10 Life Skills Teens Need to be Successful in College

These Skills are More Important than Academic Skills

Make sure your teen has the skills she needs to become an independent adult.
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Just because your teen obtained his high school diploma and an acceptance letter from college doesn't mean he's ready for higher education. Although academic skills are an important factor in college success, life skills are even more important.

Most of these life skills aren’t taught in school so it’s up to you to make sure your teen is ready for college Whether your teen plans to attend a college in another state, or he's planning to live at home while he attends a local school, here are 10 skills he's going to need to be successful:

1. Time Management

There aren’t any structured study halls in college and most professors aren't going to give your child reminders about his homework. College students need to know how to manage their time appropriately so they can devote enough time to studying, working and other activities.

Teach your teen how to manage his time wisely so he’s prepared to be able to juggle all of his responsibilities in college.

2. Budgeting Skills

Unfortunately, college is a time that many students get themselves deeply into debt and they spend the next decade trying to dig themselves out. Make sure your teen understands how to establish a budget and live within his means. Also, make sure your teen has a good understanding of how debt and interest can cause lifelong problems.

3. Problem-Solving Skills

You can’t prepare your child for every problem he’s going to encounter in college. College students encounter a variety of problems ranging from roommate issues to academic problems. By teaching your child how to solve problems on his own, he’ll be better equipped to tackle whatever problems come his way.

4. Ability to Resist Peer Pressure

Peer pressure doesn’t end just because high school is over.

College can be filled with peer pressure to drink, party or skip class. Success in college requires students to be able to resist negative peer pressure.

5. Basic Daily Living Skills

It’s amazing how many teens arrive at college with no idea how to do their own laundry. Make sure your teen has knowledge about basic skills, like cooking, cleaning and good hygiene.

6. Self-Discipline

Most college students experience a new type of freedom that they’ve never before experienced. They get to decide what they want to eat, when they want to sleep and how they want to spend their time with little to no input.

Your teen will need to have self-discipline to ensure he goes to class on the days when he doesn’t want to and that he makes healthy decisions, even when there’s no one watching over his shoulder.

7. Goal Setting Skills

Successful college students need to be able to set goals for themselves so they can pass their classes and prepare for their future career. Teach your teen how to set short and long-term goals and how to create action steps to work toward meeting those goals.

8. Assertiveness Skills

College students need to be able to stand up for themselves and behave assertively. Assertiveness skills will help a student ask questions when he doesn’t understand an assignment or address problems he’s having with his roommate.

9. Communication Skills

Teens need to know how to communicate effectively. It’s an important skill that will serve them well in adulthood and their future career. In college, good communication skills will help a teen establish new relationships, obtain internships and job opportunities and resolve problems with roommates in a peaceful manner.

10. Emotion Regulation Skills

College stirs up a lot of emotions for teens. For some, it can be a time of frustration and loneliness. For others, college can be filled with excitement and happiness. It’s important for teens to have healthy coping skills to help them deal with the wide range of emotions that can be brought on from the stress associated with attending college.

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