5 Skills College Students Should Learn Before Graduating

There are certain skills every student should have before venturing off to college. These skills will help make your time spent in school worthwhile. It doesn’t matter whether you’re going to a major university or attending UAB online from the comfort of your home. Some you will find to be common sense, while others you’ll have to learn. Either way, all of the following skills are practical and recommended if you want to have a pleasant college experience.

Time Management

As an adult, there’s no one to keep you on schedule, so it’s up to you to set your alarm clocks each night and get ready on time. You have to take into account your commute – if you live off campus, then you’ll need to factor in traffic, weather and the overall distance. You’ll also need to manage the time spent on different classes and activities. If you’re signing up for too many extracurricular activities, then you risk jamming yourself up and burning yourself out. Make sure you’re completing all of your tasks on time and setting aside sufficient time to study.

Critical Thinking

The sooner you develop your critical thinking skills the better. This will help you make decisions inside and outside of school. It’s necessary for getting past problems you come across and will make course work easier to understand. With critical thinking, you will be able to come up with creative ways to solve situations you get into.


This is an obvious one, since there will be a ton of research to be done while you’re in college. It’s best to start revving up your research skills well before you graduate from high school. Waiting until college will only make it harder to get into the habit of conducting hours upon hours of research. The Internet isn’t the only resource you can use either – make sure you’re exhausting all available options, including the library and book stores. There’s a lot of academic research you won’t find find on the Web. You may have to sign up for certain sites that are paid, if it is available online. Check with your school to see if you can get access into these resources for free using your student ID.

Public Speaking

It’s inevitable that you will end up speaking in front of a group of people in college. High school does a good job of preparing you for public speaking by having you do projects that later have to be presented in front of the class. To hone this skill, you need to learn how to organize your thoughts and effectively argue them, so that others can understand. Public speaking is also necessary for the workplace, so don’t overlook the importance of developing it now.


Working together with others is another skill that’s normally introduced in high school. You work in teams with other students to research for a project to be presented to the class later on. You have to be good at working independently, as well as as a team. Business courses are excellent for honing this skill even more during your college years.

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