Magazine topic: 
Life around the world

A list of unimportant life skills

by : 
KatB

Astonishingly, it's been almost three years since I moved out.

Well, I say 'moved out'. Rather I participated in that most hallowed of mass pilgrimages: at the end of September 2012, I moved into my university halls, lugging boxes upon boxes of clothes - of which only half I would actually wear - and the obligatory assorted IKEA cutlery, half of which I would instantly lose in the depths of an inevitably messy shared kitchen. 

Since then, it has felt at times as though life has been a series of moving in and out, back and forth, switching rooms and towns and, most recently, countries every few months. This has taught me two important things. First, it's made me incredibly efficient at packing. Secondly, I am now much more independent - I can cook, clean and generally look after myself better than I could back then.

When you first move out, everyone tells you to learn how to do your laundry, make your bed and cook something that involves more than a pan of boiling water and a packet of dubiously flavoured instant noodles. What they fail to tell you, however, are all of the less immediately crucial, but no less important tips for survival. 

So here is a list of these every day, insignificant insights I've built up over the last few years, having foolishly thought I was more than capable - and thus learned them the hard way.

1. Always remember coat hangers.

2. Some things you can buy cheaply without noticing a difference in quality. Cheese, fish and meat are not among them. Cheap cheese is just not worth it. 

3. You can never have too many pairs of socks.

4. Insure your technology. All of it: phone, camera, computer. Without insurance, a spilt cup of tea can suddenly become unnecessarily and alarmingly expensive.

5. Get some fresh air, every day. Even if that means walking to the shop to stock up on biscuits and chocolate. You'll be amazed at how much better you feel afterwards.

Discussion

Which of Kat's tips do you think is the most useful? What other life skills would you add to the list?