6 Skills You Should Learn before Going to College

For most people, college is the formative period of their lives – how well they do there determines, to a significant extent, what kind of success they can expect from their future careers and personal lives. The better prepared you are at the start of this period, the better off you will be.

While you are at college, your time and attention will primarily concentrate on your studies and dealing with other challenges your education presents and a new mode of life. In other words, it may be a good idea to acquire the necessary skills beforehand. So what are the skills you are going to need?

Time Management

Most students are eager to go to college because of the freedom and independence it is often associated with. However, this independence brings with it new responsibilities. Nobody will watch over you and remind you to attend class, do homework, or study for midterms.

From now on, it is your job. You have to organize your schedule and find time for everything, even when there are not enough hours in the day. The sooner you learn how to organize your time on your own, the sooner you will be able to get the most out of your years in college.


Irrespective of your financial standing, budgeting is a vital skill best learned before going to college and managing your own money. Even if your family has no financial difficulties, without proper budgeting, you can burn through the funds allotted for an entire year without ever realizing your spending habits are out of control.

Therefore, taking some financial literacy courses and estimating your income and expenses is reasonable. After you know how much money goes in and out, you can start determining how much you will need each month to cover the necessary expenses.

Goal Setting and Prioritizing

When you go to college, your goal should be more than just to study there for the allotted time and get a degree. Instead, you should set the goals you intend to achieve further down the road and the goals you want to accomplish while you are still in college.

The former will help you decide in what direction to move your studies to work toward your longer-term goals. The latter will motivate you to use your time effectively and achieve visible results quickly.

Prioritizing does not just mean determining what is crucial for you – deciding what is of secondary importance is just as necessary because it helps you conserve your time and effort. For example, suppose you do not consider a discipline to influence your future career significantly. In that case, it may be a good idea to occasionally buy a custom essay from writing experts to free up time for other activities.


You will probably say, “What do you mean, studying? I have been studying for my entire time in school, and I know how to do it by now!” Well, yes and no. High school is relatively lenient towards students regarding their workloads and the difficulty of the material they have to learn. As long as you have an above-room-temperature IQ, you can most likely get away with simply memorizing passages from a textbook and imitating the examples given to you by the teacher.

Going to college signifies a dramatic difficulty spike that takes many by surprise. If rote memorization is your preferred way of studying, you need more hours to process all the information you have to deal with.

To achieve any results, you will have to learn to make careful lecture notes, analyze the information, do independent research, use more effective revision techniques like spaced repetition, work in groups and look for assistance from your professors, teaching assistants, and peers.

Communication Skills

While you may have worked in groups with other students in high school, it is nothing compared to how much you will have to interact with other people in college. You will have to deal with your roommates, other students in your classes, professors, instructors, property owners, librarians, coworkers, and many others.

Learning how to deal with people effectively is paramount if you want to get the most out of your time in college. They will also be helpful in the future, irrespective of what career you decide to pursue.


People in the professional world do not exist in isolation. So while it may be a bit early to build specific plans concerning your future career – e.g., what company you want to work for and whose help you need – the earlier you start to build your network and hone your networking skills, the better.

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In practice, it means everything from learning how to introduce yourself to establishing profiles with professional social media websites like LinkedIn.

The skills you will need in college are numerous and diverse, but the ones mentioned here are probably the most important. Concentrate on developing them early, preferably before you get into college in the first place, and you are bound to achieve much better results than your less prudent peers.

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