Monday, August 21, 2017

Do You Know How To Fry An Egg?

You probably aced most of your classes in high school, and now you're ready for The Great Adventure aka college. You're learning how to navigate Financial Aid, purchase your textbooks, and get your housing set up.

But, what about the practical side of life? Before you leave home, here are some things that are really helpful to know when there's no parent to help, aka Adulting 101:

  • Could you make your own doctor or dentist appointment? Do you know who to call? Do you know how to get a prescription filled? There is often an on-campus clinic; otherwise, you'll have to find somewhere nearby that you can be seen. Check with your parent about what clinic or doctor is covered by your medical insurance, and how that will work. You can't generally just go anywhere you choose, because your medical insurance won't pay for it. Make a list of clinics that work with your insurance.

  • Do you have a place where all your passwords for important stuff is kept? There should be another place besides your phone: Phones run out of battery just when you need them, they break, and they get lost. One good idea is to write your passwords down but have a friend keep them.
  • Can you check the oil level in your car? Check the tire pressure? Can you change a tire? Would you know what to do if your car conks out? Have a parent or someone show you how to do basic maintenance, and seek out a mechanic that might be a possibility if you need one, close to campus.
BONUS: NEWS FLASH: Did you know you might be able to save on your insurance premiums if you are not bringing a car with you to campus? You don't need full coverage if you won't be driving it, and you can put coverage back on if you go home on break. There can also be reduced premiums if you're going to have your car, but will live in a more rural area (not in the Twin Cities). Ask your insurance agent about these potential savings.
  • Can you use an ATM?

  • Do you know how to check your bank balance online? Do you keep track of your purchases?
  • What would you do in an emergency? For example, if you had a car accident-Do you know where your insurance company's number is? You should have an insurance card in your wallet or in your car. What about a medical emergency? Or, what would you do, or where would you go, if your dorm was unavailable because the water main broke? Or if the power went out?
  • Do you know how to do a load of laundry? How to sort colors and whites? How much detergent to use? How to dry clothes? How to fold them? Have someone show you how before you find yourself with no clean clothes.

  • Do you know what items constitute healthy or healthier eating? Why should you not eat pizza seven days a week? Remember your basic food groups? Have. Some. Fruit. And. Vegetables.

  • How does your college communicate important news to you (like campus is closed due to weather, the most hoped-for news): Is it through your campus e-mail? Check it every day!
  • If there is public transportation near you, do you know how to use it? How do you get a bus token or pass, and where does the bus take you? How long will it take to get where you're going? Is there a shuttle bus that can take you to and from campus? How does that work?
These are things you might want to consider as you move into adulting: you can do it, and what you don't know, you can learn. Because those that came before you, learned how to adult, and you can, too.

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