By theguardian |

Leaving home? These are the life lessons you really need

The government has announced a course designed to help teenagers prepare for leaving home. The Leapskills programme will teach sixth-formers how to cook from scratch, how to manage their money and how to clean. Hopefully the curriculum will also cover the following …

How to stock a larder

When you first leave home, Yotam Ottolenghi is not your friend. Even if you succeed in trying to cook one of his million-ingredient masterpieces for your flatmates, you will invariably then spend the next two months lobbing fistfuls of leftover sumac into everything. Instead, buy a load of pasta and a ton of tinned tuna and you will never go hungry.

How to drive

Take it from me, a person who spent 20-odd years trying to pass his test: driving is impressive, especially if none of your friends can drive. They will see you pootering around in your knackered Vauxhall Corsa, and you will subconsciously remind them of their parents. And then you will have status. And then you can treat them like dirt, which is the best part of being an adult.

How to unclench

Listen, you are going to fall out with your new housemates. You have moved in with a bunch of people who were raised in an entirely different way to you, and it will take time to acclimatise. I once had a housemate who never cleaned the sink after shaving. I had another who thought it was OK to brush his teeth in the living room. I didn’t find out until the second year of university that not everyone was brought up to announce to the entire room that they needed a poo. Getting used to these differences will take time, but it will go much smoother if you don’t wig out whenever you see half a beard sticking out of a plughole.

How to call your parents

Sure, they have wanted you out of the house since you were 10, but now you have actually gone and they are being forced to confront the cold reality of their marriage without having you to hide behind, they are terrified. So try to check in on them from time to time.

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