Life Skills to Learn Before College

Gabriella Scalf
Published on
March 17, 2023

Attending college comes with new challenges that you may have never experienced before when you were living at home with a support system like your parents. Like most young adults, there are a ton of practical skills many of us have not yet learned. Whether the task at hand is large or small, there are quite a few life skills you need to know before heading off to college.

  1. How to Manage Money

Managing bills and weekly expenses can become difficult if you aren't familiar with regular expenses. You will need to know how to save money until the next source of income reaches your bank account. Credit cards can be incredibly helpful in emergency situations, but there is no need to have more than one credit card. Learning how to pay bills through the mail by writing a check or creating an automatic schedule through your credit card company can be incredibly helpful if you are a forgetful person. 

  1. Time Management

A common misconception about college is that you have more time than before. It is true that you’re in class less than you are in high school; however, you might have to dedicate more time to studying since the classes in college are more rigorous. Most students also have to factor a part-time job into their already busy schedule, which limits their time even more. Free time is extremely important, and being able to say no to activities that you don't believe to be a good use of your time is crucial.

  1. Basic First Aid

During your time at college, you'll end up not feeling well and will need to know how to care for yourself. When you start to get sick, knowing which medication to take for which symptoms will reduce the amount of time you feel ill. Having basic supplies like bandages, gauze, and other supplies on hand is pivotal just in case of emergencies. Also, be able to know when going to the hospital or getting urgent care is needed.

  1. How to cook/eat healthy 

Learning how to cook a few simple meals can save you a major amount of money rather than ordering takeout multiple times a day. Depending on the college, dining halls can have limited hours, which may not align with your schedule due to class time or work schedules. Most residence halls have communal kitchens that allow students to cook their own meals in a full sized kitchen. Along with being able to cook, you should learn how to choose and cook foods that are beneficial to your health. An imbalanced diet can have negative effects on your overall health, like increased fatigue and headaches. These symptoms from bad eating habits can negatively affect your performance in class.

  1. How to stay safe

Living in a new city can be scary, and you should know what signs to watch out for as you venture into the real world alone for the first time. You should never walk alone at night in a poorly lit area. Shortcuts can save time, but if not done correctly, they can be dangerous. Staying alert and not walking while looking at your phone is important to your safety. Some colleges offer an escort service to take you wherever you might need to go, accompanied by someone so you feel safe.

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