Skills to Develop Today, So You Can Use Them Tomorrow

University teaches you an immense amount of invaluable information. Most of us go into it thinking we will learn everything there is to know about our degree, so that we can apply the new knowledge and know how to get the job done, and get it done well. But the truth is, your classes provide much more than just the information you will need, as important as that is. You also develop a wide variety of skills that, as you continue your education and enter the workforce, will serve you well, and provide you with a basis for so many of the things you will do later in life.

Public Speaking

High school seminars are one thing; college presentations are another. I personally have never found delivering talks neither easy nor particularly enjoyable, but doing so felt very do-able in middle and high school where I always knew the 20-or-so people that made up my audience. In university, there are often more people to hear you speak and most of the time, you don’t know who the majority of them are. It’s a daunting task, but this is your time to practice! There are lots of resources out there to help you improve. The more you do it, the less difficult it will become to do, and the more confident you will feel when you have to present after university.

Writing

This sounds like an easy one. So many of us are used to texting and chatting that it’s easy to forget that how and what you write can say a lot about you, especially in the professional world. Although frequently typing up essays and assignments for classes can be tiring, it’s a great way to brush up on grammar, learn to edit your work, and improve cohesiveness in your writing. This is something that will prove useful as all are important for effective written communication.

Building Positive Relations

We all know people who don’t like group work, but it’s an inevitable part of your education and teaches you so much about working well with others and collaborating to get a task done. From successfully conveying your ideas and active listening to resolving issues that may arise and addressing conflict to learning to do your part and being flexible, working with a group allows you the opportunity to develop many of the skills that will be essential in maintaining healthy, positive, and productive networks in a professional environment.

Respecting Deadlines

College deadlines are strict. Very strict. Submitting an assignment just a few minutes late can cost you a letter grade, and sometimes, the entire grade itself. As harsh as this sounds, I remember a professor telling my class that the reason why many instructors are not very lenient in submission deadlines is because employers aren’t very lenient with deadlines either, so by submitting work on time now you build good habits for the future. This is crucial in the work force and increases your dependability, trustworthiness, and productivity as a professional.

Voicing Yourself

Sometimes it can be a little intimidating to speak out and voice your opinions if you are not one to be the first to say what you think, but being ready and willing to discuss and share, benefits everybody. There are many opportunities to do this in university, both in class and outside of it, and doing so will make it feel natural after you’ve graduated from college. Giving your viewpoints, talking through disagreements, addressing concerns, and being heard in general, all contribute to making progress both now in your studies and after that.

University is a great time to work on all these skills. Though it can be challenging at first, you will more than likely be better prepared for the professional environment later.

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