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How to Be An Independent College Woman

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Illinois chapter.

As students, we are all around the same age and have had similar experiences including getting driver licenses, going on trips and moving into an apartment for the first time with roommates. These are experiences that transform us all into independent, young women. So, what do you do when you get a flat tire or clog the toilet and you don’t have your dad, brother or boyfriend around to help you?  

It is so crucial for women at this age in time to know how to do these “manly tasks” on their own. Emma Newman, a junior at UIUC, explains, “Women and men are equal, so there’s nothing a woman can’t do that a man can,” she said. “Most times, women end up doing it better anyways.” 

Each collegiate woman should know how to do these following “manly tasks” all on their own!  

Unclog a Toilet

There are a number of different ways to unclog a toilet; it just depends on the situation. The first step, I’m sure you’d all agree, is to put on a pair of rubber gloves. There are a number of different unclogging products available for purchase at stores. Your best buddy though will definitely be a plunger. 

Shovel Snow

Here at Illinois everyone is familiar with those frigid snowstorms. Once you live on your own, it’s going to be important to know how to shovel your own snow. Of course, it isn’t a difficult task, but there are some helpful tips to make sure it’s done properly.

Snow can be very heavy, so you need to make sure that your hands are spaced apart properly so that you do not injure your wrist. Make sure you bend your knees properly, as well. It is critical to know that you should not be lifting with your back; it should all come from your legs. 

Mow a Lawn

First and foremost, make sure to wear closed shoes, no flip-flops or sandals! Next, you want to start off by picking up any sticks or rocks that you see in the area that you plan on mowing. So that you do not miss any patches, it’s always a good idea to mow along the edges first. So, if you have a fence, cut along the fence line and other obstacles like trees first.

Change a Tire

The first step is to locate your tire-changing equipment in your car, which can be found either in your trunk or under the back seat. You need to then use your tire hook to take off you hubcap and loosen the lug nuts. Don’t forget to make sure that your parking break is engaged before you remove the tire. Next, make sure to set blocks in front of the tires so that the car does not roll away. You will then have to place the jack and jack up the car. The jack needs to be cranked up until the wheel is off the ground. It is then time to remove the nuts and wheel. Once you pull the wheel off the axel bolts, you put on the spare. You just tighten the nuts, lower the car and remove the jack. Be sure to put away your flat tire where the spare was located and pack up all your tools. 

“My dad taught me how to change a flat tire immediately after getting my license,” Allison Mulchrone, sophomore at UIUC, said. “It was a very valuable lesson I’ll carry with me forever.”

Hopefully whether you just have to unclog a toilet or change a flat tire, you’ll be much more prepared. Pao-Yi Warner, sophomore at UIUC, made a great point, “In case any of these situations were to occur, especially getting a flat tire, it is crucial to have the knowledge, capacity and capability to know how and what to do on your own.” 


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