Illustration by Ruby Aitken.

We have lots of advice columns on Rookie to help fill one’s emotional toolbox. Just Wondering addresses readers’ questions. Life Skills covers the basics of personhood. Club Thrive focuses on self-care and activism. Ask Saturn is about adulthood firsts. Ask a Grown is where your questions are answered by your role models/idols/people from TV. You can usually see what burning question each of those answers by their title. What about the rest of the Rookie universe? All the advice and wisdom just floating out in the abyss? That we most frequently get repeat questions about? That just about anyone, regardless of their current situation, would benefit from reading? Here are skills (or skillz, depending on their extreme sports factor) that the Rookie community has articulated over the years, organized for you into 12 categories.

1. Friends: How to make friends, know if you should leave a friendship, and deal when you have a crush on a friend.

2. School: How to speak up in class, talk your way into a better grade, have a hard talk with a teacher, manage school stress, manage test anxiety, manage your time, make studying bearable, and make the most of your freshman year.

3. Work: How to negotiate, feel confident ‘n’ professional, trust your own authority, network without feeling gross, nail a job interview, find a mentor, handle the learning curves of a new job, and QUIT.

4. Feelings: How to healthily wallow in emotions, and how to just let them out.

5. Thoughts: How to trust your brain, get out of your head, create effective daily affirmations, unlearn internalized prejudices, and manage negative, cyclical thinking.

6. Mental health: How to be realistic about your approach to self-care, find a therapist that’s right for you, structure your days if you’re depressed, cope with living in an abusive home, leave the house if you have anxiety, and see the light when it feels like there is none.

7. Communication: How to listen, use your words, ask for help, ask for help with self-harm, talk to your parents about transitioning, give a real apology, set boundaries, say no, take a compliment, sympathize when you can’t empathize, talk about your beliefs (specifically with family you disagree with), critique offensive behavior and speech without totally losing it, and tell someone you love them (awww).

8. Social change: How to tap into your ability to change the world, be an ally, and make room for self-care at the same time. How to organize, educate yourself, and take care of yourself in the face of anti-Blackness, and what to do with that fiery ball of Trump-related anger.

9. Relationships: How to be a good partner, make sure you’re taking care of yourself while in a romantic relationship, break in a broken heart, cure your heartbreak, let go of your first love, get out of an abusive relationship, avoid codependent ones, and recognize and address gaslighting.

10. Sex: How to learn what you’re into, be sexual on your own terms, understand consent, kiss, masturbate, and take charge of your sexual experience.

11. Bodies: How to heal your relationship with your body, love yourself in the throes of an eating disorder, and live the principles of body positivity.

12. Grief: How to navigate grief and build a grief support system, and create your own mourning traditions.

Some people say that it doesn’t get better, but you get better at dealing. We hope this list can be a guide for locating your own strength, and remind you that, whatever is paining, confusing, or just overwhelming you—you are not alone. ♦