As a college freshman, you've had to pass a lot tests to get where you are. You've proved your academic skills.
But now you've got to pass another test. It's time to prove your life skills.
We're talking the basics here, nothing too advanced: just laundry, cooking, cleaning. Maybe you're a pro already. Maybe you brushed up the summer before college. Or maybe you need Life Skills 101. Failure at Life Skills leads to a wardrobe full of gray (or pink!) clothes, a semester's worth of bad food, and all-out roommate wars over dirty dishes and dust bunnies.
So after a month or so of college, how are you doing? Still piling up laundry for your first trip home? Get a grip, get some quarters and get down to the laundry room. If you really want to save money, you can wash everything together — just use cold water, so the colors don't bleed. Not the best idea, but not a biggie for the basics you wear around campus. If you're a little pickier, wash your jeans and darkest clothes together, and all the rest in a different load. Stick with cold water just to be safe. Still saves $$ and time, and is a little easier on your white t-shirts.
When it comes to cooking, fortunately, most freshmen don't have to do it. You're probably on a meal plan except for Sunday night suppers. Once in awhile, skip the pizza and try getting some healthier takeout. If you want to save money, warm up some veggie soup or toss a single serving of frozen veggies in your Ramen noodles. Get your vitamins, stay out of the Student Health Center — it's all part of Life Skills 101!
And last but not least, how are you doing in the cleaning department? Dorms are pretty small spaces, so if you've got a mess going on, your roomie has nowhere to escape it. This can lead to big trouble in the not-too-distant future, so if you're the messy one, it's time to get it together. Follow these tips for peaceful coexistence: Take out the garbage if it looks even close to being full. Trust me on this one. And pick up after yourself generally — don't leave any clothes, shoes, food, or dishes lying around. You may not care about that stuff, but your roommate probably does.
If you're a freshman, let us know how you're dealing now that you're on your own? Do you feel like you came to college with good life skills?