Laura Donovan
September 23, 2014 12:30 pm

Some people are just naturally good at life. They can cook without burning themselves, they can parallel park without dinging the vehicle next to them and they can confidently navigate all the other little things we have to everyday without much frustration or apologizing. To you folks, we tip our hats. Here are 12 signs you’ve got some serious life skills.

1. You can drive a stick shift 

Less than 10% of new cars have manual gearboxes, but it doesn’t hurt to know how to operate a stick shift. My boyfriend prefers a manual as it makes driving more engaging, fun, and controlled, so he’s been giving me lessons every other weekend (and trying not to vomit by the end of each one). I’ve killed the engine more times than I can count, but at least I’ll be able to add one more life skill to my list someday!

2.  You can build furniture that’s not from IKEA

I’m not going to lie: I was super proud of myself the day I put together my Ikea bed frame, nightstand, kitchen table, and chairs, especially since I was sobbing throughout the experience (hooray for moving across the country and missing your BFFs!). That said, I would probably freeze up in the face of real furniture assembly, as IKEA’s picture instructions and free tools make everything simple and fast. If you can build furniture from stores that don’t make the process foolproof, you’re a better person than I am!

3. You can get rid of that spider in your house without screaming or making your roommate do it

I should also add “without wasting an entire bottle of lotion or perfume” to the line above. Anyone who has tried to kill a spider by drowning rather than smashing knows this all too well.

4.  You know how to file your taxes

You may consult your parents about some of the questions on the form, but ultimately, you know what you’re doing, and you can’t wait for that refund check to come in.

5.  You can make coffee from a regular coffee pot and not just a Keurig or espresso machine

And it won’t be watered down or start a fire!

6. You have unclogged a toilet before

It’s gross all right, but not as bad as a flooded toilet.

7. You can make alcoholic beverages yourself 

Why spend a fortune at the nearest speakeasy when you can whip up a good drink in the comforts of your own home? My boyfriend’s Manhattans are always better than what I’d order at a bar, and it’s also pretty cool that he owns all the right ingredients and tools to prepare the cocktail. Another sign of someone with life skills!

8.  You can paint a room

Seven years ago, my BFFs and I painted my childhood bedroom baby blue. It tested our friendship at moments, but was a great project for us as pals, and it also prepared us for the maintenance issues in homes we’d have during early adulthood.

9.  You have snaked hair out of the shower drain

Way to take responsibility for your own shedding!

10.  You’ve managed to escape being stuck in an elevator (calmly)

A couple weeks ago, my boyfriend and I got stuck in a packed 90 degree elevator in Ralph’s grocery store. Some of the folks around us were freaking out and frantically fanning themselves, causing me to get worked up as well. I was kindly advised to stay relaxed, and sure enough, the person who took ownership of the situation and called for help got us out, all because he remained calm the entire time. If you can serve as a calming presence during a crisis and turn the situation around as such, you have an exceptional life skill to brag about.

11. You can find your way around without a smartphone

Zooming around and can’t get a signal? That’s OK! You can get around by memory, looking at a paper map, or even by asking for directions. You’re not totally lost without GPS or your phone because, well, people got along just fine without those things for a really long time.

12. You can parallel park/park in really tight spots

When you’re living in a crowded city like Los Angeles, you can’t be too selective about parking spaces. I am lucky to have a tiny Honda, but even that can be tough to park in awkward, compact spots. If you can park without crippling anxiety or feeling like everyone is watching you struggle to fit your car in, you’re a true champion.

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