As you grow up, it’s easy to think everything you’ll ever need to know in life is being taught to you along the way. You get to enjoy yourself while learning and growing as a kid, feel like you’ve got the world on a string as a teenager, and even feel confident in your intellectual abilities as a college student.
Until you step out into the real world, and everything changes.
That’s not surprising. The average human consumes so much knowledge every day, it can be confusing to know which nuggets of information will be needed to take care of yourself or to be a happy and stable individual.
Sometimes, the most important life skills are also the simplest ones. So, if you feel overwhelmed and underprepared to tackle creating a life and home that supports growth, take a deep breath. It’s okay to learn how to “adult” later in life. In fact, doing so can encourage you to become a life-long learner.
So, what are some of the life skills that are often taught later than they should be?
Getting Under the Hood
Have you ever admired how genuinely cool someone looks when they know how to fix a car?
Or, maybe you’ve been too embarrassed as you stand on the sidelines while someone else gives your battery a jump or changes your flat tire.
The good news? You don’t have to be a silent observer for the rest of your life. Basic car maintenance is easier than you might think, even if you don’t have the “gearhead” gene.
Start by learning how to diagnose common car problems, including:
- Breaks – look for shuddering or a change in the way the brakes feel when you press down
- Leaning or pulling – usually caused by a flat or low tire
- Shaking – typically caused by a misalignment or loose lug nuts
- Failure to start – engine or battery trouble
You don’t need to learn the ins and outs of car repair. But, knowing how to assess problems and perform maintenance will save you a lot of stress, time, and money. Use your eyes and ears to constantly pay attention to any troubling changes in your car, and you can take on any problems before they become too big to handle on your own. Knowing some basic repairs will also make it easier to pass on your knowledge to your kids when they start driving. In addition to sharing the importance of paying attention and not getting distracted on the road, it’s a good idea for your teen to know how to safely get a jump if they’re ever stranded.
The average homeowner will spend anywhere from $100-$200 a month on lawn care and landscaping. If you’ve ever been envious of your neighbors’ lawns or you just wish you had more of a green thumb, you can learn how to take care of your landscaping later in life.
Working outside is wonderful for your mental and physical health. It can reduce stress, boost your mood, and even allow you to get in some exercise.
If you learn some of the basics of lawn care, like how to grow, weed, fertilize and mow properly, you’ll be the one with the lawn everyone is envious of. Plus, it can boost the overall value of your home if you ever want to sell and need a bit of extra curb appeal.
One of the easiest ways to get started is to prepare your lawn in the spring for a successful season. You can do that by:
- Raking up matted dead grass and leaves
- Checking the soil
- Cleaning up debris from fall and winter
Using the right equipment is also important, but you don’t have to guess or make blind purchases if you’re not familiar with what to use. Head to your local home and garden center or hardware store. The people working there typically have strong knowledge in taking care of lawns and landscaping and can help you get set up with the right tools and equipment.
Basic First Aid
Perhaps the most important life skill you should learn – no matter what stage of life you’re in – is first aid.
Basic first aid skills are easier to learn than you might think because they’re largely focused on common sense and knowing how to respond in emergencies. One of the best skills to learn is how to properly bandage a cut that’s bleeding. It’s easy to want to panic, but that won’t help anyone. You can learn how to elevate the injury, clean it, pack it, and wrap it quickly with very little effort.
If you want to take things further, consider attending a first aid class or a CPR class. There, you can learn life-saving skills from medical experts, so you’ll always be prepared in any situation.
Unfortunately, some life skills are taught “too late”, but if you have the drive and initiative to keep learning, it’s never too late to better yourself and continue growing. Whether you pick up these skills or others you wish you would’ve learned years ago, commit to that growth, and keep moving forward to build more skills.
Photo by Tekton on Unsplash
Guest Author Bio
Jori Hamilton is a writer and journalist from the Pacific Northwest who covers social justice issues, healthcare, and politics. You can follow her work on twitter @HamiltonJori, and through her portfolio at Writer Jori Hamilton.
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