The Skills Everyone Should Have By Age 18, According To A Stanford Dean

The Skills Everyone Should Have by Age 18, According to a Stanford Dean

High school is supposed to prepare you for real life, but sometimes it falls short. If you're looking for essentials to teach your kids (or learn as an adult), here are one Stanford dean's suggestions. Photo by Léo Parpais.

As former Stanford dean and author Julie Lythcott-Haims suggests, by the time a person is 18 years old, they should have a few basic skills to help them navigate life. Including, but not necessarily limited to:

  1. Be able to talk to strangers.
  2. Find their way around town, campuses and so on.
  3. Manage assignments, workloads and deadlines.
  4. Contribute to the running of a household.
  5. Handle interpersonal problems.
  6. Cope with ups and downs.
  7. Be able to earn and manage money.
  8. Be able to take risks.

Many of these skills aren't taught in schools. In fact, some are actively discouraged. What school wants teenagers taking risks? Some adults may go their whole lives without learning them. However, when you become an adult and have to handle your own problems, these skills are invaluable. You can read about these skills in more details on Quora below.

What are the skills every 18-year-old needs? [Quora via QZ]


    This is a great list. I'd add

    Negotiation and
    conflict resolution

    My kids are fairly good at all of these.
    There's also a lot of talk about critical thinking. I find modern critical thinking to be quite shallow. I see many inconsistencies in society's logic, particularly today, that are often overlooked.

    Need to add....
    accepting failure/rejection. Everyone fails at some point, it's how you get better. And you might think you're the ducks nuts but someone else's opinion is going to differ and you WILL get rejected at some point. It's normal...

    I would advise against talking to strangers as I had my iPhone stolen by one. Unless of course you are in a safe public place where crime is less likely to happen.

      Did you proactively talk to the stranger whom took your phone?

        Yep he seemed friendly until he and his friend decided to turn violent and take my phone. I should of followed the advise not to talk to strangers and stayed in a public place.

        Last edited 22/04/16 5:17 pm

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