As a college student, you're probably thinking "I didn't sign up for this! I just wanted to sleep in and attend occasional parties!" But let's face it, college is not just about cramming for exams and surviving on ramen noodles, it's also about developing the skills that will make you successful in the real world. And let me tell you, the real world is a challenging and reward place, so you better be prepared.
In this blog post, I will discuss 10 things every college student should know by the time they graduate, and how to apply those things in the world (or at least how to fake it till you make it).
Time management: One of the most important skills you can develop as a college student is the ability to manage your time effectively. This means learning how to prioritize tasks, like finishing that essay before watching the latest episode of "Stranger Things" or "The Office" (again). To develop this skill, try creating a schedule or to-do list, and learn to say no to commitments that do not align with your goals (like that party you really don't want to attend).
Communication skills: Another essential skill is the ability to communicate effectively. This is important in both academic and professional settings, and it is something that can be developed through practice. Try joining a debate club or giving presentations in class, or even learning a second language to impress that cute international student you've been eyeing.
Problem-solving skills: The ability to analyze and solve problems is a valuable skill in any field. To develop this skill, take a course in statistics or data analysis, or participate in a case study or simulation to practice analytical thinking and problem-solving (or just ask Siri or Alexa to solve it for you).
Teamwork: The ability to work well with others is essential for success in many careers. To develop this skill, participate in a group project or join a club or team, or volunteer for a community service project to practice collaboration and teamwork (or just make sure you have a good group of friends that will bail you out when you procrastinate).
Adaptability: The ability to adapt to new situations and environments is important for success in a constantly changing world. Seek out opportunities to learn about different cultures or work with people from diverse backgrounds (or just order different types of pizza for the next party).
Financial literacy: Understanding basic financial concepts and principles is essential for managing personal finances and making informed financial decisions. Take a personal finance course or read books on the subject, or talk to a financial advisor or mentor to get practical advice on managing money (or just stick to the student discounts and free events).
Digital literacy: Familiarity with technology and the ability to use it effectively is becoming increasingly important in many fields. To develop this skill, learn coding or programming, or take a course on digital marketing or social media to learn how to use digital tools effectively in a business setting (or just make sure you have a good filter for your Instagram photos).
Self-motivation: The ability to set and achieve goals, and to stay motivated and focused on achieving them, is essential for success in college and in the working world. To develop this skill, set clear, specific goals and develop a plan to achieve them, and surround yourself with supportive people who will encourage and inspire you (or just bribe your friends with pizza).
Critical thinking: The ability to evaluate information, arguments, and evidence in order to make sound judgments and decisions is an essential skill in any field. To develop this skill, take a course in philosophy or critical thinking, or seek out diverse perspectives and read widely to expose yourself to different ideas and ways of thinking (or just listen to your gut and trust your instincts, they rarely lead you astray, especially when it comes to choosing between pizza toppings).
Networking: The ability to build and maintain professional relationships is important for career advancement and success. To develop this skill, attend networking events and conferences to meet people in your field of interest, or join a professional organization or association related to your career goals to build connections and learn from others (or just make sure you have a good LinkedIn profile and a firm handshake).
In conclusion, these 10 things every college student should know by the time they graduate, and how to apply those things in the world, are essential for success. But remember, don't take yourself too seriously, college is also about having fun and making memories that will last a lifetime (and trust me, you'll need those memories to laugh about during your future job interviews).