you. Along the same lines, if your mom wakes you up every morning…get an alarm clock
- Please know proper grammar. College professors won’t find it cute that you don’t know the difference between your and you’re, or there, their, and they’re
- How to cook a few basic meals so when you go to college you don’t starve (my old roommate once asked me if you cook pasta directly in the jar the sauce comes in, or if you cook it first somewhere else, then put the sauce on top…she was 19…don’t be this person)
- How to handle yourself on social media. Don’t be that girl barely wearing any clothes, posting pictures of you drinking underage on social media. Colleges, graduate schools, and jobs will look at your social media and I promise you don’t look cool drinking alcohol at 19.
- Know your manners. This is something that should be taught from such a young age, but so many people forget it. Please be polite, respectful, and kind to others especially those in the restaurant or commercial industry or authority figures. Also, learn to put your phone down once in awhile. Especially during dinner or when you’re hanging out with friends. What’s on your phone will still be there when you pick it up again, but we only get so many meaningful interactions to talk, listen, or learn with people we care about.
- How to sew and iron. Your grandma isn’t always going to be there for you; especially when you go to college (I’m not talking about hardcore on a sewing machine, but know how to sew up a hole or fix a button). My middle school required a home economics class and I’m so glad it did.
- Know how to do your own laundry, clean, and make your bed
- Have some work experience. At least 1-2 years whether it’s babysitting, an internship, volunteering, or an official paid job
- Learn how to manage money. Save some, and learn how to budget so when/if you go to college you’re not broke
- Know how to do a basic car check (oil, tire pressure, know what the service lights mean, know what to do incase of an emergency or flat tire) (AAA is key)
- Know how to use basic tools…dad won’t be with you in your apartment when you need to fix something. I’ll admit I’m still working on these last two…luckily I have a boyfriend that does them for me but I think if you’re a girl living on your own or with roommates they are necessary to know.
Before graduating college:
- How to write a killer resume, CV, and cover letter. Also how to respectfully ask for a recommendation letter. And how to professionally handle yourself in an interview or work situation.
- How to manage your time and try not to procrastinate. It’s really important to have some healthy habits, workout regularly, and make time for yourself
- Know how to dress for an interview and the differences between business casual and business professional (let me know if you need to know the difference).
- Know how to walk in heels. Wear flats or 1-2 inches for job interviews and save everything else for Friday night. But don’t be that girl stumbling around because her heels are too tall. Likewise, don’t be that girl who complains about how bad her feet hurt because that’s just annoying. Don’t wear the shoes if you can’t walk in them for at least an hour, I dont care how cute they are.
- Know how to dress for your body type and your age. Crop tops are cute and fun freshman year, but after that it’s time to get a more mature wardrobe. My personal rule for going out is you can accentuate one part of your body, but only one, or else it’s too much (obviously there are some exceptions…short shorts and a crop top isn’t one of them). Again this is just my personal rule…I’m not here to tell girls how to dress. If a crop top and short shorts make you feel cute and confident then go for it girl! Who am I to make fashion rules?
- Likewise, have clothes that fit you properly, a basic everyday wardrobe (let me know if you need tips for a basic wardrobe and I can type that up). Also, have a few business outfits for interviews and professional jobs, as well as a go to black dress and a go to pair of jeans
- How to prepare for an interview; have a list of questions to ask at the end, and always bring a notepad and pen with you
- How to handle yourself during a night out. Once you graduate college it isn’t 5 drinks at a bar every other night…you have commitments and responsibilities. Learn how to have 1-2 drinks or say no to going out. You can’t show up to your job late and hungover
- Know how to be prepared. If I am carrying my large handbag, at all times I will have: bandaids, gel blister pads, girl things, hair ties, hand sanitizer, a lighter, a pen, a notepad, a snack, a Tide stick, tylenol, a water bottle, chapstick, a portable charger, ear phones, and more…
Before getting married:
- Have a good red, a good white, and a good champagne that you can always rely on
- Learn how to think about someone else. I feel like in college people are very self centered and unless you’re in a long term mature relationship you probably don’t understand this but…when you’re with another person you have to take into account their ideas, opinions, and feelings. It’s not all about you and your happiness isn’t the only thing that matters now. You have to communicate, compromise, and understand.
- Know how to make a few basic cocktails…just because
- I would say learn how to host a dinner party but that sounds very housewife-y and I know a lot of people are against that term…but if you plan on regularly having friends over for dinner or parties…learn to multitask while cooking and have a go to menu or dessert recipe
- Be financially independent (this isn’t for everyone, but a priority for me. I want to be able to support myself if I ever had to alone, and not rely on my husband)
Before having a baby:
- The post nursing/pre-med in me feels obligated to say CPR and basic infant/child first aid
- Basic prenatal care, importance of prenatal vitamins, risk factors/things not to do during pregnancy (obviously no alcohol, limited caffeine, no raw fish, no lunch meats, no soft cheeses, etc.). You have to go to regular prenatal checkups and your doctor will tell you all this but…just an FYI.
- Have some experience with kids whether it’s working at a daycare or babysitting your sisters kids. Babies are a lot of work and you really need experience. Take a pregnancy class if you’re very inexperienced. I’ve been working with babies/kids for 10 years and it’s great experience and has taught me so much for when I decide to have my own someday
- Know basic childcare…you know…basic things to keep a baby safe and alive
- Put babies to sleep on their backs with no blankets or toys in the crib. Know the risk factors for SIDS and how to prevent it
- Babies stay in a rear facing car seat until they’re 2 years old or at the highest weight and height the car seat allows
- Don’t begin to feed your baby solid foods until 6-8 months (foods like yogurt, baby oatmeal, and puréed veggies may start as early as 4 months). Babies shouldn’t have red meat, sugar, or cows milk until 1 year old.
- When you begin to feed a baby solid foods, you always start with vegetables. If you introduce fruits first, babies will be accustomed to the sweetness and probably won’t adapt well to veggies
Hope this was helpful. Sorry it was long. Also I didn’t mean for it to sound housewife-y with the cleaning and cooking and sewing. I think girls and guys equally need a basic understanding of most of these things and these are the things I’m just really glad I’ve learned over the years!