Succeeding in college isn’t just about getting a high GPA, acing your thesis, or memorizing all those dates and formulas. The life lessons you take away from being in school are the ones that will stick with you and will help you navigate through the rest of your life.
Here are valuable lessons that you must also learn while you’re in college, which will certainly help you find success after graduation.
Time Management and Work-Life Balance
One of the most important skills to take out of college is navigating through long to-do lists, and managing your own time–knowing which task is more urgent, which one can be done at a later time, which ones can be delegated, and which ones you can request to be moved at a later time.
The importance of time management isn’t limited to academics and extracurricular activities alone– part of this is also learning when to pause, get some rest, and have fun. This skill is especially important when you start working full time and take on more responsibilities.
Resourcefulness and Resilience
College life will likely find you through times when you have no choice but to stretch your resources and make things work. There will be times when you will feel overwhelmed, and find yourself on the verge of giving up. But how you weather through these challenges will play a key part in determining your chances of success in the future.
Resourcefulness doesn’t just mean budgeting and paying for things out of your own pocket but also knowing when and who to ask for help. Understand that as a student, you have a support system in place, whether they may be your classmates, professors, family, or friends— all you need to do is be humble enough to ask.
While most of us had the full support of our parents and teachers in high school, college is a whole different game where your own success is pretty much entirely up to you. Who else will be picking out your courses, ensuring you have all materials needed for your studies, and making sure all aspects of your enrollment are taken care of, but yourself? While, again, it’s important to remember that your family and friends will be there to provide support, every major decision in your college life will be your responsibility to make.
Building and Maintaining Integrity
The challenges of college life may tempt you to cheat or take shortcuts just to get by. While it might be a relief to take the easy route, getting used to cutting corners may have negative consequences for your own career, and even your own reputation later on. It’s important to make a habit of taking the honorable route and doing the right thing early on.
Working with Others and Navigating Personalities
Freeloading and uncooperative groupmates aren’t only limited to school— they’re a reality you will have to deal with as you enter the real world. How you manage and interact with these types of people will help you in building valuable skills that will prove to be useful in the workplace, and other difficult situations in life.
While it’s nice to be able to maintain peace and get along with everyone, learning how to have difficult and uncomfortable conversations is often key to being able to get things done.
This lesson might seem trivial compared to the rest, but making a habit of taking notes is something that will help you not just in college lectures, but also for the rest of your career. Whatever path you choose to take in life, you will be going through piles of information and things to do from meetings, workshops, seminars, or even random conversations with your bosses or clients in the middle of the day. Don’t make the mistake of trusting that you will remember every single detail in your head—whip out your notebook and pen, or your phone, and write that down. Your future self will thank you for it.