8 Basic Life Skills Every 20-Something Should Brush Up On


Life skills are like common sense: not as common as you’d expect. They’re not necessarily the kind of thing you learn in school, and once you’re in your 20s your parents have probably said, “Well, we did our best, off you go!” and sent you packing into the real world. You’re on your own now.

So how do you learn about how to be a grown up? We got you.

A recent reddit thread asked “What basic life skill are you constantly amazed people lack?” We’ve rounded up some of the answers – and even compiled some solutions. No judgement.

#1 Reading signs

Being observant of your surroundings is a huge advantage out in the real world. But a pretty rare one, given the top-voted answer in the reddit thread.

“I go anywhere with my family or friends, god forbid somewhere complicated like an airport or a concert, and they’re all so amazed at my sense of direction that I figure out where we’re supposed to go, just by reading the damn sign that’s in big bold letters right in front of us.”

Just read the signs, people. It’s not that hard.

#2 Written communication

We didn’t all ace our English classes in high school, but most of us have to write professional emails from time to time – and do a pretty lousy job of it.

“Many emails I receive are super vague – sometimes I can’t even figure out if people are asking me or telling me things. 30% of the time I have a “wait… what?” moment, then starts the back and forth to figure out what they are saying. “

Want to up your email game? We’ve put some handy templates.

#3 The ability to get anywhere on time

People commonly fall into two camps: on time people, and late people. And late people can cop a lot of flack – so much so that many of them just defensively give up and “own” their lateness. But while your friends might forgive your tardiness, you boss might not be so generous.

If you want to curb your lateness, have a look at what makes you late. Do you get distracted? Maybe a set routine will help. Do you find it difficult to decide what to wear? Lay your clothes out the night before.

#4 Basic time management

Being a grown up is all about getting sh*t done. But how can you write that report when there are so many dog memes to tag your friends in? We get it, it’s hard. Luckily, we’ve road tested some time management strategies to narrow down what works. Pomodoro 4 life.

#5 Cooking more than 2 Minute Noodles

One redditor writes, “I get that not everyone has to be an Iron Chef, but the amount of people who don’t know how to boil pasta, grill chicken, or follow a basic recipe to make cookies astounds me. No matter who you are, you gotta eat, so how can you get through life not knowing how to make food that involves more than pushing a button on a microwave?”

Everybody eats. We need food to survive! And nailing this survival skill will not only keep you alive, it will also impress your dates. Here’s a rundown of 10 fool proof recipes every millennial should know, to get you started.

#6 “Allowing space on the footpath for people walking in the other direction”

Move. To. The. Left.

#7 Cleaning

“Any type of cleaning,” one redditor writes, “but especially the use of the washing machine. You put detergent in the lid of the detergent container (it’s pre measured), dump it in the labeled area, and turn it on. You can even make it easier by plopping a tide pod in, and turning it on. No excuse.”

Want some more pointers? Here’s how to clean your things. Bonus: It’s a scientifically proven way to de-stress.

#8 Money management

Yup, it’s a big one. A lot of us didn’t learn about how to handle money in school, and our parents weren’t much help either. But here at The Cusp money management is our jam! Let’s get started on the basics of budgeting. No spreadsheets, we promise.