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15 Skills You Need For College This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     Transitioning from the comfort of your home and the protection of your family to living essentially on your own can be exciting and confusing, which is why it helps to be prepared. Here are some skills you definitely need for college.

1. How to read and write at grade level. College classes often demand a great deal of reading and writing - even math courses.

2. How to do basic arithmetic without a calculator. Some math and science professors don’t allow calculators on tests and quizzes, so sharpen up this skill now.

3. How to find a book in a library. College papers often require a lot of research, so chances are you’ll be spending time in the library (or at least you should be). Save yourself time by learning the basics of the Dewey Decimal or Library of Congress system.

4. How to study properly for a test. If you’re like many high school students, you may have never learned how to do this. Instead, you crammed the period before and then dumped out the information, never to recall it again. But you can’t afford to do this in college! Ask a college student you know for tips.

5. How to mooch Internet. Internet service can be expensive, and your college may not provide it, so get familiar with the area businesses, such as cafés, that offer free Wi-Fi.

6. How to do laundry. Your parents probably have told you not to mix reds with whites, but you never listened. Well, now’s the time to ask Mom and Dad for a lesson in Laundry 101 - they won’t be around to help you when you live away from home!

7. How to keep a budget. Even if your parents help you pay for everything, you still need to understand how to spend wisely because their funds are not limitless. Decide how much you’ll spend each month on books, food, entertainment, etc.

8. How to pack a suitcase. If you live on campus, chances are you’re going to move to and from home at least for the summer and holidays, if not more often, so learn how to pack quickly and effectively.

9. How to cook. You can’t live on cafeteria food alone (unless you’re blessed with dining halls that serve a wide variety of options), and eating out all the time can be expensive.

10. How to maintain a balanced diet. It’s tempting to survive on just corn dogs and ice cream, but you can get sick easily if you don’t eat right. It’s also difficult to concentrate in class and study if your brain isn’t well nourished.

11. How to drive a car. It’s important to know how to drive, even if you live in a big city where it’s impractical to have a car. You may need to drive home during breaks or to an internship that your college arranges for you.

12. How to read bus and train schedules. This is imperative when you travel home to see your family or get an internship that requires you to take the bus or train.

13. How to dress for a formal event. You’ll no longer have Mom nagging you to dress up for special occasions like parties and job interviews, so learn how to tie a tie, select proper clothes, etc.

14. How to write a thoughtful thank-you note. You’ll probably have many guest speakers and terrific professors in college whom you’ll want to thank, and writing a nice note is a great way to express your appreciation.

15. How to read the newspaper and watch the news in an educated way. If you haven’t already developed your own political ideas, it’s time to begin thinking about the world and analyzing how the media presents global news. Remember that the world is always changing, so your thoughts shouldn’t remain stagnant.

You’ll survive if you forget to pack your favorite CD, but these are some things you definitely don’t want to leave home without!

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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This article has 8 comments. Post your own!

JanelleMunoz24 said...
Nov. 23, 2013 at 9:11 am:
If you want to buy a car, you would have to get the personal loans. Furthermore, my brother usually uses a student loan, which occurs to be really fast.
 
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ALFREDAArnold30 said...
Nov. 23, 2013 at 9:05 am:
All people deserve very good life and loans or student loan can make it much better. Just because freedom relies on money state.
 
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thescriptforlove said...
May 2, 2012 at 4:03 pm:
Wow. I don't like politics, but in my major i want to go into. Thanks! 
 
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CATSARETHEBOMB said...
Feb. 17, 2011 at 6:10 am:
Wow, thanks. I was really nervous about college but now I think I'm more confident and better off.
 
Wildflower30 replied...
Dec. 22, 2011 at 1:33 am :
Just what I needed! :D
 
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Shereen.R said...
Oct. 21, 2009 at 11:55 pm:
I really like this article , its very forward and to the point. Also its very true. I am a college student now , and these things really do apply. Keep up the good work!
 
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happy said...
Mar. 28, 2009 at 8:58 am:
this artical is really nice . m in collge n m facing this problem. u really know evrything .thnk u ,i know where i need to improve .
 
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jessica said...
Dec. 5, 2008 at 5:08 pm:
nice i like it and i love the way you write email back!
 
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