7 Skills to Learn Before Freshman Year - College Planning

7 Skills to Learn Before Freshman Year

Adapting to college life can be challenging for some students, especially if you are living away from home for the first time. Prepare yourself for a successful transition to life on campus by learning these seven important skills:

1. Time management

Managing your own time is often one of the most difficult adjustments that new students make. At college there is no one there to remind you to attend your classes or study for your midterms. Learn how to prioritize your responsibilities and balance various commitments to help yourself adapt to life at school.

2. Goal Setting

According to a study performed by Dominican University, writing down goals can help you achieve more. Your goals should be attainable but difficult, so that you really have to push yourself to accomplish them. Be sure to focus on both long- and short- term goals, and break larger goals down into smaller steps to help you see your progress.

3. Roommate Etiquette

The most important rule of thumb when living with roommates is to clean up after yourself. Agree on a schedule for cleaning shared rooms like bathrooms and kitchens. Also, work with your roommates to lay down some basic rules, and always respect each other's personal space and property.

4. Interpersonal Skills

At college you will interact with fellow students, instructors and professors, landlords and RAs, coworkers, and many others. Good communication skills will help you get the most out of relationships while you're in school and also later, in your career. Interpersonal skills are most often learned through social interaction, so get out there and meet people.

5. Networking

According to a study from Cornell University, 70% of all jobs are found through networking. Get a head start on your networking skills by learning how to introduce yourself, and ask for advice, in a professional way. Familiarize yourself with professional social media sites such as Linkedin and Google+ to help you get in contact with others in your chosen field. And, when you speak with leaders and other professionals, don't be afraid to ask for advice.

6. Studying

In high school students can often do well by memorizing facts. To be successful in college you'll need to learn how to take effective lecture notes, study for tests, do outside research, and seek assistance from professors and TAs. Talk with upperclassmen and advisors who may be able to help you develop the right study skills.

7. Budgeting

For students on a tight budget, learning how to manage your money is a critical skill. Start by estimating your income and expenses. Then prioritize your expenses and determine how much money you'll need to set aside every month to cover those costs. Any money that you have left over can be used for extras like entertainment, or dropped into savings.