6 Must-Have Skills to Pick Up Before College

Brace yourself as college life isn’t going to be easy! Check out these 6 important skills you can pick up to smoothen your college ride.

Published 21 Jul 2020

6 Must-Have Skills to Pick Up Before College - Feature-Image

If you think high school has prepared you for college, think again. There are some essential practical skills you need to know that aren’t explored in school — some of which you will need to incorporate into your college life! From composing a professional email to knowing how to cook, these skills are detrimental to smoothen your college life experience.

While it’s not quite possible to download all the skills automatically, you can be better prepared by picking up these 6 essential skills that will enrich your college life.

#1. Discover a new language 

Skills before college-Discover a new language

Learning a new language goes a long way. Not only will you get the cognitive benefits such as improving your memory and decision-making skills, but you are also more likely to be at an advantage when it comes to your career.

There are tonnes of apps that provide resources to learn languages. Duolingo is a quirky and free app that makes learning a new language fun and addictive, while Babbel incorporates real-life conversation and is perfect for beginners who wish to quickly adopt a new language.

#2. Cook up a storm

Skills before college-Cook up a storm

Whether it’s to avoid going hungry or to fulfil a hidden desire for the culinary arts, cooking is an essential skill you need to know. It doesn’t matter if you start with a basic omelette or trying to replicate a famous dish, over time you will find this skill extremely helpful when you’re in college with a tight budget. After all, you can’t live off maggi mee forever!

To start, Epicurious is great for beginners and Supercook is perfect if you have limited ingredients. And if you want to further deepen your relationship with cooking, Culinary Fundamentals and How To Cook Everything is a good place to start.

#3. Unleash your creative potential 

Skills before college-Unleash your creative potential

Thanks to social media, knowing how to edit stories and posts are basically second nature to some of you, but adopting basic photoshop skills can help you immensely in college for things like creating flyers or poster presentations.

Plus, it will be an added advantage for your resume as it is a highly desirable skill in today’s digitalised world. If you have the budget, invest in Adobe Photoshop for its top-quality features or else, Sumo Paint and Pixlr are some budget-friendly alternatives.

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#4. Pick up coding

Skills before college-Pick up coding

Were you a mini programmer during your Tumblr days updating HTML codes to get a beautiful layout with cool features? Why not go all the way and dive further into coding!

Even if you don’t have a knack for programming, knowing the basics can put you at an advantage when you’re in college as it helps you develop attentive and problem-solving skills.

Check out interactive and fun websites like Codeacademy and Code.org which are perfect for beginners to start learning.

#5. Learn to play a musical instrument

Skills before college-Learn to play a musical instrument

This may come to you as a surprise but playing musical instruments has numerous psychological benefits such as improving memory and reducing symptoms of depression. Having this skill will come in handy when you’re cramming for midterms!

There are plenty of apps that offer free tutorials such as Justin Guitar and Simply Piano but the one that takes the cake is Yousician. This free app offers easy step-by-step tutorials for a range of musical instruments from piano and ukulele to even your own vocal cords!

#6. Find a flair in writing 

Skills before college-Find flair in writing

It may sound mundane but knowing how to write is an extremely valuable skill for college and your career. After all, you will be required to craft a tonne of case studies and professional emails, and being unequipped will only make things difficult!

They say imitation is a form of flattery (but plagiarism is not), so try to model your favourite authors. With enough practice, you will develop your own unique writing style in no time! Reading can also help to expand your vocabulary or you can simply write your own fictional tales with Scrivener, iA Writeror Hemmingway App that have editor features which will help you improve your writing along the way.

We hope this list will give you an idea of what are the necessary skills you can pick up before college life begins. While there are many skills for you to choose from, remember to have an open mind to new things and learn as much as you can. You don’t know when it will be useful in the future!

Think you know all about college life? Check out how we debunk popular myths about college here.

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    Nina Fazil

    Nina Fazil

    A work in progress — has been for the past 24 years.