Skills every 18 year old should have…
Julie Lythcott-Haims, author of “How to Raise an Adult” and a Dean at Stanford University lists the skills that every 18 year old should have by the time they reach adulthood and I thought you would find the list interesting.
An 18 year old should be able to talk to strangers – we spend much of a young person’s life telling them not to do this but in truth this is exactly what they have to do once they have left home for university or work. They need to approach landlords, health advisers, university lecturers respectfully and with eye contact.
An 18 year old should be able to find their way around. Most young people before they leave home are taken to where they need to go especially if their home is in a rural location. However, they must know how to navigate a campus and weigh up different options for travel.
An 18 year old should be able to manage deadlines and work schedules. Too often as parents and schools we manage that for them by issuing reminders and even doing whatever it is for them. University essay deadlines are not a moveable feature and miss the hand-in time and you have failed that module.
An 18 year old should know about managing money and running a house. Their flat mates will soon tire of their messy approach to the
general clearing up or the fact that they never have enough money to cover the joint expenses associated with shared accommodation.
An 18 year old should be able to manage the ups and downs of life and interpersonal relationships. They should be able to talk to an employer, lecturer, classmate with confidence. If parents/school are too quick to step in when those relationships are not going well it does not help a young person develop their own skills at dealing with and more importantly coping with a difficult situation.
An 18 year old must be able to take risks. If they don’t then they never develop enough resilience and grit to achieve the point above. If they resort immediately to phoning home to ask how then we haven’t given them enough life skills.
Our sixth form enrichment programme does cover much of the skills needed for a young person to move successfully from school to the next stage of their education. However, there is much they can do for themselves to ensure they are equipped fully with life skills that will help them cope with the next stage of their education. Fathoming out solutions to problems rather than expecting parents and school to always take on their difficulties is a good place to start.
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