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Skills to Master Before Leaving Home

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The excitement of a college acceptance letter can have teens and parents celebrating for weeks. But once the new semester approaches, many students may be anxious about leaving the comfort of their childhood home. Having a handle on these five essential life skills can help ease the transition.

1. Learn to live on a budget. When operating on a fixed income, young adults must distinguish needs from wants to avoid coming up short or racking up credit card debt. No matter how much or how little they have to manage, teach them to be thoughtful when spending money.

2. Master laundry. Kids may have a basic understanding of operating a washer or dryer, but effectively getting clothes clean involves much more. Separating colors, reading tags and removing stains are important steps to go over before kids head off to college.

3. Understand car care and preventive maintenance. Owning a vehicle comes with its share of responsibilities. Knowing the fundamentals, like checking a tire's air pressure, changing a flat and jumping a dead battery, can build confidence and keep your loved ones safe.

4. Plan meals and cook to save money and stay healthy. The occasional bowl of ramen is a collegiate rite of passage, but some essential cooking skills can come in handy. Cooking classes can give them pointers on preparing healthy, inexpensive meals for themselves.

5. Cope with difficult emotions. In their first year away from home, some students deal with homesickness, depression or anxiety. Discuss that possibility with your children before they move and help them identify coping techniques to use if they do feel down. Most campuses also provide resources that can help as well.

Adjusting to college life can also be overwhelming at times.

These basic abilities can help ease the pressure for those who've finally left the nest behind.

This article is presented courtesy of Toledo's Rachel Phillipps of Phillipps Ins Group Inc, email:, phone:360-864-8844

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