Whether it's because of the laser-like focus on earning high academic grades, or students are just so busy that they don't get much free time or because many parents are "overparenting" leaving their children unready and unprepared for life as adults, so many of them are lacking in basic life skills. It's actually gotten so bad that colleges have to now offer courses teaching those skills to their students! As parents, we should be PREPARING our children to be productive, independent young adults instead of "protecting and helping" them so much through "helicopter parenting" that they barely can do anything on their own.
Below is a short list of what the typical teenager should have some skills in:
- Making Meals/Cooking
- Basic Car Maintenance
- CPR/ First Aid
- Time Management
- Basic Electrical / Wiring
- Resume Writing/Interviewing
- Budgeting/ Money Management
- Child Care/ Babysitting
- Meal Planning/ Grocery Shopping
- Critical Thinking/ Debate
- How to Survive without Technology/ Survival Skills
- Reading Contracts
- Manners and Relating to People
- How to Negotiate
- Goal Planning
- Finding Information
- Insurances and Credit Cards
- How to Plan a Trip
- Career Planning/Family Planning
- Self Defense
- The Law & The Constitution
- How to Master something
Again, this is just a small sample of some basic life skills everyone should know- esp. young adults getting ready to leave for college or the nest. But don't worry. If you feel like you aren't competent in any one of these areas there are so many free resources to get you up to speed. Pick one topic a week and learn as much as you can about it. Take a course or workshop. Watch You Tube. Ask the adults in your life. Offer someone free labor in exchange for their knowledge in a specific area. It won't take long before you feel at least a little competent in each and every area!
And it's not just about basic life skills, either. If you can show life experience it would give you a huge boost above those without it. Professionals in the real world usually don't just look at your educational milestones, they are looking for skills and competence as well. If you can intern in your chosen field, or offer your services for free in exchange for letters of recommendation you could build an impressive portfolio. Master the art of resume writing, interviewing, and people skills. Your real life experiences can be invaluable. If you have a portfolio with samples of your work, a stellar resume, some great life experience showing masterful skills, or several letters of recommendations from past clients, most likely employers will not be as concerned about whether or not you have a college degree. Employers want competent and capable employees and sometimes experience (sans degree) trumps a degree from someone without any experience.
The key to success is learning how to learn whether that's earning a college degree, starting your own business, or mastering a skill. Keep learning. Think creatively to find some way to expand your knowledge no matter what avenue that may be. Sometimes what "everyone else is doing" may not be the right path for you. Many times skills are what gets a person ahead and hired. Keep adding to your list of skills whether they be big or small!
Below are a few websites that may start you on the path of learning some of these basic skills everyone should know:
Check out the EBook College Out of the Box (on Amazon) for the ways you can get your degree in less time, for less money, and with NO student debt so you can work on those life experiences and follow your passions a lot sooner than you ever thought possible!