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 with 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. Learning how to prioritize your responsibilities and balance various commitments can help you adapt to life at school without feeling overwhelmed.
2. Goal Setting
Writing down goals can help make them feel more real. Your goals should be attainable but not too easy, 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 or 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 and honed through social interactions.
Networking is an important aspect in building and advancing your career. While you may not be thinking of life after graduation yet, it’s never too early to get started on your networking skills by learning how to introduce yourself and ask for advice. Familiarize yourself with professional social media sites such as Linkedin to help you get in contact with others in your chosen field.
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 teaching assistants.
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.