7 Things You Should Be Able To Do When You Get To College

7 Things You Should Be Able To Do When You Get To College

Mom and dad won't be there to do your laundry forever.


College is often seen as the first big step towards adulthood. Aside from classes and studying, there is the added value of being "on your own" for the first time. While many students have their parents and support networks back home, it is certainly an adjustment when you don't have someone to remind you to get stuff done every day.

With that in mind, I've taken the time to consider the social practical skills of college and everyday life. Many of these were taught and instilled into me by my parents, and it helped put into perspective how certain things function in adult life.

Waking Up/Getting Ready For The Day

In high school, classes started at 7:30 every day, and I had to leave my house to catch my bus at 6:45. This meant that I needed to get up early enough to make breakfast and lunch for myself, get dressed, and be entirely ready for the day. I had alarms set, and my phone was placed on my desk so I would have to actually get up, as opposed to just rolling over and hitting snooze. My parents would wake me up on the rare occasion that I overslept, but on the whole, I was on my own making sure I had my stuff together.

As a college student, I realize the benefit in this. My parents aren't there to wake me up, and I hate the feeling of just rolling out of bed 10 minutes before class. In the real world, it is expected that you manage your time properly to get to work on time. Yes, everyone has an off day, but teachers are more likely to be forgiving if you make the effort to show up on time, for the majority of the time.

Time Management

While on the subject of managing time, planning and executing your day is also important. Every night before I go to bed, I make sure that my bag is packed, my laptop and phone are plugged in, and that I have everything submitted that was meant to by the end of the day.

My best advice here is to find your own method of success. I never succeeded in keeping a planner, so I used the calendar app in my phone for easy access to my daily routine. When you have a physical outline of your day, you'll be able to better grasp how to get through it. Growing up, I was made to complete my homework, go to clubs and athletic practices, and do stuff around the house instead of immediately flopping in front of the TV. Trust me, catching up on the latest hit series is a lot more relaxing without the long list of obligations that await you on the other end.


This is important. Nobody wants to be around someone who smells like a walking laundry bin. Moreover, you tend to feel more relaxed, comfortable, and confident when you have fresh, clean clothes. When you get to college, you should be able to operate the laundry machines in the basement of your dorm building. Laundry is something that I was taught to do in high school. After I was regularly doing my own laundry, my father even said, "You're one step closer to being ready for college."

Well, he was right. Simply knowing which buttons to press saves the time and hassle of checking with your parents for the 100th time. They won't be around to do it forever, after all.

Basic Food Prep

Unless your dorm has a full service kitchen, this one more applies to being at home, but the point still stands.

I'll be the first to say, when it comes to food, the less time I have to wait, the better. However, you shouldn't always have to rely on the dining hall, or on microwavable foods. Being able to assemble basic meals like sandwiches, salads, and soup is essential. The same goes for following cooking instructions. When I'm home, my parents cook for the family when we eat together, but during the day, everyone is usually doing their own thing. As a result, I learned to make basic breakfast and lunch items for myself. Nobody expects you to cook a 3-course meal worthy of Gordon Ramsey, but having basic knowledge of food prep is certainly helpful.

Dorm/Bedroom Organization

I understand the appeal of just wanting to collapse onto your bed at the end of a long day. However, that feeling would be a lot more welcoming if you returned to your room with a nicely made bed and space to move around. In college, the only one who will clean your space is you. Make sure you get into the habit of making your bed, taking out the trash, and keeping common spaces clear for moving around.

Not only will doing this benefit you, but it serves as a bonus for people living in the same room. Your roommates don't want to be tripping over your stuff or staring at the pile of old food wrappers on your desk for weeks on end. Having a more open space is also nice when you have friends over to your dorm.

Doing Dishes

By the time I was a teenager, I was regularly helping clean the dishes at home and loading them into the dishwasher. I was also expected to put the clean dishes away in their proper places. In college, this is obviously a much simpler process, but cleaning dishes is still something that needs to get done. Trust me when I say, it's less than ideal when your desk space is cluttered with several coffee-stained mugs and macaroni encrusted plates and silverware. Investing in a single washable dishrag, reusable dishware, and some dish soap will help you out in the long run. It will also be cheaper than buying paper plates and plastic cutlery every month.

Keeping Appointments

This one should be fairly straightforward. If you have a meeting or appointment with a professor, adviser, or classmates, make sure you give yourself time to make it there. If an unforeseen circumstance forces you to alter your plans, then give the other person enough advance warning in order to minimize inconvenience.

In the end, you have to gauge for yourself how prepared you are for college, depending on these areas. People will show you more respect if you show up on time, look and act presentable, and show a little respect for yourself.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

These 11 Face Masks On Etsy Support Small Businesses While Fighting The Spread Of Coronavirus

We're staying safe as states start lifting lockdown guidelines.

I, like most people who have had the luxury of being able to stay at home during this time, haven't spent much time outdoors at all. But when I do brave the great outdoors for a walk or to get to the grocery store, you won't find me without a mask.

My family and I were lucky enough to have family friends who were sewing some and had extras to give to us, but most of my friends and loved ones outside my immediate family have had to order some (or make a makeshift one out of scarves or bandanas).

Keep Reading... Show less

13 Reasons We're Using Quarantine As The Ultimate Excuse For Online Shopping This Month

The one thing we haven't distanced from is our bank account.

Throughout quarantine, I've been FaceTiming most of my friends in a full turtleneck or the go-to cozy sweater I keep wrapped around the chair in my room. Either way, I always have tea in my hands to keep myself warm — till this past week.

For most of the country who hasn't had the luck of quarantining in 90-degree weather on their family's lake house or with a backyard pool, things began to change this month. Our favorite shows came out with summer seasons, the sun came out, and we started spending more time outside.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Sat Down (Virtually) With Morgan Wooten To Talk About Coronavirus's Impact On The Wellness Industry

Just because coronavirus has greatly impacted the wellness industry doesn't mean wellness stops.

Morgan Wooten

If you're anything like me, your weekly fitness classes are a huge part of your routine. They keep me fit, healthy, and sane. Honestly, these classes help my mental health stay in tip-top shape just as much as they help my physical health.

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, gyms and fitness studios are facing temporary closure. Yes, this means my personal routine is thrown a curveball, but this also means the wellness industry is one of many that is looking at unemployment and hardship. Do I miss my Monday spin class? Of course. But do the wellness professionals whose worlds were flipped upside down have a lot more to overcome than a slight change of routine? Absolutely. Thankfully, if anyone can prove the ultimate flexibility, it's the wellness industry.

Keep Reading... Show less

If you are a normal person who spends most of their time streaming TV shows, you'll know that "Friends" was taken off Netflix early in 2020. Given that a global pandemic followed shortly after, many diehard fans of the show stuck in quarantine have been experiencing significant Central Perk withdrawal.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

How To Interview A Class Of 2020 Graduate

What they've been through is truly unprecedented.


No matter how you want to spin it, the Class of 2020 will be the first class graduating amidst a global pandemic.

Keep Reading... Show less

By now, it is safe to declare "Outer Banks" on Netflix as THE TV Show of quarantine.

"Tiger King" got out to an early lead, but since, the Pogues and the Kooks have owned pop culture conversations while everyone has been couped up this spring amidst a global pandemic. And if you are one of the very few people out there in the world that has not heard about "Outer Banks" and or haven't binged it yet, well...

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Spoke To A California ER Doctor About COVID-19, And Y'all, Our Healthcare Workers Know What's Up

In light of what's going on in the world, it's time to get some front-line perspective.

It seems like the only thing I do these days is scroll through social media in a desperate attempt to gain information. My phone has called me out on my screen time more than once, and I just continue to ignore it. You're probably in the same boat — stuck at home, scrolling deeper and deeper into a hole of conspiracy theories and possible "back to normalcy" dates, hungry for information.

While we know that the news is not our mental health's friend these days, getting reliable information is helpful and necessary.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments