5 Essential Life Skills for Teens on their way to the University

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Before your teenage child (ren) goes to the university, it is crucial that they have particular life skills that will help them thrive. But some of these core skills are accidentally neglected, especially if they are activities that parents normally manage.

Without certain life skills, your student isn’t only going to be faced with the new challenge of being a university student; they are also going to have to learn some foundational skills associated with being an adult in the world today. However, by taking the time to teach them in advance, you can relieve this burden, making their transition into their new phase of life so much easier.

Life skills often don’t take long to learn or teach, even if it feels like they can take a lifetime to master. To help your student get started in the adult world of, here are some points to cover now on skills needed before university, regardless of how old your child may be.

1.   Time Management

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Once they head to the university, your child isn’t likely going to have someone looking over their shoulder to make sure they stay on target with their schedule. Instead, this responsibility is going to fall squarely on them, which can be a rude awakening if they aren’t prepared.

To help your student manage this transition more effectively, encourage them to start taking advantage of time management tools now. Anything from maintaining a calendar on their smartphone to keeping a running to-do list can help and will make sure they have at least the basics covered for this life skill.

After all, their life is about to become incredibly unstructured, in comparison to now, so everything you do today can ensure they are as prepared as possible to manage their own life when the time comes.

2.   Money Management

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While talking about money isn’t always comfortable, understanding how to handle the basics, like budgeting and bill payments, are critical life skills your child needs to have down before they head to the university. This is even more relevant if they have to be in charge of their bank account while in school. You can show them how to identify their expenses and create a budget, as well as monitor their small expenditures.

3.   Shopping and Basic Cooking

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Unless the idea of your child living off of Top noodles, Chicken Republic, KFC, Mr. Biggs, and fast food sounds appealing, it is important that they know how to shop for nutritious foods and cook. Being able to select their own ingredients and craft their own meals are crucial life skills, even if they are going to initially have a meal plan. And even more so, it could save them a lot of money. By giving your student some simple cooking skills, you could save that money!

Start by teaching them the essentials, like how to make a shopping list, compare prices when they are in the store/market, follow a recipe, and produce a standard meal – nothing elaborate. The idea is to give them a foundation so that the thought of fending for themselves feels less intimidating, making it easier for them to handle these tasks on their own when the time comes.

4.   Laundry

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If your child has not been handling their own laundry, now is the perfect time for them to get started. Teach them how to read washing and drying guidelines on labels, and even how to identify the right detergent for their fabrics. For Nigerian universities – both public and private, don’t have access to washing machines, which means they do their laundry themselves. Unless your child would prefer to use laundry men in their dorm, which is more expensive in the long run.

5.   Special Household Life Skills

Ultimately, every family is different, and you likely know your child’s hobbies and preferences better than anyone. If there is a particular life skill that you think will benefit them based in your household, then don’t be afraid to share it!

Every life skills lesson can be incredibly valuable, so start teaching them today. In the end, it will make your student’s transition to the university so much easier, and you’ll feel more secure knowing that they have the skills they need to succeed in all aspects of their new life.

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