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One in three students will head off to university unable to boil an egg, it has been revealed. A new study has uncovered a string of basic chores the average 18 year old can’t do, including making a pot of tea, putting on a white wash and buying a train ticket.
Indeed, a fifth of students would struggle to make themselves toast for breakfast, while 23% wouldn’t know how to make the bed in a morning.
A further 35% of 18-year-olds don’t feel competent in folding and storing their laundry, and 42% wouldn’t know where to begin in ironing a shirt.
In contrast however, cash-strapped students are more than capable at balancing the books with 63% of mums and dads having every confidence their children will cope well with budgeting.
They are also adept at keeping ahead of the digital age with over half of students able to set up a laptop with broadband and upload photographs.
If they are lucky enough to have a car, a trip home to see mum and dad may well be on the cards as 46% of students are able to use a sat-nav.
A spokeswoman for Sainsbury’s, which conducted the poll of 934 parents of children aged 18 to 25 said:
“Despite feeling like fully fledged adults, the reality is that a whole host of students heading off to college this month need a crash course as to how to set themselves up for their new lives.
“Teenagers are more than capable of looking after themselves but the vast majority don’t even own a saucepan!
“With the right leaving home equipment and some pointers from mum and dad, life in student digs will be much more comfortable”.
The study shows many students will go hungry during their first term, as 48% are currently unable to make a simple dish such as spaghetti bolognese, while a third are bemused by baking a potato.
Students are being sent off to college lacking the most basic equipment with only a third owning a saucepan, 17% owning a wok and 20% counting a casserole dish amongst their belongings. It’s no wonder then that Sainsbury’s sees sales of instant food, such as ready meals and quick noodles go up more than two fold by students during the university term times.
When it comes to the cleaning, mum might be visiting to help out at the end of term, as 35% of 18-year-olds have never touched a vacuum cleaner, 50% can’t use the tumble dryer and 31% are more than happy to bypass learning how to dust.
Even tasks such as setting up a direct debit (44%) and paying a bill (35%) confuse some students.
As the research indicates, visiting the supermarket is sure to bewilder most teenagers, as two thirds wouldn’t have a clue which cleaning products to buy and 42% aren’t clear about ‘use by’ dates.
And there are still many household gadgets 18-year-olds won’t have got to grips with including the washing machine (23%), iron (22%), kettle (17%) and toaster (18%).
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 Sainsbury’s spokeswomen continues:
“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 pot of tea 26%
Cook a full English 43%
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%
Set up a direct debit 44%
Buy a train ticket 23%
Pay a bill 35%
Set up a DVD player 33%
Use a tumble dryer 50%
Know which foods can be reheated 66%
Know how to look at ‘use by’ dates 42%
Know which cleaning products to buy 62%