What You Aren’t Taught in College but Need to Know

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The most incredible thing about college are its infinite resources we can use to learn about our major and studies of interest. But classes we can never take are on experiences in the world outside of academics – all of which don’t give us a passing or failing grade, but instead help us become more knowledgeable with trial and error.

This what we aren’t taught in college but need to know:

Money management

As an adult, there are multiple areas of personal finance you must learn about in order to live a sustainable life and avoid getting into debt. Besides a savings account, you should have an emergency fund in the case of needing to make unexpected expenses, and a checking account with $1000 minimum in it at all times. Also, contribute to a Roth IRA and retirement investment fund if you’re making an income! Lastly, you need to practice wise spending habits and maintain a good credit score because doing so enables you to take out loans and mortgages.

Time management skills

Life gets busier the older we get, and being able to efficiently prioritize tasks is a necessity. Keeping a schedule prevents you from wasting time and actually reduces the stress of feeling there is no time! Possessing strong time management skills also helps you approach the most important things first, which is both useful for both an academic setting and the professional work place. Plus, being disorganized is just a catalyst for suffering constant stress and anxiety.

Insurance knowledge

More often than not, insurance feels like a foreign and intimidating concept. There’s a type of insurance for everything: life, home, car, medical, travel, etc. But which are the most important to invest in and why should you invest in insurance at all? Well, insurance of any kind provides a type of compensation for you if ever faced with an unexpected accident, such as theft or damage to your vehicle. Funds that are unavailable to you are mostly or completely covered by insurance.

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Sustaining relationships with everyone (including yourself)

The most important relationship you can have is one with yourself. Keeping it healthy requires you to have the willingness to undergo constant self-discovery and overcome challenges, stay self-aware, and always being kind and compassionate to yourself no matter what. In regards to the relationships with everyone else, choose to keep people in your life that are never anything less than what you deserve. Surround yourself with individuals who are like-minded and value the same things. Let’s say you value sobriety and aren’t a fan of heavy drinking at parties. You don’t need to associate yourself with others who make you feel uncomfortable with their substance use.

Finding careers and applying to them

It’s easy to find a job – there’s always an advertisement for them online or on campus posters! But to get your foot in through the door of a salary paying job? That takes a little more work. The best course of action to take is to constantly research potential jobs throughout college. If possible, don’t settle for part-time jobs unrelated to your major. Choose jobs that are already in your field, even if they’re only entry-level. In addition, learn how to write a phenomenal resume and cover letter, but put in extra effort into a cover letter if a job asks for it – that’s the area in a job application that can really set you apart from the competition. Lastly, network. Attend networking fairs, keep in touch with classmates and professors, and hang onto the contact information of previous employers. These people may have the ability to direct you to a dream job position or beneficial opportunity and can give you professional advice.

Housekeeping and chores

Whether living in a dorm, apartment, or home – housekeeping skills and learning how to do general chores are crucial to keeping your living environment clean and free of stress. Educate yourself on basic knowledge of cleaning supplies and how to use them. Not all cleaning solutions serve the same purpose. Second, important documents and files should all be neatly organized in one place, such as a file cabinet. For example, scrambling to find your social security card or birth certificate is not a situation you want to be in. Furthermore, knowing how to separate and wash laundry needs to be second nature. Don’t invest in a pricey coat only to ruin it in the wash after only using it once.

College will always have a lasting impact on us, but only through life experiences and our own personal adversities can we truly learn how to become not just better adults, but well-rounded people.

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Jeremy Kaplan

A 50-something year old lifestyle, career, and education blogger based in Atlanta, Georgia. Years of experience in the office setting working with others and still loving it year-after-year.

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