Can YOU Handle This?
5 things you gotta master before leaving home.
1. Cook three meals. These don’t have to be complicated. Think: grilled cheese sandwiches, a can of spaghetti sauce over some noodles with microwave vegetables, or if you’re feeling fancy, a bowl of rice with sliced veggies, chicken and soy sauce. Make sure you have the cooking tools and a shopping list for each meal. Even if you’re in the dorm with a meal plan, knowing how to whip together a solid meal will make you the star of your circle of friends.
2. Maintain your ride. Learn how to maintain your tires (and change one if necessary), jump a battery and replace your windshield wipers. Get an emergency car kit that includes a big flashlight and a few paper maps should your phone battery die.
3. Pay bills. Even if your folks help out financially, it’s wise to learn how much your bills are, when they’re due and how the payments are managed.
4. Do laundry. It’s on you now. Time to figure out what all those fabric care symbols and machine settings mean.
5. Live with people. Living with your peers in a dorm or apartment will be a big change from living at home. Start practicing now how you’ll set boundaries with your future roomies. Think about the items you’re bringing to school. Which are personal, and which are okay for communal use? If you and your new roomies are responsible for cleaning the space, how will chores be handled? Ask people you respect how they handled living with roommates for the first time.
Packing like a pro
Be prepared, but not too prepared. Here’s what you should bring to college, and what you should leave behind.
Recipes for Beginners
Salami Cheese Melt
- American cheese
- Potato bread
- Cooking spray
- Fresh fruit for a side salad
(Katiana says strawberries and kiwi are a good mix.)
- Make a sandwich with three or four slices each of the salami and cheese.
- Heat a pan on the stove and add olive oil spray.
- Place the sandwich in the pan and let it cook until the cheese melts, flipping halfway through.
- You’re done! chop up the strawberries and kiwi to eat on the side. Enjoy!
Katiana Urbina, 24, senior
Miami Dade College
Off Sides Shepherd’s Pie
- Ground beef (about a pound)
- Instant mashed potatoes
- Can of corn
- Can of green beans
- Cheese (shredded)
- Brown the beef in a pan.
- While it’s heating up, make the instant potatoes according to package directions.
- Drain the liquid off the corn and green beans, then add to the beef.
- Once everything is heated, top the beef and veggies with the potatoes.
- Add cheese and divide evenly among your hungry friends!
Matthew Walsh, 20, junior
Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers