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Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

  • after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.
  • after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Main image courtesy of CNBC.

Whether your graduation day is fast approaching, or still a few years off, your future should always be a part of your present plans. While you’re at college, you’re responsible for ensuring you’re doing all you can to succeed at being a student, which includes absorbing your class materials, meeting new friends, and growing up all at the same time. College is a unique time in your life, where you start to make choices that can have an impact on your future.

Regardless of which course of study you’re following or what your major is, there are essential skills you should learn in college that will help you make your post-grad life a breeze. We’re not saying that if you follow this checklist to a tee, your life will be smooth sailing. Instead, we think that college is the perfect time to start learning and understanding that these skills will help you have a life that you enjoy after your graduation. 

In this article we’re going to discuss:

  • Why it’s important to home specific life skills while you’re at school
  • The 6 skills that should be on your radar to help you transition to post-grad life

Why it’s important to start honing your skills while at school

Use the time while you’re at school to practice skills that can benefit you beyond graduation

college students in a classroom
Learning some important life skills while you’re still in school is a fantastic idea. Image courtesy of Getting Smart

While staying on top of your studies takes priority when you’re at school, as you know, college is so much more than just academics. Getting a solid education to prepare yourself for the future is extremely important, which is why you’re working each day to keep your grades up. After all, the subjects you study in college are aimed to challenge you, but to also prepare you for entering the workforce.

In addition to school, college is also the time in your life where you’re starting to step into adulthood, and with that comes a variety of different responsibilities. While we all may joke that #adulting is hard, it’s also incredibly rewarding to have the chance to experience all kinds of new opportunities. 

In college you start to define yourself, whether that’s what major you choose to study, who you like to hang out with, or what groups on campus that pique your interests. It’s also a good time to start thinking about some important life skills that can really make a difference in your life.

We’re not saying you need to master these skills while you’re at school, but it seems to be the appropriate time to consider that learning them can only benefit you. Unfortunately, college doesn’t last forever, so why not be prepared when you graduate? Not only with all the knowledge you’ve acquired, but with some important lessons that can actually help you live a life you enjoy post-grad. 

6 skills you’ll need to make post-grad life a breeze

Think about how you can start making steps to incorporating these skills in your routine

college student at graduation day
It’s important to think about your future before graduation day. Image courtesy of Rhodes College.

While there are many skills you learn in college, both in and out of the classroom, there are some that can really make a difference in your future life. By taking the time out now to start to think about sharpening these 6 skills, you can only set yourself up for success!  

Learn to define your own style

When you’re at college, it’s the perfect time to finally understand that you need to do you. Even though racing to classes, staying up to finish papers, or meeting groups on the weekends to complete projects doesn’t leave a whole lot of time to define your style, there isn’t a better time or place to do so than while you’re at college. Defining your style really sets the tone for not only how you dress and present yourself to the world, but how you choose to decorate your living space. 

Trends can be fun, but they come and go, while style does not. When you’re thinking about your personal style, it helps to keep a couple of things in mind.

  • Be authentic and aware. Think about what kind of style of decor makes you happy. You don’t have to turn to Instagram or Pinterest for this, because chances are you know what makes you smile when you see it. Always been a fan of the color green? Want to include famous works of art on your walls? You can’t go wrong with your personal decor style because when you’re honest about what makes you happy, it really shows
  • Learn to let go. It’s okay to move away from certain styles that you liked in the past, and it’s important to remember your style may change in the future! What’s really essential is knowing what you like and dislike.
  • Own your style. We’re not saying how you decorate your space, or what you choose to wear will be the most important decisions of the year, but it can certainly make a difference in how you feel about yourself. Your style is a reflection of your personality, and when you like something, why not surround yourself with it? It’s fine to get a little inspiration from the pros or to see what’s hot on social media, but when it comes down to it, it’s going to be you who lives in your space, so own it!

Having the confidence to choose what you like over what other people like can be a little intimidating at first, however, once you get the hang of it, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. When decorating your space, go with what speaks to you, but here are a few suggestions on what you can include.

  • Wall art. Choose a theme or go eclectic with the art you display on your walls. Make space for framed photos too, and maybe even your diploma.
  • Removable wallpaper. Having an accent wall can really show off your personal style. Whether you want to go with paint (if it’s allowed) or removable wallpaper, this is one way that’s guaranteed to make your space pop. 
removeable wallpaper in a dorm
Removable wallpaper can really be a game changer. Image courtesy of OCM
  • Rugs. Nothing can tie the room together quite like a rug. If your space already has carpeting, no biggie, you can easily incorporate a throw rug on top. Choose a color theme or add a little pop to a neutral space with a patterned rug.
  • Textured pillows or blankets. Make your space a cozy sanctuary that you just can’t wait to come to. Textured pillows and blankets on your bed or couch offer you a comfortable way to relax after a long day. 

Be open to change

Becoming an adult means learning how to cope with change. It’s best to get used to it because after all, the only constant is change. Life at college can be pretty structured. You get up, go to class, eat, have some down time, study, hang out with friends, etc. You know what to expect from your days, and usually, your evenings. Chances are you’ve also found a group of people to hang out with, and that you feel comfortable around.

But remember when you first arrived on campus and didn’t know a soul? That was a huge change, it was probably scary. While you may not want to relive that exact feeling again, you may find yourself in unfamiliar territory after graduation. What if you need to relocate for a job? You’ll need to find a place to live and make new friends.

Or what if you return to your home city and need to find your own space and a new job? That’s a lot of change to handle. While you’re at school practice putting yourself out there, and try new things. Yes, it can be a little scary to reach out to a stranger to say hi, or to ask to sit with someone new in the cafeteria, but getting used to different situations can make you that much more adaptable. 

Life can throw you curveballs sometimes, so having the ability to accept it and respond appropriately is a great skill to have. 

Learn how to budget

We know, most college students must have a very small budget, and that’s okay! You’ve got to start somewhere. Budgeting skills are a great way to practice #adulting, and learning to have a healthy relationship with money is very helpful. Start keeping track of what you spend monthly, and what you bring in. If you want to bring in more, consider checking out the part time jobs available either on campus or close to it.

Also, at this time start to get used to putting a little money away each month to your savings. While it may not be much, it is something that you can have in case of an emergency. This is an important life skill to have throughout your adult life, because you never know what may happen in the future. 

In order to cut down your spending: 

  • Try eating out or getting coffee less
  • Cancel subscriptions you don’t use
  • Set a limit on what you want to spend a week, and stick to it

Work on communication and building relationships

Learning how to communicate with people of all walks of life is a hard skill to master, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start working on it. While it’s easy to speak to your friends, learning how to effectively communicate with others can be difficult. This is because we typically speak more than listen, which means we’re not giving others our full attention. Try offering your full attention when your classmates or professor are speaking in class and really allow what they’re saying to digest. Then, see if you can make a comment, or ask a question that builds on what they said. 

Seek out and develop relationships with your professors, especially if their interests and expertise can assist you after graduation. Ask them how they got where they are, and if they have any suggestions for you. Learning to foster relationships helps to grow your network, and is useful when you’re starting to map out what career path you’d like to follow. 

college students networking
Meeting new people can sound scary, but it’s incredibly rewarding both personally and professionally. Image courtesy of Quick and Dirty Tips.

Make goals

Learning to write out short and long term goals can help you get you where you want to be. You already know that if you want to get in shape, you need to make a lot of short term goals in order to reach the long term goal of losing weight and building muscle. The same is true for making your dreams tangible. Start off with a long term goal, such as, “I want to work in a profession that will make a difference helping the planet.” 

That’s a huge goal, and it can seem almost unachievable due to how many options there are to do something like that. That’s why breaking it out into short term goals is much more doable. To reach that goal, consider:

  • Making a list of professions that work to help the planet
  • See if you can ID specific companies that align with that long term goal
  • Make it a point to apply to jobs or network at events that can help you build relationships with those companies

Stress management and learning it’s okay to say no

College can be stressful, and we’re sure you’ve had your share of managing finals, papers, and group presentations. By the time you graduate, you probably know how to manage stress. But it’s important to remember that you can always build on ways to manage the new kind of stress that will come in your post-grad life. One of those ways is to learn to say no, and know that it’s okay to do so. 

If you have too much going on, or need some time to relax and decompress, you are allowed to say no to people and not feel guilty. While this may not always be achievable in the workplace, you can at least be confident approaching a supervisor and laying out why you can’t take on more work (which will cause more stress). 

You don’t have to be everything, all the time for everyone. It’s important to keep your stress levels manageable, and that includes saying no.

We hope you take these 6 skills and start to apply them while you’re still in college. While there are all kinds of life lessons out there, learning to hone these is sure to make the transition to post-grad life a little easier.