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Practical Things College Students Should Know

It is already July and your soon to be college freshman will be heading off to the university in another month. He is probably used to mom doing his laundry, cooking his meals and ensuring he gets up for school. We all know that life changes dramatically when you move out of mom and dad’s house, so take the time to ensure that your student knows these practical skills before leaving the nest.


Even if your student is going to live in a dorm, he will need to know basic household management skills. Doing laundry is the biggest one! Teach your student how to sort and use machine settings so that really nice wool sweater doesn’t shrink to doll size. Teach him too how to iron as well as sew on a stray button. Knowing how to clean is important too – he won’t want to live with roaches and other insects.


Most dorms have communal kitchens students can use; dining hall food gets old pretty quick, and most students would welcome a home cooked meal every once in a while. Knowing even a few dishes will save your student from food boredom and may make him more popular among his fellow classmates since he knows how to cook!

Car Maintenance

Students should know car basics, such as how to change a tire, when to put air in the tires, when the oil need changing, etc. And the one I bet you forgot? How to use jumper cables to jump a car… believe me, you can’t “practice” on this one… this has to be done right every time.

Personal Finances

Almost every student will live on a tight budget. Help your student set up a budget so he knows how much money is coming in so he knows how much money he can spend. Illustrate how small expenses, like stopping for a Starbucks every day or going out to eat, add up over time and can blow the budget.

Time Management

Time management is crucial during college. A student needs to manage time between classes, studying, perhaps a part time job and other extracurricular activities. And as simple as it may sound, a student needs to be able to get up and get to class on their own… there will be no mom in the background barking at them to get up.


Remember the freshman 15? Many students gain those 15 lbs. because they don’t watch what they eat and reduce their exercise. Encourage your student to eat a variety of healthy foods and maintain an exercise regime to keep a healthy weight and stress down. A student should also know the symptoms of basic illnesses and at what point a doctor’s appointment is needed. Teach him also about basic over the counter medications and how/when to use them properly.

Written by Sandy de Lara, Owner of Tutor Doctor of Keller. Published in the July 2016 edition of the Texas Blaze newspaper.

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