7 Life Skills High Schoolers Need to Build Before College

life skills

They’ve enrolled into college, what’s next? You probably think that the only thing a high schooler needs to do before college is maintain his studying routine and do his best while there. However, there are also several skills they need to build in order not to have any difficulties while there. Some are directly linked to college, while others are mostly connected to the adult life. Let’s not forget – college is not only about education. It’s about learning how to live without parents, how to take care of yourself and become a responsible adult. Here are the seven most important skills any high schooler has to build before college:

1. Managing money

Probably the most important one, managing money is quite challenging for most teenagers. Due to the fact that this is the first time they actually have money of their own, they tend to spend a lot on unnecessary things, such as cinema tickets, endless cups of coffee, or clothes that they don’t really need. Since most teenagers are not aware of the fact that money is easily spent (and there’s never enough of it), the best idea would be to download an app that calculates their finances. That way, they will have an idea on how much they are allowed to spend that day in order to be able to make it through the week or the month.

life skills

2. Planning

Being organized can be extremely helpful while at college. Many teenagers just aren’t neat and organized, so teaching them a lesson about organization and planning is one of the first things you, as a parent should do (if you’re a teenager and reading this, you can do this by yourself). Making a bullet journal is not only quite interesting, but helpful as well, especially in planning your lessons, time for studying and exams.

3. Studying

It’s very common that many high schoolers, even those who did pretty well at school, don’t actually know how to read a college textbook, let alone pass the exams. That is why learning how to study at college is also of the utmost importance. The best way would be to always be prepared, and the time to start is now. Make sure you have all the necessary materials for the upcoming school exams, such as the best SACE notes, and start from there. That way a high schooler can be taught how to prepare for bigger exams at college, and get accustomed to always prepare in advance.

life skills

4. Taking care of themselves

If your child is heading to college, make sure to teach them all the essentials. First of all – washing clothes, as this is probably something they didn’t used to do at home, but at college they will simply have to. Teaching them how to correctly wash their clothes without shrinking them or dying them in another color should be your main focus. Moreover, make sure that your high schooler knows how to go grocery shopping, and teach them all the ways they could save a bit of money while buying food.

5. Cooking

Even though many freshmen have already established meal plans, cooking is an essential life skill and the sooner we teach it to our teenagers, the better. This will not only help them in the future, but can also play a big role in bonding with other students. Cuisine can be a great way for students to share their culture and experiences, and the recipe for their favorite cake can make a dull college day a lot easier.

life skills

6. Finding a good apartment

Most freshmen will live in on-campus dorms, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have to know how to go apartment-hunting and choose the best apartment. This will not only teach them what the necessary things to look for in an apartment are, but will also teach them about the responsibilities of signing a lease and other things that students somehow overlook.

7. Transportation basics

The chances of your high schooler going to another city to study are pretty high, and it’s very important for them to learn how to get around that new place. Let them explore maps, bus stops and bus lines or metro stations. If they’re driving a car, they should always know how to get from point A to point B. Moreover, if they’re heading to college with their car, make sure that they know everything about cars – how to put gas in the car, change tires if needed, and such.

Enrolling at a college is not the only priority of a parent and the high schooler. There are many skills that one has to build in order to become a real adult, and this is just the start.

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11 Replies to “7 Life Skills High Schoolers Need to Build Before College”

  1. Such a great list! I think that learning how to Manage money is one of the most important life skills. Too many people are in debt and need to know how to balance their accounts, pay bills, not purchase items they can’t afford, etc. Laundry is another life skill that I think many college kids could use help with before leaving home.

  2. I appreciate all of these tips. The transition from high school to college or a job and having to figure out things on ones own can certainly be a difficult one. Better to prepare ahead.

  3. You got most of the good ones. I would add, learning how to share close quarters with another person. Some of the boys that my son had for roommates in college were a nightmare! They had no respect for their own space, let along his. So they felt it was ok to use his stuff, or eat his food.

  4. This is such an on-point article! I heard on the radio today that 1 out of 6 college students don’t know how to prepare breakfast for themselves. It was talking about how the majority of students don’t have the necessary life skills to be on their own as they enter college. Many of the topics you wrote about here where mentioned.

  5. I wish all parents would teach their children how to cook and care for a home, maintenance of a home, maintenance of a car, how to write a resume, manage their money and save, and how to deal with the public.

  6. The skills are important for young adults to learn, I know many adults that could benefit from this post.

  7. My niece is going to college this fall and I’ve been tying to instill these skills in her.

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