5 Lifelong Skills You Need to Learn in College

lifelong skills
Photo by Nikita Kachanovsky

When you graduate from college, there’s a strong chance that you will have forgotten a lot of the information you learned in your freshman Biology class. But guess what, that doesn’t mean that you didn’t know anything from being there. The education you get from college extends far beyond books and lectures.

These five skills you get in school will benefit you for years to come — in every aspect of your life.

How to Take Notes

Note-taking does not end when you get your degree. When you get a job, or even if you decide to start your own business, you’ll be taking a lot of notes. Hopefully, you developed good note-taking skills while in college because in the “real world,” the right messages can help you get ahead.

If you’re in a meeting and your boss is going over the quarterly projections and outlining new goals and objectives, you don’t want to be the person who has no clue what’s going on over the next few months. Some companies operate on every man for himself concept, so it will be up to you to keep track of your projects and deadlines.

How to Prioritize

You have a big presentation that you have to make at work, your daughter needs help with her homework, your anniversary is next week, the new season of Game of Thrones is about to start, and your fantasy football league is underway. What do you do? PRIORITIZE!

As college students, having to prioritize a bunch of different activities and responsibilities is nothing new. So when it’s time to juggle 20 things at once, you’re able to do it like a boss. You’ve probably been in the position where you have four term papers due, a group presentation to put together, a club event to organize, two tests to study for, and a part-time job. Once you’re able to get through all that, you’re pretty much a master at prioritizing and multitasking.

How to Work with Lazy People

Remember that group assignment that Billy just sat back on while everyone else did all the work? Well, that same scenario will probably occur throughout your working career. Luckily for you, the college has already prepared you to deal with the weak link in the chain, so you’re no stranger to lazy co-workers.

When someone’s not pulling their weight in a group assignment, you can usually kick them out and let your professor know why you did it. Things are a little different in an office, as you’ll have to work with that same person for as long as you’re both working for the same company. But you can still use some of the same skills you used in college, like delegating tasks and dividing work among all the group members.

However, in the workplace, it’s a lot easier to get away with not pulling your weight. You’ve probably seen this at jobs or internships you’ve worked at while in college. So there’s a good chance you’ll run into it a lot more. But at least it won’t be a new phenomenon when it happens.

How to Do Things You Don’t Want to Do

As a functioning member of society, you’re going to have to do many things you don’t want to do. It’s just a fact of life. Whether it’s going to an event, attending a boring training seminar, or driving 50 minutes to work, life is filled with things you don’t want to do. But so is college, so you’ll get plenty of practice on how to deal with it.

Whether it’s taking classes that have little to nothing to do with your major or waking up early to go to your English class because it’s the only time with an open spot, your college career is going to force you to do a lot of things you wouldn’t do if you had a choice.

How to Be Resourceful

Perhaps one of the most incredible lifelong skills you learn in college is how to get a lot more out of fewer resources. Whether it’s taking advantage of student discounts, hunting for the cheapest possible way to get your textbooks, or making a $20 stretch, you know how to make the most out of your resources.

When you graduate, and you’re broke, that resourcefulness will come in handy. You might have to live like Mark Cuban while he was chasing his dream. If you’re able to retain that mindset of making the most out of everything you have after college, you’ll avoid falling into the trap of being the broke college graduate.

Remember, college is about a lot more than just getting a degree or what you’re learning in class. Use it as an opportunity to develop essential life skills that you can use for the rest of your life.

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