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3 Adulting Skills That Students Need Before Going to College, According to Parents

Teen girl holding a stacked pile of laundry

3 Adulting Skills That Students Need Before Going to College, According to Parents

Published on November 6, 2023

Teen girl holding a stacked pile of laundry

We asked parents in our Paying for College 101 Facebook Group to tell us what they think are the top three adulting skills that students need to master before going to college, and the following three emerged as by far the most popular. Does your child have these adulting skills mastered yet? If not, there’s still time! It’s never too late to start teaching, nudging, and encouraging the skills they’ll need to not just survive in college but to thrive.

How to Manage Their Time

As far as adulting skills go, time management was by far the most cited adulting skill that parents think students need to have before going to college. “Being able to wake up on their own, have time to eat breakfast if they want, and get dressed before they head to class and arrive a few minutes early [is so important], ” says Jennifer O. “It will help minimize stress and open pathways to success.”

Gregory C. couldn’t agree more, except he would take it one step further: “I’d say the top three adulting skills are budgeting of all types, including time and money,” he says. 

How to Communicate Effectively

This adulting skill is not only important for their ability to advocate for themselves, it keeps life organized because it minimizes the chances of miscommunication. “I’m going with the ability to ask for help, whether that’s from their peers, their professors, or strangers,” says Denise B. “If they have that [adulting skill], they can learn to do a lot.”

It’s also important that they know where to find information when they need it. “How to make doctor’s appointments and how to get the information needed to fill out forms is so important.”

The ability to communicate effectively is also important when it comes to building relationships with their college professors, says Carol A. “Initiating and following through with clear, concise, and effective communication to professors, administration, and service providers makes a big difference.”

How to Do Laundry

We were surprised by how many parents named this as a top adulting skill, mainly because we assumed most kids would have mastered this before high school, let alone college. Nonetheless, it emerged as a top contender because there’s no getting around having to do laundry as an adult, and college is the first time most students will be in an environment where there’s no one else to do it for them. 

No parents in our Paying for College 101 Facebook Group went into depth about this adulting skill, but more cited this one than any other. This includes knowing how to separate whites and colors, what settings to use on the washing and drying machines, and what types of products to use. Let’s not forget to clean the dryer of lint and debris before starting a load to ensure things dry thoroughly and effectively. 

Does your student have these top three adulting skills mastered yet? 

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Use R2C Insights to help find merit aid and schools that fit the criteria most important to your student. You’ll not only save precious time, but your student will avoid the heartache of applying to schools they aren’t likely to get into or can’t afford to attend.  

Other Articles You Might Like:

Help Your Young Adult Build Credit: Ensure Future Financial Success

Adulting Skills for College Freshman

What to Include in a College First Aid Kit

JOIN ONE OF OUR FACEBOOK GROUPS & CONNECT WITH OTHER PARENTS: 

PAYING FOR COLLEGE 101

HOW TO FIND MERIT SCHOLARSHIPS

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