Education - Page 10 - Ask Margit, from page 1

- Page 10
Ask Margit, from page 1
Dare to Ask Questions

Sometimes you don’t know how or who to ask when faced with a new situation. You’re going to be confronted with challenges in everything you do, so be flexible. Often there’s no right or wrong way to do the particular task. Look at these as learning experiences.

Plan Ahead

Ask your parents to teach you some basic skills, preferably before you leave home. Food prep and how to do laundry are at the top of the list because, well, you have to eat and have clean clothes.

Educate yourself on food preparation and safety. It helps to be able to prepare a few dishes for yourself so you’re not living on fast food and carry out, like pizza and
Chinese, which are very fattening. Most freshman gain 10-15 pounds in their first year. Know what constitutes a balanced diet. And be aware that something you cooked
doesn’t have a permanent shelf life and will go bad after a few days. Also, know what can (paper and plastic) and cannot (foil and any metal) go into a microwave. If you blow one up, you’ll have to replace it.

Eric Nach, Ph.D., M.Ed., ASD Cert., president of the Nach Academy for Innovative Learning, created a checklist of life skills students need. He writes, “You should be able to figure out the details that go into doing your laundry well. This includes knowing how to sort clothes and how much detergent to use and so on.”

You’ll need to know how to use the washers and dryers at the school. They’ll probably be different than the ones you have at home. Ask for help. You’re not the first person who didn’t know how to work them.

Learn About Money

You’re now in charge of your bank account and budget. This is a skill you’ll use forever. There is usually a finite amount of money available to spend so understand the basics of creating and, then, living on a fixed budget. What are your monthly expenses? You don’t want to run out of money to pay them. Do you know how to write a check, use the ATM, read your bank statement and balance it? Overdraft fees are high.

Watch Out for Yourself

Personal safety is completely up to you. You are going places you’ve never been, meeting lots of new people and getting into situations that are unfamiliar. It’s important to know what to do in an emergency, how to change a tire, contact campus security and where the student health center is located. Keep copies of your prescriptions and
health history just in case.

Your health will impact how well you do at school. Good habits, like getting enough sleep, eating properly, and exercising will improve your mood and outlook on life. These will also help you cope when you’re stressed, such as when you have multiple exams and papers all due at the same time. Figure out how to plan your studying and assignments so that you’re prepared.


One of the best things about college is meeting people from other walks of life, other countries, other environments. This means they have different ways to approach life. Being adaptable, being open to new experiences, new cultures, new customs and very different ways of thinking, will broaden your education when you learn about these people.

You’re going to grow more during these years than any other time of your life. You’ll also find out that people behave in vastly different ways than what you are used to and with which you’re familiar. By staying open and willing to adjust, you’ll have the best time possible. Enjoy every moment. It won’t come again. •