The real skills you take from college are less visible and even more important than the technicalities you memorize. These skills are what employers look for in every potential employee. They’ll help you become an unstoppable force in the workplace, or a reliable and trustworthy leader if you’re looking to start your own business.
Without further ado, here are six prospective skills that turn you from a shaky first-year student into a certified senior, ready to stride confidently into the world.
Speaking of essays, every student writes a LOT of them in college. And not only essays but emails, reflections, screenplays, maybe even blogs for money. Most students know how to write an informative essay making it enjoyable. But it’s the little things that matter most. Whether we know it or not – we’re all writers. We write tons of texts, often paying little attention to the words we use or how the reader will interpret us. But if you treat your texts like prose, you’ll be surprised at how the quality of your writing improves.
There are of course apps like Grammarly, but they won’t make you a better writer. They can help you fix grammar and punctuation errors, but don’t ignore these mere corrections, they’re important too. But keep the pen, or shall we say the fingers on your keyboard on fire. The bottom line is: to write better – you need to write a lot.
With an entire degree dedicated to the art of communication, it is arguably the quintessence of all the skills a student takes away from college. The communication degree includes analyzing various mediums, understanding the communicator and the message, and separating facts from bias. It does not come without personal reflection, as any Comm student will write tons of reflective essays in their studies.
But communication skills do not exist merely within the realm of the degree. They transfer into business, where listening and being respectively assertive separates the wolf from the sheep. Understanding of social rules and being able to work within a social or business structure are vital skills for every employee, freelancer, or leader.
Everybody has a different perspective. Being able to listen, understand and work together are what makes certain people a pleasure to work with. Which leads us to…
Most people nowadays resort to online communication, making it harder to work in a physical team of people. But college demands this, especially with a degree like film studies. Being individual is great and all, but unless you can work with other people, these fantastic talents you’ve got are wasted away. Believe it or not, that individualistic edge is vital in teamwork as you contribute original ideas from your own experiences.
A person with excellent teamwork skills can see beyond their personal goals. They understand the goals of the company; they know when they need to push and when they need to support.
One thing every prospective student takes away from college is the art of time management. The older we get – the more problems arise, and it’s tough to keep balance. As a wise artist once said about time management, “Work hard, play hard.”
Looking at lives of hugely successful people like Richard Branson or Jeff Bezos, they seemingly have a million things to do. Think you can run Amazon and develop spaceships to Mars without proper food, proper sleep, and a case of substance abuse in your life? Good luck.
There are plenty of time management tips and tricks and techniques on the net and the app store. For instance, the Pomodoro technique urges writers to work for 25 minutes straight and take 5-minute breaks to keep focus. You don’t want to be that person who always comes late to class and never does the readings.
Nowadays, we’re all more globally connected. People engage in political and social discussions on the internet, often in floody comment sections where nothing reaches any consensus.
But that’s what differentiates College from the YouTube comments section. In college, we analyze academic texts, interact with people from different backgrounds, ethnicities, worldviews, political views, religions, etc.
Being open and understanding different people broadens a person’s global perspective. And in the digital age, a person with an expanded worldview has the upper hand when it comes to understanding different audiences, and being able to interact with different people.
A global perspective is essential for business people, influential thinkers, and anybody working on a mass scale.
Thanks to education – racism, elitism, and other intolerant worldviews are quickly becoming a thing of the past.
Accepting Change or Failure
The final thing to learn throughout all these college years is to accept change and sometimes even failure. As cliche as it sounds – nobody is perfect, and everybody has to adapt. When you came to college at first, you probably had to adjust to strange living conditions, unlike your cozy house. Social life, incredible amounts of work suddenly piling up, possibly even having to support yourself with a part-time job.
These changes are what transform us from first-year students into confident seniors ready to take on the world. And failure is part of that journey.
People who think they’re perfect little goody two shoes are impossible to work with because they take failure personally. If you’ve had experience with such a person, you’ll understand the struggle. It’s always important to fail, learn and improve – and never take it personally.
As a wise Jedi master once said, “The greatest lesson, failure is.”