College has been a unique and amazing experience so far, which most students would agree on. You are given opportunities like no other during these four years. From traveling the world to obtaining your dream internship, the possibilities seem to be endless. You learn about yourself as a person, and about others as well. However, there are plenty of things college should teach you, but doesn’t. In fact, here are 10 things you will have to learn outside the classroom.
Everyone knows how to cook right? Wrong. Take it from me, at twenty-one years old, I still manage to mess up my meals (sorry mom). Burning a chicken cutlet in 30 seconds? Using a rotten tomato in your omelet by accident? Making soggy rice? Burning your fingers? Yep, all me. Although I have definitely learned from my mistakes, maybe I could have easily avoided them by learning the basics of kitchen meal prep.
2. Renting a House/Apartment
Last year was my first time renting, and it was not what I had expected. Not only did I have a crazy landlord, but the house itself was falling apart. From broken drawers to getting locked out because the front lock broke, I learned to expect the worst. I did realize two important lessons: read what the lease entails, and make sure the place you’re living is in livable condition.
3. Balancing Accounts and Writing Checks
To be quite honest, I still have trouble writing a check, let alone balancing a checkbook. My parents have shown me numerous times, but I rarely write a check to someone. Instead, I just Venmo whoever I owe money to. But that probably won’t work after graduation.
4. Paying Taxes
If you ask any college student, “Do you know how to pay taxes?”, you’ll quickly come across the answer of, “Uh…No idea…” For myself, the thought of trying to figure out how to file my taxes and pay them gives me anxiety. And although there are plenty of useful tax calculators and tools out there to help file forms, it would still be beneficial to know a little more before obtaining a job.
We hear time and time again that we all need to budget. And as tired as we all are hearing it, it so important that we actually do. Groceries, gas, clothes, take out, etc., all add up. It’s better to plan what you need vs. impulse buy. Trust me, your bank account will thank you in the long run.
6. Maintaining Good Credit
If you ever want to buy a house or own a car, maintaining good credit is essential. One way to build a good credit score is using your credit card responsibility; only spending money you know you have, and paying the bank back after each month. This proves to the bank that you know how to handle your money, so when you are ready to buy your dream house, the bank is there to give you the loan you need.
7. Face to Face Conversations
There isn’t a day that goes by that I see people around me on their phones. A group of friends sitting at table eating lunch? A couple out getting coffee? All on their phones and not talking. Situations like making eye contact with a stranger or that moment when your phone dies, we are often faced with the fact that we have no idea what to say. Where did face to face conversations go? The best way to communicate isn’t on your phone; it’s communicating to the people around you in person.
8. Being a LinkedIn Pro
I am a LinkedIn fanatic. I am constantly checking my LinkedIn feed, staying connected, updating my profile, and personally branding myself in a large community is crucial in today’s society. By having a LinkedIn Profile, you have the necessary tool for endless career opportunities.
9. Genuine Networking and Connections
We are constantly told to network and to sell the “elevator pitch”. While having some sort of idea what you want to say is beneficial, you don’t want to come off rehearsed. Rather, you want to be engaging and fully interested in those you are connecting with. Making genuine connections that are valuable not only to them, but yourself will make the conversations meaningful.
While college is the place to learn and gain life experiences, not everything is learned in the classroom. Some things you learn on your own and others you wish you knew beforehand. Whatever the case may be, hopefully these 9 things will give you a little more insight on what to expect in life.