12 Things to Know Before Leaving the Nest

By: Mia Myklebust and Susanna Cerasuolo, M.Ed.
How to:
1. Balance your checkbook- It’s all about the money, honey. Knowing how to manage your finances is a lifelong skill that should be learned as early as possible. Keep your checkbook balanced so you don’t end up eating Top Ramen every night for the last month of school.
2. Do your laundry- This may seem easy, but do not be deceived. There is no pain quite like pulling out a load of previously white clothes that are now a lovely shade of Pepto-Bismol pink because of one red sock. Have someone who knows what up shows you the ropes.
3. Make an impression- They say that first impressions are everything. You get one chance to make a first impression so take advantage of it! Make sure that how you are presenting yourself is the way you want to be perceived.
4. Parallel park- Most likely at some point in your college career you will find yourself living in a cute, little neighborhood that you absolutely love. This is a good thing. Unfortunately most cute, little neighborhoods also have lots of cute street parking with very little spots.
5. Say you’re sorry- It’s not easy to admit that you’re wrong, however, it’s a necessary skill to have as an adult. Practice now, that way when you accidentally get pizza grease on your roommate’s new top, you’ll know what to do.
6. Say thank you- Just like mom always said, remember your manners! A simple thank you can get you a long way. Being polite is a sign of respect for others and it will not go unnoticed.
7. Work hard- Hard work pays off. At this stage in your life, you are growing and changing every day. Train yourself to have a good work ethic now, so you can be successful later.
8. Collect mentors- There will always be people who motivate and inspire you. Form relationships with them and learn from their wisdom. More often than not people are glad to advise the younger generation, so take advantage of it!
9. Set goals- College can often seem like one big roller coaster. Life is fast-paced and it can be easy to forget about the big picture. Set goals for yourself right off the bat and do your best to stick to them. Make a list and come back to it to throughout your college career so track your progress.
10. Break up appropriately- Like the song goes, “Breaking up is hard to do.” However, it can be more difficult to throw away what could be a great friendship because of a bad break-up. Learn to be honest with people no matter how much it might hurt them at the time. It will be better in the long run.
11. Say no- This isn’t D.A.R.E. but those dudes know what they’re talking about. Peer pressure is a real thing and it can be difficult to say no when you’re meeting new people (especially that cute girl down the hall). However, this skill is invaluable for your health and safety in college.
12. Self-advocates You should be your own number one fan. Period. If you don’t believe in yourself then how can you expect anyone else to? Advocate for your own success because, let’s be honest, you’re awesome.


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