One day, we will all leave the comfort of our own homes. Mommy and Daddy will no longer be telling us what to do, when to clean, and where to go. Everything will be entirely up to us. With that freedom though, as Uncle Ben said, comes great responsibility. When that time comes, we need to be prepared to take on the responsibility of independence and know how to take care of ourselves. This is why we should start as early as possible. Starting now, we should be able to develop these important life skills we need to be able to live on our own. So here are 10 things you need to learn how to do by yourself.
1 Do the groceries.
We've all probably gone with our parents to do the grocery at least once. So what's the big deal if you had to do it alone? Well, usually when we go to the grocery with our parents we end up just putting whatever we want in the cart. We don't normally think about the cost of things and meal planning. Doing the grocery by yourself teaches you about budget and discipline. Plus, you learn all the different kinds of vegetables, fruits, and cuts of meat. Trust me, it's a lot more challenging than it seems.
2 Do the laundry.
This is one of the most important things you have to learn. It's basic hygiene to be able to learn how to do so. And no, throwing powder in the washing machine with a bunch of clothes doesn't count. You also have to learn how to iron and fold your clothes properly, too. Note that different types of clothes also need special care. For example, suede and velvet clothes should be hand washed only. Knits should be hand washed and flat dried. This is something everyone, whether you're a girl or boy, should learn how to do.
3 Clean your room.
I know this is something that most of us are too lazy to fully accomplish. We tend to push this task aside and put it at the bottom of our priorities. The thing is, having a clean room is also directly associated with our state of being. If the contents of your thoughts are already disorganized, having a messy room isn't going to help. You yourself need to learn how to remove all the clutter because if you can't learn how to organize your own sanctuary, how do you suppose you're going to manage your life?
You should know how to prepare the food you put in your mouth. This has nothing to do with gender roles in society. Whether you're a girl or boy, cooking is a skill everyone needs to learn. You don't have to be a gourmet chef to say you can cook. As long as you know how to fry, saute, make basic meals, and be able to follow recipes, you're pretty much set. There's also a really good feeling of accomplishment when you're able to cook something good. Besides, how will you survive a post-apocalypic world, if you can't even fry an egg?
5 Wake up.
This may not seem like a big deal but it is. Kudos to you if you only need an alarm to wake you up in the morning or from naps in between important tasks. If you still need to have someone wake you up by the time you're a teen, you need a huge change. Waking up should be something intrinsic, no one should be forcing you out of bed. You not waking up just means that you don't think your life is awesome enough to return to from dream land. So get up lazy pants and make your life worth waking up to.
6 Commute or drive.
In life, you need to know how to get from Point A to Point B. Learning how to commute using our public transport system is essential then. If you're lucky enough to have a car, you should learn not just how to drive but also direct yourself to get to where you need to go. Basically, you have to know how to get to the places you want to go to and still be able to go home.
7 How to budget your money.
If you don't know how to budget your money, you won't survive in the real world for long. Money doesn't grow on trees. It's something that is earned out of blood, sweat, and tears. So starting today, learn the value of money by taking into account what you're spending. Keeping track of what you spend will be a huge help to you and it will let you see what you need to cut down on. Learn to live below your means. Do this, so when you start receiving your pay checks you know exactly where the money is supposed to go and you'll still have a little extra for yourself!
8 Do your own makeup.
Now this isn't necessarily a need but it would be really great if you could do this by yourself. It can be quite the hassle to learn how to do your own makeup. There are so many products available nowadays that you can hardly keep track but don't worry about that too much. Just focus on being able to do one everyday look and one evening look. You don't always have to wear makeup but when your job calls for it and on emergency occasions, you'll save a ton of money by knowing how to apply the makeup yourself instead of hiring or looking for someone to do it for you.
9 Find your passion.
Now this is something I can't guarantee that you'll actually be able to do. This is something that you should discover for yourself, but it's not the easiest task to accomplish. The problem is unlike other important things in life, this is one of the very few things only you can successfully choose for yourself. No one else can tell you what or who to be passionate about. Your passion is what makes you who you are. It's what gives meaning in your life, which is why you should never stop searching for it until you find it.
10 Make your own decisions.
Out of all of these, I think this is the most important one. Most of our lives, we like letting other people choose for us, whether it's small or big decisions. We value the opinion of the people we love and choose to be a part of our lives too much. While it's important that the people and things around us are all in harmony with one another, it's still up to us to choose that. I know it's scary to choose and find out your decision was wrong. We are all afraid of making mistakes. But even if you make horrible ones, you learn from it. There are very few important things in life that hasn't been decided for you, like your friends, your life partner, and your career. So appreciate all the decisions you are asked to make. You want that career but your parents disapprove? Listen to what they have to say but if it's really what you want, go for it. You want that boy from across the room? Decide to go for him or don't—it's entirely up to you. So remember, don't leave yourself with what ifs. You can't blame anyone else for the life you have live. In the end, you have the ultimate power to decide what to do with your life. It's your happiness at stake. Make good decisions.