It's no secret that people in their twenties are a bit clueless on how to be adults. We have part-time jobs, social lives and college to balance and usually, we do better than we give ourselves credit for. But our downfall is that our parents might not have told us things that are important to being a successful adult and human. Sometimes you find things out through other friends who have already been taught or through pure embarrassment. Sometimes you put laundry detergent in the dishwasher because the bottles are the same shape and color, and that's okay. Have no fear. I have compiled a list of basic life things your parents should have taught you if you find yourself making this face:
1. Turn off the water supply to outside faucets before winter
As temperatures drop, there are some things you need to take care of around your apartment or house. One of these things is making sure you winterize your outside faucets. You have to turn off the outside faucets, drain them and shut off the valve that supplies the outside faucets with water. If you don't do this, your pipes will freeze and burst, flooding whole levels of your house and causing major, expensive damage. For more information on how to winterize your faucets, click the photo above.
2. How to boil an egg.
How do you know when it's done? The short answer is seven minutes. Boiling an egg isn't that hard. Fill a pot about halfway with water, turn the stovetop on and wait until the water has a lot of bubbles in it. Then, carefully put the egg in the water, set a timer for seven minutes, and then wait!
3. How to cook in general.
With all of the technology we have, there is no excuse for not knowing how to cook. You can Google "chicken parmesan recipes," and it will walk you through it step-by-step. It'll even give you a list of ingredients that you can take with you to the grocery store. If you can follow instructions, you can cook. Not having money to buy ingredients isn't an excuse either, as it is usually cheaper to buy ingredients and cook your own food rather than spend $6.20 for one meal of a Chick-Fil-A sandwich, fries and a drink.
4. Clean the lint out of the dryer.
Clean the lint out of the dryer. If you don't do this regularly, it could result in a fire! You should clean the lint off of the screen, as pictured above, after EVERY LOAD. If you're into camping or having bonfires, the removed lint can be used as fire-starter.
5. Don’t mix ammonia and bleach.
When cleaning, make sure you DO NOT mix bleach and ammonia. Not only does the combination omit a toxic odor that can lead to breathing problems, it can also cause a fire if in the presence of plastic.
6. Change your furnace filters often.
There are air filters that are typically located in the blower compartment of the furnace. These should be changed regularly, anywhere from once a month to once every three months. If you're noticing that it seems dusty in your house or that you've been congested for a while, check your air filters and see if they need to be changed. For more information on how to do this, click the above photo.
7. How to use jumper cables.
If your car battery has died, you'll be happy to know there is a solution. If you have a set of jumper cables, which you should in the case of emergency, find a friend or friendly stranger with a working car. Park both cars next to each other, and open the hood of both cars. Connect the RED cable to the + sign on the dead car's battery, and the other side of the RED cable to the + sign on the working car's battery. Then, connect the BLACK cable to the - sign on the working car's battery and connect the other end of the BLACK cable to something metal, usually a screw, on the dead car. Then, start the working car, let it idle for a few minutes and then try to start the dead car. For more instructions, click the photo above.
8. How to change a flat tire.
I'd explain it, but it's a lot easier if you just watch the video below.
9. How often to change your oil.
Mechanics and car dealers will tell you that you need to change your oil every 3,000 miles, but my dad has always told me that it's fine to do it at 5,000 miles instead. He claims that mechanics want you to do it sooner only because it gives them business and not because your car actually needs it that often. Some mechanics and car dealers will tell you that something ELSE needs to be done to your car even if you only took it in for an oil change. As a female who knows next to nothing about cars, I always tell them, "Thank you, I'll come back," and then ask my dad if there is an actual problem. Not to say that all mechanics and car dealers are dishonest; it's just a business tactic. They usually don't make any money off of standard oil changes and will often ask if you want to upgrade the oil to the premium brand to "make your car run more efficiently." As long as you use the same weight oil, it really doesn't matter.
10. How credit scores/credit cards work
If you don't have any credit, you can start building it by opening a secured credit card. You put down a small deposit, and the credit card company awards you a small credit line. As you establish credit, you can move over to an unsecured card. You should always take a look at your credit score before opening a new credit card account. Opening too many credit card accounts in a short period of time signals to the credit bureaus (the people who rate your credit score) that you're having financial problems. Your credit score can determine whether or not you will be able to buy a car or house, and even some jobs require you to have a certain credit score or higher. The higher credit line you have, the higher your score will be. Other factors that make your score higher are what percentage of your credit line you are using. If you have a total credit line of $10,000, but you have $9,000 on your credit cards, your score is going to drop. If you need more information on how credit scores and credit cards work, click the photo above.
11. How to act during job interviews
An important life skill to have is how to sell yourself at a job interview without sounding arrogant. My mom always told me, "Smile a lot, don't fidget and if you don't know the answer to a question, wing it but be honest. They're looking for someone who will be quick on their feet but also reliable." Really though, practice makes perfect. If you want a particular job but aren't sure you'll get it, go on the interview anyway. Even if you don't get the job, you'll know what to do or not to do next time.
12. How mortgages work
A mortgage is a loan from a bank that allows you to purchase your own home. You make monthly mortgage payments, and you have a certain "term" for how long you have until the total balance due must be paid back. There are also different types of loans. Fixed-rate mortgages have interests that doesn't fluctuate with the market.
I hope that this list has been, or will be, helpful, and if you are ever facing a difficult life situation where you find yourself unsure of what to do, call your parents or an older adult who has more life experience than you. There is no shame in it. They were in your place once too. If your pride gets the better of you, remember that we are in the technology age, and the answers to almost all of your adult problems is probably on the Internet or in a YouTube video. Good luck out there!