Tuesday 20 August 2019

Sinead Ryan: 'How to be a grown-up... lesson one'

notebook

Student life seems longer and longer these days – it’s perfectly possible to get to the age of 25 having never fended for yourself, never mind paid a mortgage, had a baby or even got a proper job. Stock image
Student life seems longer and longer these days – it’s perfectly possible to get to the age of 25 having never fended for yourself, never mind paid a mortgage, had a baby or even got a proper job. Stock image
Sinead Ryan

Sinead Ryan

Students in the UK are to be questioned on how often they change their bedsheets and how to cook hot dinners.

No, it's not some post-Brexit Big Brother intervention but a government scheme to prepare them for adulthood.

Student life seems longer and longer these days - it's perfectly possible to get to the age of 25 having never fended for yourself, never mind paid a mortgage, had a baby or even got a proper job.

Please log in or register with Independent.ie for free access to this article.

Log In

If you've had a particular kind of Irish mammy, you mightn't even be able to cobble together more than cornflakes for dinner or worked out how the laundry fairy gets around.

So, a course has been set up by the Education Transitions Network - students are already used to attending classes, at least occasionally, so some of it might get through - to equip sixth years how to be grown-ups.

Lessons include knowing how much a litre of milk costs (a favourite on the election trail too, it has to be said), and how to cook five hot meals from scratch (if they can all include Nutella, the kids are sorted).

They also question them on bed-linen changes, although I sincerely hope there's an in-built gender weighting on that one.

Stella has really cleaned up - but not at home

Stella McCartney is a girl after my own heart. Apart from the star-studded upbringing, millions in the bank and global fashion business, when it comes to laundry, we're peas in a Persil pod.

Her clothes sell for thousands of euro, which is obviously beyond the pocket of most of us, but she gave a startling insight into the savings that can be made with posh clothes.

"The rule on a bespoke suit is you do not clean it," she said in a recent interview.

"You do not touch it; you let the dirt dry and brush it off."

She also revealed her invigorating rule of thumb for life.

"If you don't absolutely have to clean anything, don't clean it. I wouldn't change my bra every day and I don't chuck stuff into the washing machine because it's been worn," she said (possibly as she wondered why friends are giving her a wide berth).

"I'm incredibly hygienic myself, but I'm not a fan of dry cleaning, or any cleaning, really," she added swiftly.

So say all of us.

A moving experience that is best avoided

I've recently moved house (don't do it, ever).

Most people will tell you it's a bit traumatic, and they would be right, which is why I'm going to die here. Not soon, hopefully, but the scars will be with me for decades to come.

They say it's one of the most stressful things in life, the others being divorce (check), bereavement (check) and starting a new job (check again).

I'm still trying to work out how it is possible to leave one house with all your possessions, move to one with two fewer rooms downstairs and still end up needing an emergency trip to Ikea on a Sunday (surely that must be added to the life-stresses list at any time) to buy everything that didn't seem to make the move.

There's nothing missing from the journey and yet I'm a bunch of money down, just to replace what I already had.

It's a mystery. Still, one I won't be repeating!

The injuries are piling up too. I'm beginning to look like an end-of-season prop forward with the bruises, cuts and calloused hands.

Time for a bit of TLC now… well, after the painting and the shelving and the cleaning and the garden and…

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Don't Miss