20 useful things everyone should learn to do
Hotcourses Editor

20 useful things everyone should learn to do

What should I learn next

First published date September 07 2012 Amended date April 21 2015

If you're feeling inspired to learn but not sure where to start, we’ve compiled a list of 20 useful things everyone should learn to do. From basic first aid, to being able to ask someone out, this is the knowledge we think you need to lead a really fulfilling life (especially the one about hanging things on walls!) and our attempt to answer the question, 'What should I learn?'


1.       How to cook more than just toast – With microwave meals getting better and loads of new kitchen gadgets, is cookery a necessary skill to master? Yes, and toast doesn’t count!


2.       How to remember people’s names – Repetition, face recognition, introducing them to someone else or making up a rhyme. Find your technique for remembering and use it, or else have no friends…


3.       How to swim – A surprising number of people in the UK have never learnt to swim so many leisure centres are now offering discounted swimming lessons for adults – who knows, you could be the next Michael Phelps!


4.       How to master time management – If you ever want to get anything done then get organised with your time.


5.       How to survive in the wilderness (or just a camping trip!) – Ok, so it’s unlikely you’ll find yourself in the middle of nowhere with only an army knife for company, but it’s useful to know how to build a fire and which foods are safe to eat, just in case.


6.       How to operate a computer – If you’re a technophobe, welcome to the 21st century. It’s time to take a computing course.


7.       How to travel light – Carrying a heavy bag on any form of public transport is not ideal and if you’re travelling by plane, baggage restrictions can be really frustrating. Learn how to be ruthless and only take what you need – and yes, a bucket and spade are necessities.


8.       How to make tea and coffee – This one’s important for being the host with the most and popular in the office.


9.       How to budget successfully – We all know we have to spend less than we earn but it’s hard if you don’t keep track of your expenditure. Get budget coaching from the experts and avoid experiencing your own personal recession.


10.   How to multi task – This goes hand in hand with number 4. Some say men can’t do it. We say it’s one of those useful things everyone should learn to do.


11.   How to change a wheel on a car – Driver or not, this is good to know as you’ll probably experience a breakdown at some point in your life.


12.   How to quote at least a few capital cities – Yes we learnt them in school, but no we can’t remember them when it comes to the pub quiz night. Get better at geography now so your quiz team can take the prize next time.


13.   How to paint a room without painting the carpet too – Even if DIY’s not your thing, learning to paint without making a mess should be.


14.   How to hang things on walls – Decorating doesn’t have to stop once you’ve learnt to paint!


15.   How to make a good first impression – It’s clichéd but true; first impressions count.


16.   How to iron a shirt – Wrinkly shirts can ruin the look of perfectly acceptable suits and generally, mums are not be prepared to press their children’s clothes forever.


17.   How to perform CPR and dress wounds – You don’t need to train as a doctor, but First aid knowledge can save lives, so it’s definitely up there with one of those extremely useful things everyone should learn.


18.   How to sew buttons – It happens to the best of us and it’s just a fact of life; buttons fall off. Unless you’re happy to buy new clothes every time it happens, you need to know how to sew them back on. It doesn’t take much but if you feel like you’ll need supervision, take a sewing class.  


19.   How to remove stains – This follows the same principle as above, but also applies to soft furnishings if you’re partial to dinner on the sofa.


20.   How to ask someone out (and potentially face rejection!) – It’s a rite of passage. Everyone has to do it at least once so learn how to do it well first time round.


If you think you’ve got a better answer to the question, 'What should I learn?' or you know more useful things everyone should learn, tell us about them on Facebook. We’ll be sharing the best ideas to all our fans!

Hotcourses Editor

Hotcourses Editor is the mysterious, faceless force made up of all our different contributors over the years. From masters in their field to top notch journos, take a peek at some of the talent we’ve had the pleasure of working with.