College is a time for young people to grow and gain some independence. It is also a place you go to learn a specific subject and who you want to become in adulthood. It wouldn’t hurt to pick up a few life skills before you leave, though.

You are expected to handle a lot on your own from the very start of your college journey. Not everyone knows what to expect when they first show up on campus, so it is worth knowing the following things beforehand.

Conflict Resolution

Living with siblings can prove to be challenging. However, you learn how to deal with these family members and their differences over time. It is a completely different experience when living in a dorm room with a group of strangers for the first time.

Going to college should bring you into contact with people from all walks of life. As such everyone will bring in their own habits and routines. This is a sure-fire way to breed conflict among a new group of people. Therefore, you can expect to butt heads with your new roommates. These conflicts could present themselves as a few silent moments or a full-blown argument. While it is important to know how to live with these new people, it is also worth knowing how to settle an argument. That way, you can settle any disputes that may arise and continue to live peacefully as friends.

Manage Money

Very few people on the planet know how to live as frugally as a student does. Every student will quickly realise that you have to live on a very tight budget as soon as college starts. This means that your wardrobe and diet will have to undergo some drastic changes.

Anyone who has lived with their parents for a long time may struggle to know how to manage a weekly budget themselves. You can start learning to budget by prioritising the things you will need to spend money on first. Sadly, that may mean that you spend a few weeks getting your food budget correct as you say no to a lot of nights out and parties.

Job Interview Techniques

One clear way to solve any of your money issues is to get a part-time job. Unfortunately, this is an endeavour that is more difficult than it sounds- especially if you haven’t had a job before.

Writing a resume should be easy enough, and most students will find plenty of help with this task from other students or from programs on campus. The one part of the job process that most new candidates struggle with is the job interview. This is a unique experience that no one can prepare you for. All you can do is try to project confidence and be clear about your expectations.

Getting Around

Since you are likely to have to budget heavily in your first few months at college, running a car is probably out of the question. This means that you will have to find other ways to get around when living on your own for the first time.

Your lecture halls and the college library should all be within walking distance of your dormitory. But some college events may require you to travel a bit further than normal. For example, a social event in the next town over or a trip home for the weekend is too good to miss out on. Some of your new friends may have been lucky enough to own a car, but you can’t rely on this happening. Therefore, it is a good idea to research the local area before you arrive. This way, you can find out which transport links are best to get you around, whether that is by bus, train, or taxi.

Note Taking

Getting this far in the education system may cause you to think that you know how best to approach your upcoming lectures. However, taking a college class is very different from a class in high school.

You will have seminars based on your chosen subject. These are closer to a classroom setting where you can discuss ideas with your fellow students. Then you have the lectures, which are unlike anything that you have probably experienced before. These are normally hour-long sessions where a teacher will talk at length about a specific subject. It is impossible to remember all this information at once, so you will need to learn about taking notes. Note-taking aims to present information in a way that you are likely to remember for your exams and assessments. As such, it is a skill that you can develop over time. Therefore, you can develop a way to take notes that reflect how you learn best.

Tech Skills

The 21st-century college program Is reliant on digital technology because of the speed and efficiency it affords both students and teachers. As such, you will be expected to write out all your assessments and submit them using a computer.

While this notion is not too daunting for most young college students, it is worth learning more about the tech you use to make your college life as easy as possible. For example, a PDF compressor can make emails send more quickly, and keyboard shortcuts can reduce the time it takes to finish an assessment significantly. Experiment with some tech skills before you head to college, and you will find your workload far less of a challenge.

Doing Laundry

Laundry quickly becomes a major issue for new college students. Many students often start to wonder how their parents ever managed to do it all while they were growing up.

You should have access to laundry facilities in your dormitory building. However, having access to these machines isn’t going to prevent you from overdoing a load or ruining some of your favourite clothes. That is why it is important to spend some time watching and learning about how to do laundry from whoever did it at home. Washing your clothes is not something that you want to learn on the fly, after all.

How To Pursue New Interests

Anyone who has just arrived on a college campus probably already knows exactly what they want to study. Fortunately, the major that you pick will end up being just a small part of your college life. Think back to your high school years and remember how much of your time was spent socialising and doing extra-curricular activities that you love. However, college is a fresh start.

Most of the things you enjoyed before college were probably presented to you as a result of how available they were in your previous living area. Moving away to another part of the country opens you up to a whole new range of experiences. That is why you should think about some of the new interests and experiences that you want to pursue during this next phase of your life. College only lasts around four years, after all.


Attending college should be a time of exploration and learning. As such, you do not want any of the issues above spoiling your experience. That is why it is so important to learn these life skills before you head out to college.