In today’s world, we constantly rely on tools, electronics, and connected devices. Growing up in a world of ever-increasing connectivity is bound to require different skills than were needed before. Being a millennial myself, I feel many criticisms from older generations relating to this are misplaced. On the other hand, young people do stand to lose some important skills if we let new technologies completely obscure our approach to life. We might not need to know how to repair things like fences or old-time appliances, but the DIY mentality could be powerful if applied to our new devices. By taking the best of older generations and combining it with today’s unique demands and skill sets, young adults stand to be more empowered than any generation before. Though you don’t need to give up your love of technology, the Internet, or gaming, these 10 skills are still ones we could all benefit from brushing up on.
1. You need to know how to fix things
While it’s unlikely that our generation will need to know the same mechanical skills that past generations knew, our world is constantly growing more technologically connected. Because of this, we shouldn’t overlook the importance of fixing something ourselves. By growing more familiar with the inner workings of our technological tools and toys, our generation stands to be more efficient and self-reliant, and save some money. Things like simple button repairs or frayed cords are straightforward repairs; we shouldn’t be intimidated by learning how to fix our own electronics. Some easier repairs on mobile devices for example, run between $60 and $150. The same repairs can be done in less than an hour if you are familiar with some of the basic parts that go into the devices. Though the objects we are fixing may be different, younger generations should still value knowing how to do something yourself. Just remember that tinkering with your electronics often nullifies your warranty: only do repairs on items when the warranty has expired.
2. You need to value and connect with nature
Another skill our generation is in danger of forgetting is valuing nature. While many people today are concerned with environmental causes, many of us neglect to explore the nature that surrounds us. Though our connected devices do show us the entire world, it’s important to remember that basic knowledge of local plants and animals can come in handy. Not only that, making a habit of going outside helps with vitamin D production, and may even help with anxiety.
3. You have to be able to rely on your memory
While there’s nothing wrong with embracing new innovations, one skill our generation may be losing is committing things to memory. By always having search engines at our fingertips, we are relying on our memory less. It’s important to remember that basic skills and knowledge may be required when you don’t have an Internet connection, so committing things to memory is a valuable habit to get into.
4. You need to know how to cook
Many people in younger generations are more than happy to rely on fast food and microwave meals to get through the week. However, as our society faces increasing concerns with the lack of nutrition in ready-made meals, it’s important that your body is getting everything it needs. One way to ensure this is by cooking at least some of your meals, something most of us could do more of. Though it seems intimidating, a few basic cooking skills are really all you need to supplement your diet.
5. You need to value thriftiness
In today’s world, planned obsolescence and brand obsession attempt to keep consumers spending more than ever. However, it is important to remember the financial crash of 2007/2008 and the challenges we faced. It is crucial that younger generations remember to value thriftiness. Ultimately, the less you spend on possessions, the more you can spend on people and experiences. While we probably don’t need to go as far as the older generation’s world war rationing, keep in mind that possessions are just possessions, and that a new phone doesn’t offer much more than your current one. By wearing things out before you replace them, you stand to save a lot of money, and will be less at the beck and call of corporate marketing.
6. You need to appreciate simplicity
Another quality younger generations should try to hold on to is simplicity. Thankfully, younger generations seem to still be on board with this one, as many millennials are turning away from typical big ticket purchases like cars and homes. While we don’t need to forfeit a comfortable life, if we consume less, we have more resources at our disposal to help others. As the first generation to grow up with the Internet, we are aware of the world around us than ever before. If young people can use this power to live more simply and give more to those who need it, we will truly be living up to our potential.
7. You need to expand your vocabulary
Another skill young people should try to retain is a good vocabulary. Language has always fluctuated and changed over time, and many of our “proper” expressions today would have been considered unintelligent, offensive slang 100 years ago. In this way, it’s not necessarily wrong to use abbreviations or Internet slang; however, remember that different ways of expressing yourself make what you’re saying stand out better. Having a rich vocabulary does not require you to ignore messaging language trends, but learning more words to express yourself will make your message more powerful.
8. You need to know basic DIY skills
Another skill young people should try to keep is basic DIY repair skills. Almost everyone will go through a time when something in their house or apartment breaks but they don’t have enough money to fix it. By learning basic repairs and how to use basic tools, you stand be more empowered in your life. If you don’t need to rely on others to fix absolutely everything, you will save money, save time, and probably impress your significant other.
9. You should have some basic survival skills
Along with basic do-it-yourself repairs, young people shouldn’t shy away from learning basic survival skills. While younger people today are probably less likely to be outdoorsman, you never know what situation you might find yourself in. A wrong turn on a back road, or getting lost during an easy hike, can quickly lead to needing to survive a night outdoors. If you know basic skills like how to make a fire, or not to leave your vehicle or supplies, it might just save your life.
10. You have to be able to apply yourself to long tasks
Finally, one skill young people should value is the ability to internalize long books and films. Today’s world moves fast, and our media generally reflects this. Gone are the days where films would normally last over two hours, and the longest book many of us of have ever read is probably one of the Harry Potter books. However, in life we are often required to tackle challenges that take months or even years of perseverance and work. While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying today’s fast-paced media and reading material, it is always helpful to try to finish classic works of literature or older, longer films. By forcing your brain to focus on longer tasks, you will be better equipped to deal with real life situations that require determination and persistence.
Featured photo credit: xflickrx via flickr.com