Life Skills All Kids Need to Learn Before They Head to College

Life Skills All Kids Need to Learn Before They Head to College

Going off to college may seem like it is far away, but it will be here before you know it. Having your child prepared academically is probably on your radar, but what about practical skills? You can start by teaching your son or daughter these valuable skills now.


While your child might eat cafeteria food the first year, at some point they will be cooking for themselves. Cooking, at least on a basic level, is a skill that everyone should have.

Grocery Shopping
Being a smart grocery shopper is also something that has to be learned. Teach them to buy wisely and how to spot a good deal. Teach them what to stock up on, and which items they should be fresh.


Your child should know how to budget their money and how to pay bills (including how to write checks!) They should have their own checking and savings accounts and be familiar with financial terms.


Credit Cards
Hopefully your student has a debit card/checking account, but they need to learn about credit and credit cards. A credit card that is secured by their savings is a great way to establish credit without the risk of running up debt. Credit education is really necessary for today’s youth.

Basic Car Repair
If your child is taking a car to college, then they should know how to handle basic repairs, like a flat tire. They should know how often to get an oil change and when the car needs to have routine maintenance completed.


Hopefully your child knows how to do laundry before they go off to college. If not, teach them now. Most college students just throw all their laundry together, but you can train them how to separate loads, and how to wash any clothes that have special instructions.

First Aid
Basic First Aid is a great skill to have at any age, but especially for your child going to college. Just knowing how to take care of basic injuries will be helpful, and it is also good to know when to seek medical attention.
These are just some of the skills your child will need before college. Each child is different, but do your best to prepare them for being on their own.

What do you think kids need to know before they head out on their own?

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  1. I went to college years ago but I will have to say I knew most of they skills before I left. Not so sure about my sons. I think that common sense is so important but you can’t teach that. For sure basic car maintenance skills.

  2. I couldn’t agree more. All of this is so very important! Laundry is something I’m going to be starting to teach my 12 year old soon here, I’m late as I learned at 10!

  3. These are some great skills for kids to learn before they are all set to go ahead for a college life. Cooking is an important thing to teach them & more than all that budget planning is so important to manage their expenses as well.

  4. I used to work with college students. I would add “Handling problems without having mom and dad rush in to the rescue.” I saw too many young adults try to have their mommies and daddies solve all their issues.

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