75 life skills every twenty- and thirtysomething should know [at least in 21st-century western culture]

Some of these were crowdsourced from Twitter and Facebook; there are some repeats as a result, but oh well. Feel free to agree, disagree, add your own… 🙂

1. Finding stuff on the Internet.
2. Holding a baby.
3. Behaving appropriately around and toward members of the opposite sex.
4. Dressing appropriately for certain situations–interviews, formal occasions, parties, etc.
5. Behaving properly in a place of worship.
6. Cleaning a toilet.
7. Keeping a non-human living thing alive–plant, fish, cat, whatever.
8. Cooking something that isn’t ramen or mac and cheese.
9. Making other people feel comfortable when they’re visiting your place.
10. Taking the time to discern what’s fact and what’s fiction/opinion/ridiculous.
11. Getting the best price for something (especially a big purchase like a car).
12. Protecting yourself in sketchy situations.
13. Washing dishes without a dishwasher.
14. “The first thing that comes to mind is make good eggs” –Sarah
15. “solo travel. Letter writing. Diaper changing / baby holding. Tire changing (even though I can’t do it!).” –Hannah
16. “Balance a budget and stick to it; grocery shop for more than ramen noodles.” –Karen
17. Understanding what you’re good at, what you’re bad at.
18. “How to interview for a job. How to file taxes. How to get around on public transportation. How to do laundry. How to clean up.” –Michaela
19. “They should be able to tell themselves ‘no’. Or, rather, should know when to tell themselves ‘no’ and when to follow through. Also, they should be able to draft a correctly formatted email that includes proper grammar and spelling.” –Nicole
20. Understanding what’s going on with your body.
21. Packing for a trip. (Harder than it sounds!).
22. Making a good mix CD/playlist.
23. Being able to amuse yourself while waiting in line, with or without electronics.
24. Fixing and caring for your electronics.
25. Basic mathematics. Not calculus (unless you have a job that uses calculus, in which case, good for you), but you should at least know how to find the area of something, or calculate a tip.
26. Making good coffee, even if you don’t drink coffee.
27. Knowing how to replace your wallet contents, should you ever lose said wallet.
28. “how to: make a few signature dishes & desserts, paint walls/furniture, basic sewing. i put out a kitchen fire today, so that too. wish i knew basic CPR.” –Kristen
29. Getting good and appropriate gifts for folks.
30. Knowing when it’s time to work and when it’s time to take a break.
31. Keeping your resume updated.
32. Using Microsoft Office, even if it’s only the basics.
33. “How to grocery shop on a budget while still eating well. How to keep copious records for the IRS (because let’s face it, many of us are/have been/will be self employed). How to quickly read a map.” –Dorea
34. A few key phrases in another language.
35. Writing thank-you notes.
36. Being able to let go–of stuff, of people, of situations.
37. “Opening a bottle of champagne.” –Jen
38. “42 ‎(re: the meaning of life.) And also how to write a document, presenting one’s thoughts in a coherent manner, with topic sentences and supporting ideas. How to set a goal and make a plan as to how to work towards accomplishing it.” –Kelle
39. Recalling the basic history of the country in which you grew up/in which you live (if those two things are different).
40. “Knowing how to find a mentor.” –Jeremy
41. “cooking, basic car and home maintenance, how to balance a checkbook, understanding bills and taxes, how to sew buttons and hems.” –Stephanie H. (and her husband, apparently)
42. “How to just “be” on your own. I mean, sitting around your apartment or house by yourself and not call your mom/dad/bff because you don’t know what to do with yourself. I’m still working on that one. :)” –Betsy
43. Being in silence.
44. Finding books in the library (or finding the person who knows how).
45. Keeping important paperwork in order.
46. Saving money.
47. A good handshake.
48. Winning gracefully.
49. At least one card game.
50. Responding to criticism gracefully.
51. “Crowd-sourcing on Twitter ;)” –Bill
52. “change a tire, do laundry, make eggs, balance a checkbook, explain the Gospel (if a believer, obviously), read a map, sew a button” –Dave
53. Using a lighter.
54. Changing the oil in your car.
55. If you are okay with drinking alcohol, you should know how to do so without a) making a fool of yourself, b) putting yourself in danger, and/or c) getting a hangover.
56. Curing a hangover.
57. Riding a bike.
58. Holding convictions without being a jerk about it.
59. Keeping your computer from getting viruses.
60. “i should also add general financial savvy from student loans to saving to buying a car / house, etc.” –Kristen, again
61. “How to change a flat, jump a car, break a window (safely), change a breaker, shoot a gun, and drive a stick. Also, laundry.” –Amber
62. Making cookies.
63. “How to resolve conflict. How to be present with the people around you and not check your phone. How to interact w/ older people. How to end a relationship well; how to communicate that you’re no longer interested in a person and not leave him/her dangling.” –Laura
64. “Making dinner, sending thank-you notes, and changing a tire. (I still haven’t mastered the last.)” –Renee
65. Loading a dishwasher.
66. Dealing with emergency situations–natural disasters, lots of blood, fire, car accident, etc.
67. Keeping up with people you like.
68. Getting along with your neighbors (as far as it is up to you).
69. Making something with your hands.
70. Changing your oil.
71. Booking a hotel room.
72. Proper behavior at a rock show.
73. Paying your rent/bills/mortgage on time.
74. Basic first aid.
75. ” how to compromise; how to wait (budget, schedule, rewards, etc.); the difference between a right and a privilege; and on a practical level, how to change a flat tire, how to comparison shop (for appliances, or vacations, or cars, or schools, or mustards!), how to ask for help!” –Melissa


5 thoughts on “75 life skills every twenty- and thirtysomething should know [at least in 21st-century western culture]

  1. Fortunately, if you get married, which most people do at some point in their twenties or thirties, you only have to know half of this list! Which is good for me , because there are a few items on here I will probably never learn.

    Is that a cop-out?

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