Before You Turn 18, Know This

November 9, 2017

What skills should every 18-year-old have?  Former Stanford dean and NYT best-selling author Julie Lythcott-Haims recently answered that question in a Quora post titled, “A Stanford dean on adult skills every 18-year-old should have,Quora.

Lythcott-Haims says that an 18 year old must:

  1. Be able to talk to strangers
  2. Be able to find their way around
  3. Be able to manage assignments, workload, and deadlines
  4. Contribute to the running of a household
  5. Be able to handle interpersonal problems
  6. Be able to cope with ups and downs
  7. Be able to earn and manage money
  8. Be able to take risks

Her 8-part list went viral. It made us reflect on what skills we wish we would have had by 18. Here are three things we would add to the list:

Be able to take criticism

It’s not always easy to take it when someone criticizes you or your work. But it’s essential to take criticism if you want to get better at whatever you’re doing. At work, school, and even among our friends, we encounter comments and feedback everyday. When this feedback is constructive, meaning it’s meant to help and not hurt us, we benefit by listening closely and considering making changes, even if it may make us uncomfortable.

Know strengths and weaknesses

Even the world’s smartest people have weaknesses. But most of them know exactly what they are good at and what they are bad at. For the things that they are bad at, they either avoid them, work hard to improve, or hire others to deal with tasks that involve those skills. When planning your life, what job to get or business to start, focus on your strengths and surround yourself with support to help you manage your weaknesses.

Be able to organize

Organizing is an essential skill and will impact nearly every aspect of your adult life. If you can’t be on time to a date or remember to write down what you need to pick up from the grocery store, you’ll have a hard time with relationships. Just being able to plan your week, stay on schedule, and keep a tidy appearance will make noticeable, positive difference in your life. You will also develop a reputation for being reliable, which is important in every profession.

What would you add to the list or take off of it? Tweet would you would add to this list to @AfterSchoolApp on Twitter.

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