Life Skills written in colored markers in notebook with crumbled paper balls

3 Important Life Skills Students Need to Learn Before Going to College

It helps to have certain life skills under your belt before you go to college. Mastering these three before freshman year starts will make your life easier!

College is the time to venture out and experience diverse affairs in a safe environment overflowing with other people on a parallel journey to yours. Building life skills to help you make the most of your post–high school years can lead to a content college experience—a time you can truly enjoy. Such practices range from learning how to do your own laundry to building mindful habits for your well-being.

As you embark on this new chapter in your life, be cognizant of the fact that you now hold responsibility for yourself and your deeds. What you do can and will have positive and/or negative effects on your condition; therefore, it would be advantageous to consider and develop the following life skills necessary for a beneficial education and experience in college.

1. Healthy everyday habits

As you move out and start living on your own, competency in general tasks such as cooking and cleaning facilitates a healthy lifestyle for you to prosper. Though cooking may be seen as a way to simply acquire sustenance, it can also be a form of self-care. Cooking and baking are great alternatives to dealing with stress while also making sure your body receives the energy it needs to function to its fullest. A common struggle for college students is eating healthy food consistently while staying on budget. Healthy eating and the value of prioritizing how much money to spend and what to spend it on are both significant skills you’ll need throughout college and beyond. Organization also plays a role in limiting your stress at university. As the saying goes, a clean space makes a clear mind. Maintaining the appearance of your surroundings—while simultaneously consuming fueling food—will improve your productivity and, in turn, the efficiency of your workspace.

Related: Why High School Students Should Learn to Adult

2. Mental health awareness and self-care

Focusing on yourself and your mindset through self-care should take priority when you go to college. Maintaining self-discipline is also a significantly difficult feat, though attainable through time and self-motivation. In college, doing simple tasks that you may have previously done with ease in middle or high school can often seem harder or require more persistence and determination. Reminding yourself that it’s okay to struggle sometimes—especially since those around you are in different positions as well—is crucial in terms of self-acceptance. In addition, comprehending that your fellow classmates are at various points in their lives and aren’t moving at the same pace as you can help you overcome any insecurities and misgivings you may have about college life.

3. Social skills

Throughout college, your cognition of society will be exemplified through your communication with others and your willingness to adapt. Engaging in social activities may seem unnecessary or just like amusing events. However, they can prepare you for future circumstances where involvement with different groups of people can make or break a job opportunity, business deal, and more. Practicing the art of communication and understanding people when you still have time for trial and error can lead to an enhanced sense of socialization in the future.

Additionally, developing a sense of accountability can lead to self-reflection and a blooming internal ecosystem for your mind to foster overall. Evaluating your objects and intentions objectively and realizing that all your actions have real consequences that can affect those around you are key steps in building maturity. Embracing your responsibility for and participation in certain events welcomes mistakes and generates the ability to learn from them.

Related: Making Friends Your First Year of College: Top Do's and Don'ts

Before you set foot on campus, it’s helpful to try to understand yourself better; spend time with yourself, getting to know your body, your limits, your aspirations, and your mentality. Being in tune with yourself before you start college enables you to truly enjoy the journey. Of course, this is a time of self-discovery, but attaining a sense of self-consciousness beforehand can help you navigate college life more securely.

Start preparing for life on campus with the articles and advice in our Student Life section, like Inside an Average Day in the Life of a College Student.

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now


About Chimbusonma Ojielo

As a junior in high school, Chimbusonma Ojielo is passionate about providing guidance to students from a student. Her work highlights relatable experiences and common questions from high school students who are apprehensive about college, leaving you feeling well informed and more prepared for the future. Chimbusonma is involved in multiple clubs and after-school activities, namely Activism Club, Model UN, and Crochet Club. In her free time, she enjoys reading fiction, watching Netflix, and listening to her favorite artists.


Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
Nazira Abdelkhalek

Nazira Abdelkhalek

$2,000 Community Service Scholarship Winner, 2014

I am very honored to be this year’s recipient of the Multicultural Student Community Service Scholarship! This scholarship is vital to helping me achieve and fulfill my dreams, and gives me confidence and motivation as I begin my college career. The CollegeXpress website has been invaluable over the past year as I planned my educational and professional goals. I highly recommend it to all students as they begin to focus on their college and career interests. The website is a wonderful guide to schools and scholarships.



High School Class of 2022

CollegeXpress has provided me with tips that were for college students, but as a high school junior, they were still very useful. Not only that, it also gave me an idea of what to expect when it comes to going to college or already being in college. I want to say thank you to CollegeXpress, and I hope you continue the wonderful tips until I hopefully get into college and throughout my college journey.

Nikole Dixon

Nikole Dixon

$500 Refer-a-Friend Scholarship Winner

Toward the beginning of last year, I was searching for scholarships to apply to through my school, town, websites online, and anything else I could find. I asked tons of questions [online] about scholarships and the best places to find them because I was desperate and needed as many as I could find. I came across a ton of bogus websites, but as soon as I found CollegeXpress, I knew I had to tell other people about it. It was definitely the most helpful site I came across, so I told my friends about it. CollegeXpress is definitely a website worth giving as a source.

Anthony Vidal

Anthony Vidal

High School Class of 2023

CollegeXpress has helped me in a series of different ways when it comes to finding scholarships and learning information about different universities. I actually found my dream university through CollegeXpress and am working on getting there.

Tariq Adam Khatib

Tariq Adam Khatib

High School Class of 2022

CollegeXpress helped me a lot. I am a Tanzania boy who finished my high school studies in Tanzania. I never knew I could get an opportunity to get a scholarship to study abroad. I am happy that now I know how to find the school to study abroad through CollegeXpress.

College Matches

Colleges You May Be Interested In

Merrimack College

North Andover, MA

SUNY Oneonta

Oneonta, NY

University of Iowa

Iowa City, IA