3 Skills You Should Master Before You Start College

Here are some skills to master before college

Flickr user kris krug

College life can be challenging, especially during that first year. There are so many changes that you have to deal with all at once, from the more extensive curriculum to the fact that you are living away from home for the first time and have to make so many decisions yourself. Here are 3 skills to master to help you have an easier first year in college.

Time Management

This is hands-down the most important skills to master before you head off to college. You have classes, homework, and project assignments to keep track of and there’s no parent to remind you or make sure that you schedule some time to study for your upcoming exams. Keeping track of it all and making sure it all gets done on time is your responsibility. This is where your time-management skills will come into play.

You need to be able to fit in time for home-work, additional assignments, extracurricular activities, social life, and your part-time job while also making sure you are leaving enough time to get a good night’s sleep. Sacrificing your sleep to fit everything else into your 24 hour day is not good time management.

Don’t wait to get into college and then try and manage your time. Start working on your time management skills while you are in high school itself.


Money is going to be tight when you are in college. Learning how to manage your money is a crucial skill and one that will hold you in good stead long after you have graduated.

As with time-management, don’t wait till you get to college to learn how to manage your money. It’s never too early to start.

When creating a budget, start by calculating your income and expenditure. Then make a list of essential expenses for the month. This could be your rent, groceries, cost of transportation and cost of maintaining your apartment among others. Make sure you set aside enough money to cover all of these costs. If you have any balance after you have paid off the essentials, you may consider spending on a special treat—maybe a dinner out or some other entertainment.

Better still, if you have any money left over after taking care of the essentials, you could put it towards paying back your student loans in order to reduce your overall debt when you graduate. That’s the best use you can make of any disposable income you have as a college student.


If you’ve never used the washing machine before, the time to learn how is before you go to college. Learn to separate lights and darks, how to determine the right amount of detergent for each load and how to take care of delicate clothing. Mom or dad may get it done at home but they won’t be there in college to remind you not to put your delicates in with your jeans and heavy jackets or not to put your red socks in with your white shirt.

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