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Life skills for uni

AnonymousToeAnonymousToe Posts: 833 Part of The Mix Family
Hi everyone
So, I currently have almost no independence. I don’t know how to do anything - I can’t even make a sandwich :sweat_smile::joy:
I’m trying to come up with a list of things I need to learn how to do ready to go to uni. Like how to use a washing machine, how to go out shopping and what to buy, etc.
Anyone have any ideas of practical things to learn before going to uni?


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  • indievioletindieviolet Posts: 34 Boards Initiate
    I'm a couple of years into the uni experience but the start was a bit daunting for sure. Honestly, google and YouTube were my best friends in terms of learning some things I didn't know how to do.

    Some stuff that I think is important:
    - cooking affordable, nutritious meals (you'll need it to power your brain!)
    - budgeting (working out how much you have to spend each week)
    - prioritizing self-care (uni can be stressful so it's important to look after your mental health)
    - cleaning/keeping your space organized
    - basic sewing (really useful if you get a hole in something or lose a button)
    - time management (trying to find the balance between socializing and studying)

    Uni is a good time to learn to be more independent and you learn so much through experience.
    I hope that helps and best of luck preparing for uni! :)
  • Amy22Amy22 Posts: 3,789 Community Veteran
    Hi @AnonymousToe I never been to uni so my advice on this may not be the best. But I think like @indieviolet mentioned sometimes planning affordable meals can be a start. I remember a family member of mine saying once that if you can cook an egg you can basically cook anything technically. I don't know if this is true but they mentioned that if you can make toast or even an egg you won't go hungry. Also, I'm in a similar boat expect im not in uni but working and I too struggle to use household appliances such as washing machines and even cooking.

    I know that Pinterest have a lot of cooking ideas on there specifically for students as well and I know there a lot of student cookbooks out there too for students in uni. I think also planning and budgeting can be helpful too as you are sorting out the week ahead in a way. I think also if you are in doubt I know Youtube do a lot of videos for students in uni and how to do housework and stuff <3.

    As someone who never went to uni, I think it will be a very interesting and an good experience too as well. I hope all goes well for uni and I hope you enjoy your time there. <3:)
    Just a person who likes pop culture and films
  • Amy22Amy22 Posts: 3,789 Community Veteran
    JustV wrote: »
    I didn't go to uni but I did live a very student-y life for a while! I agree on the cheap, nutritious meals point. I'd recommend having a couple of really simple, easy recipes that fill you up.

    My go-to 'my brain is melting give me easy food' recipe is this:

    • 1 x 500g bag of wholewheat pasta (more filling than white pasta)
    • 1 x block of feta
    • 1 x jar of basil pesto (not light/low fat - you need it for the mix)

    1. Cook the entire bag of pasta in a large pan and put a few spoons of the pasta water in a cup.
    2. Drain the pasta in a colander, and mix the whole jar of pesto with the pasta water (you can do this in the saucepan you just used to cook the pasta). The starch from the pasta water will emulsify the pesto into a sauce - this is a great tip for ANY pasta dish.
    3. Add the pasta back to the pan, mix together, add salt until it tastes good.
    4. Dice the whole block of feta and mix it through the pasta.
    5. Mix some olive oil through it so it doesn't dry out (you can be generous - olive oil is tasty).
    6. Keep in the fridge for up to a week.

    I love this because it's so easy on the brain, it's only three ingredients, and you use all of them. It also feeds you for like 5 meals or something if you portion it well.

    And if you do have a bit more time or energy, you can spruce it up with some grated cheese on the top, fresh tomatoes or salad, olives or jalapenos if you're that way inclined.

    If not, it's a top tier thing to just shovel into your face.

    You didn't ask for a recipe but I thought I'd share it because it's saved me so many times!

    I really love the idea of this recipe actually and I will make sure to have a go one day. I wonder even if say you did have more time even pasta, pesto with feta and chicken too. As I love my chicken pasta!.
    Just a person who likes pop culture and films
  • LozLoz Community Champion Posts: 93 Budding Regular
    I'm not in uni, but I live independently, and I think these things are important:

    Budgeting - making sure you have enough money for food, toiletries, rent etc. I'd plan exactly what you're going need for each week, and how much it will all cost so you never go over.

    Cleaning - making sure your room is tidy and organized. Knowing how to wash up, clean clothes, hoovering etc.

    Balance - balancing social time and study. It's important you have time for both. I would honestly plan your days around your study calendar. So you know for example when you are free, when you can hang out with friends, and when you need to shop etc.

    Food - learning how to make basic meals. Honestly, there are so many recipes on Google. I need to work on this myself as I live off ready meals and the microwave :joy:

    You - make sure you are looking after yourself and are looking after your mental health. Take some time for yourself sometimes. It is important you look after yourself as you are the priority.

    If you are planning on moving to student accommodation, I would get a mini fridge as I believe most accommodation places have shared kitchens, and people are not shy about stealing food. If you're lucky they won't but as I've experienced it myself, I would be wary.

    I think the priority out of all those things is self-care and budgeting, as these things will be the most helpful when you first start living independently.

    Anyways, hopefully that's useful <3

    "My darkside won today" - DArkSide by BMTH
  • AnonymousToeAnonymousToe Posts: 833 Part of The Mix Family
    Thank you so much everyone! Totally forgot about cleaning as that’s not something I see a lot of at home *sigh* 😂
  • lunarcat522lunarcat522 Posts: 324 The Mix Regular
    @AnonymousToe There's some charts/tables online that can help give you an idea of stuff that should ideally be kept on top of daily/weekly/monthly for cleaning if that's helpful

  • AnonymousToeAnonymousToe Posts: 833 Part of The Mix Family
    @lunarcat522 thank you so, so much!!
  • lunarcat522lunarcat522 Posts: 324 The Mix Regular
    @AnonymousToe I also personally find goblin.tools really useful as its to do list has a magic wand that helps break down tasks further and also has an estimator for how long tasks might take which is really useful. It's an AI based tool but I really benefit from it being suspected neurodivergent
  • Katie12Katie12 Posts: 210 Trailblazer
    i agree with everyone about cooking cleaning and definitely learning to budget too! especially in those first few weeks! You do get used to it though and being so independent will just become your new norm :)
  • amy02amy02 Moderator Posts: 74 Budding Regular
    The above comments are great suggestions! I would definitely recommend finding a meal that you know you like and can make easily, as it can be a great comfort when you are starting off in a new environment <3
  • independent_independent_ Community Champion Posts: 8,585 Legendary Poster
    Totally not stealing that recipe that @JustV gave!! I need new things to do with pasta that are really easy, and the fact you can make it in one pot cuts down on dishes and every adult i have ever met will agree on their hate for dishes.

    I agree with what all the others have said, I also haven’t been to uni but I’ve had to learn over the years. Money I think is the big one.

    As for cooking, you may not think it but you will get absolutely sick to the back teeth of ready meals, pot noodles etc..I actually would rather cry than eat a pot noodle because I used to eat so many of them. So it’s best to have a few simple recipes that you can make loads of to get a few meals out of, that way you can always adapt them if you get sick of them. Don’t get me wrong if you still enjoy a pot noodle there’s nothing wrong with having a few in your cupboard for emergencies.

    Cleaning - the hardest part of cleaning is getting it started. Youtube can be really useful for things like this, watching how to videos can really help. I find putting a bit of music on helps me. Definitely learn how to clean a toilet as well and preferably how to unblock one as well (I’m still working on that one lol) because these things happen and I know I’d rather not have to call someone at 4am for that lol.
    “Sometimes the people around you won’t understand your journey. They don’t need to, it’s not for them.”
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