It’s never too early to learn new skills, especially if you know these skills will be central for college success. College is very different from high school; your responsibilities and the self-discipline required to meet them increase drastically. By cultivating these skills as a high school student you will be able to prepare adequately for college life.
1. Time Management
Coursework, classes, and exams are your basic responsibilities in college, so it’s essential to be able to manage your time wisely to avoid pressing deadlines and failure to commit to your responsibilities. Honing your organizational skills will help you act proactively and manage your time more efficiently.
Time management is closely related to your study habits. To manage your time efficiently you need to review your notes daily, expand on them, and assign time for research and comprehension, especially for challenging textbook reading.
2. Stress Management
College can be very stressful if you’re not prepared for it. During your high school years, make an effort to always have your stress levels under control. Sticking to a healthy, balanced lifestyle will ensure your stress can be managed in a sustainable and effective manner.
To avoid feeling overwhelmed, take care of your body and mind; engage in sports, eat healthily, and find channels for expressing your frustration, whether it’s through art, writing, or talking with someone. Knowing how to relax and process your anxieties rationally are two other important aspects of stress management you should master before college starts.
3. Computer Literacy
Technology is changing education from the roots up. Having basic computer literacy skills, like touch typing and researching, are skills you will find handy in college. Many students find it easier to use a laptop or a tablet for note-taking, so mastering fast and accurate typing skills will facilitate your studying.
4. Critical Thinking
In college you will be expected to critically analyze study material, journal articles, and other often obscurely-written academic material. Critical thinking is the ability to engage intellectually with what you read. Rather than passively taking in new knowledge, critical thinking and analyzing means you assess, challenge, and then absorb new knowledge in ways that ensure it can be beneficial and, as much as possible, objective and freed from dominant discourses.
Note-taking is a complex skill. It requires attention, critical thinking abilities, and efficient writing so as to not miss any valuable remarks by your instructor. High school is a great time for starting to work on your note-taking skills, which you will find to be essential for college success.
If you choose to use a laptop or tablet for note-taking, you need to have advanced typing skills to keep up with your professors’ speech. So better brush up on your typing skills today!
6. Note Reviewing
It’s not enough to take good notes if you never bother studying them. More of a habit than a skill per se, daily reviewing of your notes means less time during exam preparation because you will already have substantially covered and comprehended the study material.
In college you will not have as much support from your parents and instructors; college is a more independent road you’ll have to walk. For that reason, being able to find motivation internally is crucial. Motivation is what will help you stick to your efforts and resist the temptation to give up when things get ugly.
Discover what motivates and inspires you. It’s what will push you to achieve your goals and make you a better person and an achiever.
The increased independence college grants a student is often undercut by that student’s yielding to bad habits of procrastination and unreliability. Students naturally prefer to engage with more fun free time than educational activities, but if they do so to excess, their academic performance suffers. Avoiding procrastination and successfully committing to your duties is a central skill for college success.
9. Concentration and Study Environment
College is full of distractions, and that’s why you need to know how to concentrate and shut off any diversions. A quiet, isolated study environment that also inspires learning will help you stay focused on your academic work. There’s no better time to practice this skill than in high school, which is already a very noisy and distracting place!
10. Completing Assignments
In college there will be no one to remind you of your responsibilities, and as an adult you will be expected to meet deadlines for all your coursework. Get into the habit of committing to your tasks and do so ahead of schedule. You never know what might come up, so it’s better have extra time on your hands than scrambling to compensate for unexpected events that take up the time you’d planned on using.
These ten skills will boost your performance during high school and prepare you for college life, and your professional life thereafter. Start mastering them one by one and you will be able to start and finish your college years full of confidence and enjoying your well-earned success.
About the Author: Chassie Lee is the Content Expert for eReflect – creator of Ultimate Vocabulary Software which is currently being used by tens of thousands of happy customers in over 110 countries.
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