13 Troubling Statistics About What Today’s Young Adults Don’t Know How to Do

When you left home to go off on your own, there were probably a few gaps in your knowledge base. You may not have fully appreciated your lack of expertise until the milk in the fridge was curdled — for a month.

There may have been a rueful realization that there was no bed-making fairy. Maybe you discovered you’re not Bobby Flay in the kitchen, that laundromats cost a small fortune in quarters, that saving money saves you in a pinch, that frayed hems on your pants have to be fixed and, yes, microwaves do have to be cleaned.

But aside from those light-hearted examples, there are some rather eyebrow-raising knowledge deficits found in younger people. ATTN media put some of those together in the Facebook video above, but we here at Independent Journal Review have added a few of our own.

Boiling an Egg

People love to take photos of their food for social media, but how many can actually cook that meal? It turns out that 30% of college students can’t boil an egg.

Changing a Tire


More than half of American teens — 52% — don’t know how to change a tire. It’s better to learn now than when you’re on the side of the road worried about ax murderers or evil clowns jumping out of the bushes.

Sewing on a Button

Sewing isn’t just for contestants on “Project Runway.” The skill can come in handy when, at the last minute, you pop a button. Unfortunately, ATTN Media reports, 70% of young people wouldn’t know what to do if that happened.

Manning the Kitchen


The guy above probably learned those smooth kitchen skills outside a classroom. ATTN reports that ‘Home Economics’ class participation has diminished by 38% in the last ten years.

Shining Their Shoes

Men’s magazines make going to a shoe shine stand sound like the biggest religious experience this side of communion. Perfectly-shined shoes show a pride in excellence and an eye for detail. The shoe shine business is booming, according to Esquire Magazine.

But who’s got time and money for that? It’s time to learn how to shine your own shoes. If you have any questions, ask someone in uniform.

Doing Laundry

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A University of Missouri study found that out of adult age groups, Millennials are the worst at knowing how to do their laundry. Here’s a hint: separate your colors and bring a LOT of quarters to the laundromat.

Being on Time

Employers surveyed around the country say young people have a “soft skills deficit,” and among the most irksome is being late. Having a bad attitude came in second.


Younger people avoid doing home improvement projects or repairs and prefer to hire it out. A study from Home Advisor found that it’s going to be more difficult to hire people in the future because older woodworkers are retiring at higher-than-replacement rate.

Home Advisor also says the lack of woodworking instruction in school acts as a barrier to students going into that field.

Surviving in Nature

What happens if you haven’t learned how to change that flat tire yet, you’re out of cell phone range, and you’re stuck in the boonies? Lifehacker recommends you learn how to build a fire and find water for just such an occasion. Most kids used to learn that stuff in Scouting, but the Boy Scouts experienced a 7.4% drop in participation in 2015.

Cursive Writing


Many school districts have stopped teaching children cursive writing because of computer use, but there’s a lingering school of thought that cursive should stay.

Advocates of cursive writing argue that it improves cognitive ability and has other educational benefits. But there’s also one striking reason why it should stick around: if you can’t write in cursive, you won’t be able to read it.

In time, who will be around to read letters and documents of important historical significance — even if that significance is only important to your family?

Making Toast

According to a UK study, 18% of Millennials can’t even make toast. Troubling.

Buying a Train Ticket


When it comes to a fast getaway, 23% of Millennials may have a rough time…because they don’t know how to buy a ticket.

Paying Bills

Nobody really likes paying bills, let’s be honest. However, you should still know how to pay them, and according to the UK study, 35% can’t quite figure that out.

Here’s What Millennials ARE Doing Well: Helping Others


While plenty of people call Millennials selfish, over 87% of them donated to charities in 2014. DoSomething.org notes that Millennials are quite generous with their volunteer efforts, and now, the Red Cross is doing special outreach to the Millennial age group to capitalize on that desire to help others, encouraging them to learn hands-only CPR.

Whether you’re a Millennial yourself or the parent of a young person, remember there are skills beyond getting a degree and a job that will help make your adult life more successful. And chances are good that YouTube can help you learn any skills you weren’t taught by the generation before you.

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