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Varsity is out but there are still life skills to be learnt

By Apr 16, 2020 May 8th, 2020 No Comments

potted herbs life skillsWith universities across South Africa shut down to stop the spread of Covid-19, chances are you have a lot of extra time on your hands. Sure, you probably have a few assignments to do for varsity during lockdown, but without the other distractions of college life like friends, lectures and extramural activities, there’s only so much academic learning that can fill up your days.

So, instead of binging on Netflix and eating yourself into a stupor, why not learn some new life skills during lockdown? This is a great time to ask your parents and other family members to teach you some basic skills that you won’t learn at varsity, but will nevertheless be valuable in your daily life as an adult.

If you’re feeling bored and frustrated, here are a few things to do under lockdown:

Budgeting meals

Exactly how much does it cost to eat? Ask your parents to include you in their meal planning and budgeting. Take a look at till slips from a recent trip to the supermarket, and calculate the cost of a single meal. Compare this cost to what you would normally spend ordering take out or eating out. Educating yourself on the cost of living will really help you to budget and manage your money more wisely.

Learn to cook

If you’re hopeless in the kitchen and live on frozen food and take-outs, now is the time to learn to cook some simple meals. Get out the family recipe book, and master the art of prepping and cooking a few favourite dishes. Ask for help if you need it, and when you’re ready, offer to cook a meal for the family. Learning to cook ensures that you can eat more healthily, and save money spent on expensive takeaways!

Vehicle maintenance

Do you know how to change the oil in your car? Or how to change a tyre? There are a lot of really simple vehicle maintenance tasks that you can actually do yourself without calling an expert. If you have a vehicle savvy family member around, ask them to teach you about basic vehicle maintenance so that you can learn to take care of your car.


Time to get stuck into the garden! Not only is gardening a great way of getting exercise, it’s also so rewarding to nurture a plant and watch it grow and flourish. You can ask your mom and dad for help, or just do some Googling – there are plenty of gardening blogs and vlogs to learn from. Learn how to prune trees and bushes, weed and mow the lawn, plant a veggie garden… if you don’t have a garden, you can still have fun with planters and pot plants on the balcony or kitchen windowsill.


Ugh… housekeeping. Boring right? Yes, it is. But you can learn to do it in the most efficient way to reduce the hassle. Things like the best way to do laundry (don’t leave wet clothes in the washing machine overnight!) and how to clean the bathroom so that it is properly sanitised are skills that will definitely come in handy later on in life. Ask your mom or gran for their favourite housekeeping tips and tricks!

Lockdown is a time when you may be feeling frustrated and trapped. Instead of thinking that you’re ‘stuck’ at home, remind yourself that you’re actually SAFE at home – and you have the opportunity to learn a bunch of new skills that you normally wouldn’t give a second thought to.

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