7 Things You Should Focus On In College Outside The Classroom

Whenever we hear “college,” we often imagine classrooms filled with students rushing through their exams and assignments. Although studying takes up a large portion of a college student’s life, there are plenty of other life skills to learn. Some of these include communication, taxes, and self-care. After all, college is the place where we can learn how to adult with others around us.

Without further ado, here are seven things we should learn in college outside the classroom: 

1. Making friends and socializing 

Many say that the adult years are often filled with emptiness and loneliness. As an adult, it’s harder to find places where you can socialize and converse with others on a deeper level. 

But if you’re in college, you’re still in an environment where it’s easier to socialize. You can learn how to develop effective friendships by forming study and support groups with fellow classmates. This gives you the chance to improve your communication and interpersonal skills. Effective communication can take you far in the real world, especially in jobs that heavily involve communication (such as customer service roles). Use your college years to network around. 

2. Navigating a new city 

Many people leave their hometown when they attend college, making it one of the first times in their lives that they’re living in a new city. Even if you’re a commuter student, you can spend your college years getting to know the city better. Perhaps there are some places you’ve never discovered, or a few tourist areas you’ve never visited. When you’re in college, you can go to these places and learn more about them. 

3. Filing taxes 

Another important part of adulting is learning how to do taxes. During college, you can learn this skill before graduation so you don’t have to worry about learning it after. 

You don’t have to go to an accountant to learn about taxes. There is tax filing software available for you to download and fill in. If you need more help, you can get a friend or a family member to file them with you. With enough practice, you’ll be able to do it on your own. 

4. Advocating for yourself 

Throughout college, you may find yourself in situations where you have to stand up for yourself. This can include disputing an unfair mark or completing a group assignment with tasks distributed unfairly. In any of these cases, don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. 

If something doesn’t feel right, feel free to address it right away. In the post-college world, you’ll find yourself in many unjust situations. And, in many of them, you’re the only one who’s got your own back. 

5. Time management 

Many students work, go to school, volunteer, and pursue hobbies simultaneously. When you find yourself in these situations, it’s helpful to improve your time management skills. 

Even after college, time management is crucial as you’ll need to prioritize tasks and chores in both your personal and professional lives. When it’s mid-term season, use that time to learn how to prioritize, schedule, and balance tasks effectively. 

6. Establish a self-care routine 

College can get stressful, especially if multiple assignments and tasks are due at once. In order to manage stress, learn to establish a self-care routine. 

Your self-care routine can include skincare, nature walks, or other physical activities. Therefore, when times get difficult, you’ll find a way to de-stress and not overwork yourself. 

7. Reinforcing your boundaries 

In college, many of us were forced to people-please others to get into the club or internship we want. We sometimes found ourselves completing tasks even when we weren’t feeling well, like attending club meetings after breaking down from a terrible midterm exam. 

In order to not be taken advantage of, it’s important to reinforce boundaries. If you’re not feeling well, say that you need some time off for yourself. And feel free to establish your boundaries with everyone you meet. In the end, you know what’s best for you, and you need to take care of your own needs before anyone else’s. 

By learning these seven things, you can make the transition from college to post-grad life less stressful. College isn’t easy by all means, but it offers you the chance to learn and master many skills. When it all gets tough, these skills will come in handy, so make sure to develop them before you graduate.

Photo by Samantha Gades on Unsplash


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