College itself is a learning experience that is not limited to academia. Not all learning comes from the classroom or a textbook that is priced entirely too high. Sometimes, learning comes when you plug an extension cord into a power strip that is plugged into another power strip and you short circuit your entire dorm hall, that is priceless.
Here I have compiled a short list of adultey things that I have learned in my short period of time. I have been away from home, so you can just skip to learning how taxes work and not worry about setting yourself/your home on fire.
Water pipes will freeze in chilly homes.
This can be a real shocker to students who come from the South or California, but Colorado’s freezing temperatures can do a lot more than make your nose run all over everything you love; it can actually cause property damage. If the pipes in your home get too cold, the water inside them can freeze into ice, causing them to expand and burst. While you may be able to put on a Patagonia with all your other fraternity bros to fight the cold, your pipes are not so lucky, so keep your house or apartment above 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
It is possible to accidentally commit arson at the gas station.
First of all, this should go without saying, but please turn off your car when you fill it up with gas. I have risked my life too many times now filling up my car next to someone at the gas station who is blasting Chainsmoker’s “Closer” from their radio and their heat on full effect. Turning off your car whilst filling it up is common knowledge, or at least I thought it was. Something not so commonly known is the fact that static electricity created by getting out of your car can also cause your gas tank to catch fire! This is extremely rare, but one quick venture to Youtube confirms that this terrifying event does in fact happen. While it may make you look like a fire bender, it is best to refrain from recreating that one scene in Zoolander by touching something metal after you get out of your car to fill it up before reaching for the gas.
Getting memberships at grocery stores actually helps.
If you now buy your own groceries, show yourself some love, and sign up for the grocery store cards the cashiers always pressure you to get. They usually need very little of your information to get registered, and the worst thing that comes out of it may be a few annoying emails that are just sent to you to get more deals on Hostess Ho Hos. The more you save, the more money you have to buy more snacks for later, so when your done at the bars on Friday nights, you do not always have to throw down cash a Fat Shack. Instead, you can eat a whole jar of Nutella in your bed.
Simple Bills is a mystery that we will never be able to solve.
Did I pay for my electricity this month? Who knows? Look up ratings for bill splitting apps and services before you decide to use them when splitting up bills with several roommates.
Do not open bank info on un-secure internet.
Nowadays, every bank has an app that easily lets you access your account balances and manage your spending. But think again before you pull out your iPhone in the Panda Express line to see if you still have that three dollars that one dude Venmoed you that one time. Pulling up this kind of app on the CSU campus’ semi-public wifi does not guarantee that someone will steal your information and buy 845 dollars worth of Taco Bell, but it can not be guaranteed that it will not happen either.
Toasters are scary.
For a long time, I did not know that you are not supposed to shove metal knives into toasters to get your toast out. I understood not shoving your fingers in there because obviously that could result in some skin burning, but I did not know that metal tools could result in electrocution. Sometimes it is hard because your toast gets really down in there, but the fact of the matter is that electricity should not be messed with. Also, kitchen appliances use electricity even when you are not personally using them, so you should unplug them if you love the earth. There have been instances of toasters starting house fires, so you should really unplug them if you love being alive and being inside a building that is not on fire.
Do not put dish soap in your washing machine.
Just do not. Please.