5 Must Have Skills For College Success

While in high school, students and parents both spend a lot of time and energy navigating the admissions process. Ensuring their scores are high, their interests are varied. They’ve researched potential careers and majors. And selected the perfect college. So much focus is given to getting accepted to the right college, but many fail to focus on ensuring students are able to succeed once they get there.

Most people assume that upon graduation of high school, students will be prepared to go on to college. They passed the classes, have an acceptable (if not excellent) GPA, and even received a few different acceptance letters! That means they’re ready, right?

Not necessarily…

According to David Conley, founder and CEO of the Educational Policy Improvement Center (EPIC), “High schools are designed to get students to graduate…They are not necessarily designed to enable students to succeed in college…The time has come to think past admission to academic success.”

Being truly college and career ready involves a wide variety of issues. Only part of which is academic related. College and Career Readiness goes beyond just getting academic knowledge to be able to pass a college class. It involves skills and qualities you can’t develop over night or even through your high school classes. Students must work on developing these soft skills both in the classroom and on their own at home.

Self Advocacy

Unlike high school, parents can’t just call and talk to your teacher if they see you’re struggling with a subject. (Technically they probably “could,” but we highly, highly discourage it.) When at college, students are left to talk with advisors, professors, resident advisors, etc. on their own. So it’s important to learn how and when to speak up.

Students must learn to identify their needs and know when they need assistance. Speaking to a college professor or seeking out additional resources can be intimidating for students, but remember that they are there to help and want you to succeed!

Working on communication is key to being able to advocate for yourself while still taking into account other people’s views and opinions. This assertiveness will help not only in dealing with academics, but also with friends and roommates.

Time Management

The one thing every high school student looks forward to in college – FREEDOM! No one telling you to do your homework. No one is dictating when you can go hang out with friends or when you should be staying in to study. And no bedtimes!

But, this increase in personal responsibility actually leads to one of the biggest struggles for Freshman. Without parents or teachers keeping them on track, students are left to work independently to ensure their work is complete and their personal life is balanced. College students must have the ability of organize and prioritize all of their responsibilities. Then put it into action!

Team Work

As much as you may hate group projects in high school, they don’t stop in college. In fact, you’ll probably have even more in college. It’s important to not only learn how to work with others, but emerge as a leader. Not the “I’m the boss and whatever I say goes” kind of leader. But the motivational kind of leader. The one who is able to drive a project to completion, instead of waiting for others to take charge.

Part of working on a team (or even just one other person) is also learning how to compromise. Though tough to hear, you’re not always going to be right. And you’re not always going to have the best ideas. It will be important to ask question, actively listen and provide feedback, while also accepting constructive criticism and being flexible.

Setting Goals

This is important both academically and personally. And should start now! Each semester, each year, gives you a fresh start on setting and reaching your goals. Whether it’s to have all A’s and B’s or arranging internships and shadowing opportunities to identify a career or major.

High school will be over before you know it. As will college. Think both long term and short term. What do I need to accomplish today? But also what can I do in the next few months to achieve my dream of becoming a neurosurgeon (or any other career or goal)?

Setting and achieving goals, even the small ones, helps students to feel accomplished and increases confidence.

Respect And Acceptance

One of the best aspects of going to college, especially if you have lived in the same town your whole life, is the introduction to so many different people, from so many different backgrounds. Most universities strive to have diversity. A balance of males and females, athletes and musicians, in-state and international students.

Students who are placed in circumstances with cultural diversity, or who seek out intercultural experiences will feel more comfortable and excited when arriving on campus.

CCR Skills With Blueprint Summer Programs

Although having an academic foundation that has prepared you for college level courses in important, it’s the soft skills that will help you really thrive in college and your future career. No matter what field you choose to go in.

Blueprint knows you can’t master these and other CCR skills overnight, or even during a couple weeks at a pre-college summer program. They take time and dedication on your part. But, while at Blueprint, students will be able to practice these skills in real-life scenarios.

3 Ways Blueprint Helps Develop CCR Skills

  1. Blueprint encourages students from all backgrounds to attend our pre-college summer programs. Students from private, public, charter or home schools. Students from Minnesota to Manhattan to Madrid. While at Blueprint, you get to make friends and interact with a very diverse group of students and staff.
  2. Students studying two weeks of one subject will be paired with others for project-based learning. With the guidance of instructors, students will work together to research and present on topics they’re interested in, developing communication skills, leadership and self-discipline.
  3. When coming to Blueprint alone, students live with a roommate often from a different state (or country!). They learn how to resolve any conflicts that arise. How to make friends in a new situation. And get to experience diversity in a way many students have yet to experience.

Along with the experiences gained while at Blueprint, students leave their pre-college program with a better understanding of what college will be like. Plus, they’ll have a plan of how they can continue to develop other CCR skills while leveraging the strengths they already have. In just a week or two, Blueprint students are prepared for the steps to take in their last few years of high school to ensure they are ready for college and beyond!