10 life skills to learn while you’re still in high school

Our blogs are usually written for parents, but today we’re changing gears and sharing some information useful for high school students. So parents, please share this post with your teens! Today’s guest blogger is Adam Valley. He’s a junior at St. John’s University and working toward a Global Business Leadership major and an Economics minor. Adam’s been on the college scene for nearly three years and would like to share his thoughts on must-have skills students will need as they transition from high school to university life.

10 life skills to learn while you’re still in high school

By Adam ValleyAdam headshot

These are 10 life skills that I believe everyone should learn while they are still in high school. They will help you not only in college but also in everyday life. These are skills everyone has and uses everyday—some knowingly, and others by accident. This list is not in a particular order because I believe the order of importance depends on the individual.

1. Conversation
“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Being able to talk with people will get you farther in life than almost any other skill. People will teach you what you need to know to be successful at a job, but they can’t teach you personality. Solid conversational skills create opportunities.

2. Independence
Independence is all on YOU. You will be in charge of how you spend your money. You will be responsible for finding your way around town. You will have to feed yourself, yep that means cooking. And lastly, you will have to clean up after yourself. That includes laundry, dishes, vacuuming etc.

3. Plan
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Being able to set goals and develop strategies on how to achieve them is a great ability to have. This applies to your afternoon and to the rest of your life. Having your day and life laid out reduces stress and keeps you productive.

4. Deal with different people
Be able to handle and respect authority. These people went through what you will have to, if you ever want to get to their point (or beyond). Being able to handle your peers is just as important. You will most likely have to deal with someone on a regular basis that you don’t like but will need to get along with. This can be challenging but is a critical skill in college and in life.

5. Be yourself
“Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” Being the best you you can be will always out do trying to be someone you are not. Authenticity matters. Once you are done with high school, you will realize who your true friends are. They are the ones who like you for who you are.

6. Make the most out of a bad situation
You learn more from failing, losing or making a mistake than you do from succeeding, winning or doing things right. Making a mistake is okay as long as you learn from it and use it to improve yourself.

7. Study
No one likes to study. One way to be successful is developing good study habits. If you are studying properly, you will get more out of studying and spend less time doing it. This opens up additional time for other activities you appreciate and makes life better.

8. Manners
Having good manners won’t get anyone anywhere special. But not having good manners can hold you back from getting where you want to be. It is not the most glamorous life skill but it is an important one to have.

9. Think critically
You are going to be in tricky situations. Being able to solve your own problems is important and powerful. This everyday skill is one that many people simply don’t have. Being capable of solving your own problems is part of becoming an adult.

10. Motivation
Staying motivated can be tough. Striving for success can be exhausting but it is something you just have to power through. It’s mind over matter. A motivated individual is always more desirable than one who is not. And nothing is better than being young and hungry. Welcome to college life!

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