One day, you will leave your parents and head off into the world, that is if you haven’t done so yet. For most of you who desire higher education, this will be the case when you leave home to attend university. Are you prepared? Do you have the life skills to live independently and successfully of your parents?

If in doubt, see the checklist below:

1. You Must Be Able To Talk To Strangers

This includes faculty deans, head of departments, course advisers, hostel porters, store clerks, human resource managers, co-students, bank tellers, health care providers, bus drivers, etc — in the real world.

You may have been taught to keep your distance from strangers, rather than learn the subtle ways of discerning the few bad strangers from the mostly good ones. Yet, one of the life skills you need includes knowing how to approach strangers — respectfully and with eye contact — for the help, guidance, and direction you will need out there in the world.

2. You Must Be Able To Find Your Way Around

Be it around campus, when you have to go to town, or when studying abroad.

It may be that your parents or a designated driver gets you wherever you need to be. For this reason, you will be handicapped because you do not know the route for getting from here to there, how to cope with transportation options and problems, when and how to fill the car with fuel or check the minimum oil level and manage other repairs (if you have one), or how to make and execute a transportation budget if you must travel commercial.

3. You Must Be Able To Manage Your Assignments, Workloads and Deadlines

Because you will be all by yourself with no one to remind you if your assignments have been completed, you must know how to prioritize tasks, manage workload, and meet deadlines (university lecturers and bosses are usually stricter and less forgiving in this regard) without regular reminders.

4. You Must Be Able To Handle Interpersonal Problems

Perhaps you still report your siblings to your parents when you have misunderstandings. Now, imagine living and having to interact with people several times the number of your siblings; so there will be misunderstandings and hurt feelings and it will be your responsibility to resolve such conflicts without parental intervention that you have been used to.

5. You Must Be Able To Cope With Life’s Travails 

Such travails like tough courses, an overload of workload, missing or incomplete scripts (at times), competition between students, tough lecturers, and others.

Maybe your parents have always been the ones to step in when things get hard or out of hand, they are also your spokesperson who speak to teachers about your difficulties; as such, you have no real-life experience about facing and dealing with difficult situations. 

Truth is, in the normal course of life, things won’t always go the way you want it, paths won’t always be straight; but with time you will learn that no matter how bad things may appear, there are solutions and that you will be fine. That’s why you need to start learning how to be responsible and accountable for and to yourself in preparation for when your parents are not there.

6. You Must Be Able To Earn and Manage Money

At present, you may not have any jobs, hence, you do not earn any money except what your parents give you as allowance.

But you must know that there exists a connection between completing a job and earning money; that you will be held accountable by lecturers and bosses who do not inherently love you like your parents, and will not accept excuses; that you must develop a sense of responsibility for completing tasks; and must learn how to show appreciation for the cost of things and how to be thrifty with money.

7. You Must Be Able To Take Risks

You must develop the wise understanding that success comes only after trying and failing and trying again – also known as grit – or the thick skin that comes from coping and bouncing back when things go wrong – also known as resilience. And these qualities are only acquired through experience, never without!

Of course, these skills are not acquired overnight nor over the span of a few years; it is a continuous education throughout your lifetime. But you wouldn’t learn these life skills if you remained in the shadow of your parents’ hovering protection.

You must take the risk and venture out, confident that what they have taught you will be sufficient; and in instances when error finds you, that you will learn from your mistakes and those of others, and consciously endeavour not to repeat them.

In time, you will gradually see yourself become wiser, smarter, more experienced and more confident to take on whatever life throws your way.

This article was adapted from Business Insider