There are many essential life skills that Millennials should learn or already have when starting independent lives after graduation. The responsibilities of life can be daunting, which is why we have created the following list of top life skills that every millennial should develop. Learning a second language, sharpening written and verbal communication skills, managing personal finances, cooking, and basic first aid skills top our list.
Learn a Second (or 3rd!) Language
Being multilingual in today’s global economy is becoming increasingly essential to thrive in the job market. Learning a second language has been made much easier with computer programs like Rosetta Stone and free apps for smartphones like Duolingo. These interactive apps send you reminders to keep up on your lessons, and use fun learning tools such as memory games. If you feel that classroom instruction and the guidance of a teacher is more helpful, check out local listings of language courses offered in your community.
Sharpen Your Written/Verbal Communication Skills
In our wired world, communication skills are vital. Knowing how to use social media platforms is one of the most attractive features to employers when hiring Millennials. Social media sites like Linkedin can help develop networking skills while providing the perfect forum for job hunters to demonstrate their ability to communicate effectively. The saying “it’s not what you know but who you know” often holds more truth than some realize. Knowing how to use Facebook is important, but understanding how NOT to use it is even more important. Remember that potential employers often review your social media profiles, not just your friends, so use discretion when posting to Facebook and other personal sites.
Understand Your Personal Finances
Budgeting your income to pay off loans, rent, utilities, insurance, food, clothes and other expenses can be overwhelming. However, learning to manage your money effectively can alleviate the stress that goes with it. Thankfully, there is no shortage of literature both online and in print written specifically for young people seeking to gain financial independence and how to do it responsibly. The Pennsylvania Treasury offers these ten critical steps to ensure you are managing your finances properly. Taking a personal finance course online or at a local community college can provide a basic understanding of how to manage personal finances effectively. Many professionals emphasize the importance of having good math skills which is beneficial in multiple areas of life. Developing these skills is easier today than ever before with the use of computer programs or internet sites such as Khan Academy, an affordable online institution that provides tutorials on science and economics.
Learn How To Cook For Yourself
Sure, microwave meals are fine in a pinch, but learning to cook at least a few healthy staples can truly change the way you feel mentally and physically, and perhaps even provide you with a new hobby. Learning to cook for yourself instead of eating out also saves a substantial amount of money. Wiki provides a great basic tutorial for true culinary beginners on how to start learning your way around the kitchen. Perusing the shelves of your local bookstore’s cookbook section is also a great resource for acquiring scrumptious, healthy and often simple recipes that you can return to time and time again. Culinary institutes, restaurants and grocery stores such as Whole Foods often offer cooking classes that are inexpensive or sometimes free. These informative gatherings can be a fun way to spend time with friends or make new ones while developing basic cooking skills you will use for the rest of your life.
Know How to Give First Aid
Even the most basic first aid skills equip you with the ability to save a life. Thankfully, there are courses offered by reputable companies such as the Red Cross and the American Heart Association that provide CPR instruction multiple times throughout the year. It is important to own at least a small first aid kid to keep on hand whether it is in your car or somewhere else within close proximity in case of an emergency. These kits are sold at almost any store including grocery stores, Target and Walgreens, and can also be purchased online at Amazon and other Internet retailers. The Red Cross website also sells first aid kits of all sizes and varieties and provides tips on the essential components of a kit. Though it is not always a guarantee that you can access the Internet in case of an emergency, websites like the Mayo Clinic’s first aid page list step-by-step instructions on what to do in medical situations while awaiting professional help.
Developing these five life skills will undoubtedly benefit you for the rest of your life. What you learn as a young adult will mold you into a strong member of society and set you up for a happy, productive life.
Marisa graduated in 2011 with a BA in Spanish Language and Literature from CU and then moved to Los Angeles to pursue further education in Journalism and Media Studies at UCLA. She loves to travel, cooking, seeing movies and of course, writing!