9/15/2013: Carrie Sandstrom

Let’s talk real life. Things you really need to know about in order to survive. It may surprise you, but most people legitimately don’t have a clue about the most important things about being a functioning semi-adult human being in the partway-independent lifestyle that college offers. Here are five quick and dirty rules everyone should follow:

1. Laundry, unfortunately, must be done on a semi-regular basis. I’m no laundry nazi — ask my roommate — but I do believe that clothes should look and smell clean if you’re planning on wearing them out in public, beyond a quick run to the c-store. And even then, you might want to at least look clean. A solid rule of thumb: If you’re not shoving a load of stinking clothes in the machine at least twice a month, you’re doing it wrong.

2. Food — buy it. For many, college is the first time when you are responsible for feeding yourself on a fairly regular basis. You can do this by getting a meal plan of some sort or just putting on your game face and hitting up the grocery store. Either way, you should always have food on hand to feed yourself when you’re hungry.

3. Doctors are an unfortunate, but necessary aspect of society. You’re going to need to find one you like or be brave enough to chance a new person each time you visit the walk-in clinic. However, the most important thing about doctors is knowing that when you need to go to one, go to one. There are no heroes when it comes to needing medical care or a refresh on your supply of free sample bandaids.

4. Jobs are a real part of life. They don’t go away and they don’t get easier when you’re no longer part-time. Every job is important and deserves your full time and effort when you’re on the clock. You don’t have to be a slave to the man in order to be a good employee.

5. If everything else is the butter of your life, then relationships are the bread. You need people and strong ties with at least a few of them in order to be successful. So whether it’s your romantic interest, your parents or your BFF from the time you first wore the same Disney shirt to pre-school, be gracious and giving of yourself always. The relationships you build are the legacy you leave.