By Katie Azevedo, M.Ed.
In this blog post, I identify and explain the four most important skills you need in college. Although I could have made this list much longer (you need a lot of skills to do well in college!), I’ve narrowed it down to the four that will cause the most problems if you don’t the knowledge.
The 4 most important skills you need in college
Resourcefulness is the ability to figure things out. It’s the ability to figure out what you don’t know and then figure out what you need to do to figure it out. (That’s a lot to figure out…but that’s the whole idea behind the ingenuity.)
In this article, I give you 5 strategies to figure things out. Believe me, you want to read this when you are done reading this post.
The reason resourcefulness is one of the most important skills you need in college is that you won’t have parents or teachers telling you how to do things. In college, your teachers will tell you What do, but the how is totally on you.
- Not sure how to operate dormitory washing machines? You must understand.
- Not sure how to get to field hockey practice on time when your Asian Lit class is halfway across campus? Understand it.
- Not sure how to let your teacher know your work is going to be late? Understand it, my friend.
2. Time management.
Another of the 4 most important skills you need in college is time management. A big part of your academic success really depends on your ability to accurately assess where you spend your time. In high school, your school day is part of the time, like 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Although you had to manage extracurricular activities, there were still significant time structures in place that made time management much simpler.
However, in college, your class schedule is more dispersed and there are more free time slots during the day that are easy to manage. putmanage. If you are not yet familiar with Google Calendar, you absolutely must duty do it before you go to college. here is my Complete Google Calendar Tutorial for Students. Promise me you’ll read it.
As I explain in the tutorial, time management starts with making time VISIBLE. You should never skip this step. You have to see where you really spend your time before you can manage it. Disclaimer: Following the steps in my complete Google Calendar for Students tutorial may be a dramatic red flag for some students. If so, don’t fight it.
Another aspect of time management is recognizing if you are overdoing it. In this article here, I explain the four signs that you are doing too much, as well as three ways to fix your situation.
Yeah. The ability to communicate clearly and effectively is important in all walks of life, and college is no exception. Good communication skills involve the ability to speak and write concisely so that other people fully understand you. It also includes the ability to actively listen to others while monitoring your own understanding. Finally, communication skills include knowing how to work with others and how to disagree in group chats.
When I say communication is one of the most important skills you need in college, I’m not suggesting you have to write like Shakesepear or move a crowd like Martin Luther King. That would be cool, but the list below is a more accurate representation of what good communication looks like in college:
- Write clear and concise emails that provide information or ask questions
- Respond to emails in a timely manner
- Being able to ask for help when you’re confused (and being able to articulate exactly what you need help with)
- Make presentations in class speaking clearly, slowly and at the right volume
- Writing essays that make a strong claim (thesis), followed by clear examples that support your thesis
- Participate in class discussions in a clear, audible and respectful manner
- Be responsive and accessible to key personalities such as your professors, mentors, counselors and advisors.
4. Study skills.
I hope you developed strong study skills in high school. If not, you’ll need to play some catch-up when you start college. At the college level, your teachers won’t hold your hand like your high school teachers did. They won’t do class Quizletts for you, they will rarely provide you with study guides, and they usually won’t even remind you that a test is coming up. (They expect you to look at the schedule and put due dates and test dates in your calendar.)
The most important study strategies you need in college are Reminder active And Spaced repetition. Active Recall study methods allow you to learn the material faster and more completely (yes please!). Spaced repetition is the time frame that maximizes how you retain what you are studying. The two study methods go hand in hand. You need both.
Most Important Skills You Need in College
I would say that the four skills on this list are the most important skills you need to succeed in college. But obviously you need more skills than these four. To start, here is 5 life skills all students need to become functional adults. Also, your college experience will be richer and smoother if you have begun to develop skills in the following areas:
- emotional regulation
- Stress management
- Executive functions
- Basic financial information
- Healthy habits (physical and mental)