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University of Life – more freshers can work their phone than the washing machine

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Students will head off to university or college with a greater knowledge of their phone than of a washing machine, research has found. While 78% of freshers will have fully got to grips with their phone (push through updates, understand all features, etc), only 77% will be able to get their clothes cleaned without ruining their whites or destroying their delicates.

Indeed, only 70% of students would be able to boil an egg, while the same amount would be able to upload images to their computer or a social networking site.

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.

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson commented:

“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.

However they won’t be far from technology, as 63% can work wifi, 51% can set-up home broadband and 45% can use a satnav.

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

There are, shockingly, still many household gadgets 18-year-olds won’t have got to grips with (normally the ones that force you to cook and clean)- the iron (22%), kettle (17%) and toaster (18%) perplexed some.

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”.


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%


© Angelogila | Stock Free Images &Dreamstime Stock Photos

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