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Top 10 Things You Should Know by the Time You Are 20

Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff

March 24, 2011
Filed Under Parenting 

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A list of the top ten things you should know by the time you are 20Contributed by Cindi Pearce, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru

You would think that a 20-year-old pretty much knows everything that he or she needs to know since, well, they’ve been around for two decades, which certainly seems long enough to get some knowledge under your belt.

The fact is, many 20-year-olds have been cosseted for far too long by well-meaning parents and when it comes time to strike out on their own they are clueless. Here are the top 10 things that you should know how to do before you are 20:


10. Cook

Every 20 year old should know how to cook ... like Emeril

It’s either that, starve or end up throwing away your precious money on fast food that’s going to make you fat and pimply. You might find that you even enjoy it. Hey, you could turn out to be the next Emeril.

9. Say NO

Every 20 year old needs to know how to say NO to any number of offers

How to say no … to credit card offers; to persistent men or women who want more from you than you’re willing to give and who may leave you with a bun in the oven, debt or all the above plus a broken heart. Say no to albatross friends who are toxic and suck you dry. Say no to pushy, aggressive dates. Set your boundaries and keep them. Don’t let anyone or anything destroy your self-esteem or your self-confidence.

8. Take care of clothing

Every 20 year old should know how to sew and iron

Every good man or woman has to know how to sew and iron. Figure it out. It isn’t rocket science.

7. The real basics

Every 20 year old should know the basics like writing a check and stamping an envelope

Learn to write a check and know where to place a stamp on an envelope. Truly, there are 20-year-olds who are clueless about these basics that any moron should know, but somehow they don’t. Save yourself some embarrassment and figure out how to do these things.

6. Banking

Every 20 year old should know how to balance a checkbook and do basic banking

Do you know how to balance a checkbook? If you don’t you may be headed for debtor’s prison in the future.

5. Get up

Every 20 year old should know how to set and get up with an alarm

This is an alarm clock. Do you know how to set an alarm clock and get out of bed when it rings and get yourself to class or to work in a timely fashion without your mother poking you with a cattle prod?

4. Laundry

Every 20 year old should know how to do laundry

No, your mother doesn’t live here. You have to do your own laundry and, yes, that includes folding it and maybe even putting it away.

3. Change a flat

Every 20 year old should know how to change a flat tire

No, your father isn’t at your beck and call. You must do this yourself or get yourself a membership to Triple A and call them.

2. Earn money

Every 20 year old should know how to hold down a job and earn money

This means getting a job, showing up for the job, keeping the job and doing it well or at least well enough that you don’t get booted.

1. Get out of a jam

Every 20 year old should know how to get out of a jam

Every twenty-year-old should know how to get out of a jam without calling his parents. Call your own bail bondsmen and save your parents some grief. Don’t use your parents as your get out of jail card or your I am so broke card or my heart is broken for the 17th time so I am going to call mom at 2 a.m. and bawl and dramatize for an hour card, inconsiderately disregarding the fact that mom is old and tired and has to be at work by seven. She needs her beauty rest. You don’t.

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