Essential Life Skills to Learn Before College


Receiving higher education is a crucial stage in life. Invaluable experiences, personal growth, new skills, and self-discovery are synonymous with college life. Unlike high school, college presents itself with greater freedom and responsibility. This is a transformative phase where you mature mentally, emotionally, and physically to navigate life’s intricacies better.

Therefore, as a future student, you must be equipped with various life skills. These life skills will help you settle in perfectly in your new environment and pursue your education seamlessly.

Let’s get started.

1. Adaptability

Diverse cultures, unfamiliar routines and systems, and even new environments often lead to culture shock. Many college students start experiencing anxiety and homesickness right after moving to a new place. However, learning how to adapt will help you adjust to new conditions.

Remember to be open-minded, inquisitive, and reach out for assistance to improve your adaptability skills. Additionally, in new and challenging environments, be positive and take it as a chance to overcome and achieve new things.

2. Cooking

Cooking is an essential life skill that could help you even after college. If you still count on your parents or siblings to prepare a meal for you, that will fully be on you going forward. Furthermore, cooking is healthier and more affordable than eating out.

Therefore, learn how to cook by observing, watching videos on YouTube, and searching for recipes and instructions online. You can start with simple meals like baked chicken, pasta, and omelet.

3. Stress Management

Finances, homesickness, coursework, relationships, and examinations are some of the huge factors that cause college students a lot of stress. To improve your stress management skills, create a healthy workout regimen, eat a balanced diet, sleep well, and practice mindfulness. Taking these steps will gradually help you master the art of stress management when you finally land in college.

One of the most important factors to consider is safety, which some students, unfortunately, ignore. Crimes like theft, assault, robbery, and kidnapping happen in some schools. That’s why you need to choose your college carefully. Nuwber has a list of safe campuses that you can explore, but either way, do your due diligence and research as many schools as possible.

4. Time Management

Life moves quickly in college. Juggling between coursework, assignments, parties, and ‘you time’ may be difficult. Time management skills will help you beat the clock and avoid trouble with your lecturers, like penalties for late submissions. Therefore, Good time management skills guarantee a healthy studies-life balance and good academic performance.

5. Cleaning

Just like with cooking, some students can’t do laundry, mop, or do the dishes. To be safe, observe what other people in your family do and pay attention to how washing machines and other cleaning appliances are used.

Furthermore, you don’t want to look stupid when using software-backed cleaning devices like a smart vacuum cleaner. Therefore, learn about cleaning and using the necessary appliances in advance.

6. Budgeting and Money Management

College can be expensive. You don’t want to be saddled with debt after finishing your studies. Therefore, learn how to budget and manage your money. Track your spending, avoid unnecessary debt, and save for emergencies.

You can start putting these skills into practice by taking up a part-time job to pay for your college and necessities. A part-time job is a good option if you don’t want to ask your parents for money.

7. Study Skills

It goes without saying that studies are the main purpose of attending any educational institution. As such, without study skills, it will be difficult to grasp and comprehend new concepts. Learn how to do the following:

  • Taking notes. Pay attention to the art of summary writing to save time during lectures.
  • Listening. Improve your listening skills to memorize important information faster.
  • Revision. Re-read your notes to understand the material better and improve on areas you don’t grasp well.
  • Writing. Learn how to write clear and readable sentences.
  • Using learning devices. Improve your proficiency in using devices such as laptops, tablets, smart pens, noise-blocking headphones, and portable printers.

8. Networking

Prepare to meet with new people and forge meaningful relationships. Networking is one of the crucial purposes of attending college. For example, Jerry Yang and David Filo met at Stanford and later started Yahoo. Larry Page and Sergey Brin likewise met at Stanford and founded Google.

Networking skills will help you:

  • Settle better with support.
  • Learn from other people.
  • Find future opportunities through recommendations.
  • Enjoy meaningful friendships.

9. Research

Higher learning is big on research. Research hones your critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Additionally, in the modern world, more information is needed for new inventions and innovation, and college is the hub of that type of information.

Research will open your mind up to vast topics, feed your curiosity, pique your interest, and even inform you of your suitable career path. For example, while studying a general cybersecurity course, you may start researching further and get hooked on machine learning and AI.

Learn how to look for information, explore library systems, use credible sources, and keep abreast of past and current information.

10.  Interpersonal Communication

Interpersonal communication is so important that some colleges have it as a course unit. This refers to communication that happens between two or more people. Without it, you’d find college lonely, difficult, and boring.

Lack of interpersonal communication causes:

  • Stunted academic and social growth as you hinder new ideas and information from reaching you. It also becomes difficult to seek help.
  • Depression and emotional problems.
  • Isolation.
  • Difficulty building meaningful relationships.
  • Negativity and conflict.

Before college, learn to initiate small talk and engage strangers, neighbors, and schoolmates on different topics. Listen actively, maintain eye contact, and be open-minded about differing opinions. Ask for feedback, show empathy, and avoid assumptions and unconfirmed suppositions.


All people need to adapt to different circumstances in the diverse stages of life. College comes with a peculiar set of life demands that force us to learn essential skills that make it easier to fit in and enjoy a smooth learning experience. These skills will also come in handy after college. So don’t be afraid to try new things and pave the way toward a positive future.

Join our list

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Leave a Comment

Share via
Join our list

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Send this to a friend