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Are we sending our children off to University not knowing how to boil and egg?

son going to university imageArticle by Fabafterfifty

It seems we are sending our children off to university with many of them not knowing how to boil an egg or do their own washing according to a new survey.

Hopefully they won’t starve as they learn how to bake potatoes or learn how to use the washing machine (it seems many mums can expects visits home with the ‘pleasure’ of handling the dirty washing!

But even if they have not quite managed to come grips with the iron or tumble dryer, there are gadgets they are more than capable of using, such as mobile phones and laptops, so you can expects calls, texts , emails and messages via social media to keep you up to date with their progress.

Better at setting up laptops than using the vacuum cleaner

Staggeringly, more students could even set up their laptop or video games console independently than vacuum their room.

The findings were revealed in a survey of 934 parents by UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s looking at the lifestyle of their 18-25 year old children

Even tasks such as setting up a direct debit (44%) and paying a bill (35%) can confuse some students.

Despite there being a multitude of tasks the average students aren’t confident at, they are surpassing older generations with their technological and financial skills, including saving money, installing apps on a smart phone, downloading movies and videos and editing photos – perhaps now deemed by young people more vital to the modern age than household chores.

“The thing to remember is that while many students or 18-year-olds might not be pros at carrying out basic household tasks, they are incredibly competent at using gadgets and technology, and have also become really savvy with money.

“Times have changed, and although household tasks may not be the priority for youngsters today, they are proficient at doing many other things, and these skills will carry them through their university years and beyond.”

Tasks the average 18 year old can’t do:

Boil an egg 30%

Make toast 18%

Make a spaghetti Bolognese 48%

Cook a jacket potato 30%

Make a bed 23%

Iron a shirt 42%

Do a white wash 44%

Dust a room 31%

Fold clothes neatly 35%

Vacuum a room 35%

Sew on a button 53%

Use a tumble dryer 50%

Know which cleaning products to buy 62%

Set up a DVD player 33%

Set up a direct debit 44%

Pay a bill 35%

Manage their mobile 22%

Work a washing machine 23%

Set up wifi 37%

Set up broadband 49%

Set up a sat-nav 55%

Set up laptop 32%

Set up a website 75%

Edit photos on phone 46%

Upload photos 31%

Download movies/videos 34%


Personally I am hoping that my niece who has just left for uni, is one of the 58% who know how to use an iron, as it was one of the items I popped in her box to take!



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  1. Judy

    September 27, 2012

    Parents fault!
    Make them do jobs at home including cooking and they will learn.
    My son went off to uni knowing he could look after himself.
    my 15 year old daughter
    often cooks dinner and is the best baker I know! We get to eat the most gorgeous cakes and pies as she experiments every weekend.

  2. celia

    January 17, 2013

    Think I might show this to my eldest who will hopefully be going to Uni next year. Perhaps I will suggest he starts practising in advance by helping me out at home!

    • Ceri Wheeldon

      January 18, 2013

      Good luck! Hopefully you will be able to get him to the stage where he’ll be able to do his own washing and not bring it home to you on weekends 🙂

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