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Soft Skills Will Help You Succeed in College as Much as Academic Mastery

Soft Skills Will Help You Succeed in College as Much as Academic Mastery


By Ryan Laspina
Analyst, Red Flags and External Reviews at APUS

Being a successful college student involves much more than just earning high grades in your field of study – be it mathematics, history, nursing or technology.

Obviously, it is important to achieve the level of academic aptitude to learn and earn the degree you are working toward. However, there are a handful of other “soft skills” that are necessary to succeed in college.

Soft skills are more social than technical. They are not often taught, but they can be learned. These skills are easily transferable to all degree programs, jobs and many aspects of life.

A well-rounded college student is one who incorporates soft skills into his or her routine. Here are three soft skills that are essential to success in college and beyond:

1. Time management skills – Time management is crucial to college success. College requires a unique set of responsibilities that is different from high school and the workforce. The level of college work is high, as is your expected contribution.

College students are treated as adults and are expected to manage their own time. The best way to master this skill is to constantly update a planner or journal, so you always are aware of deadlines and due dates.

2. Communication skills – In the course of learning and working toward a degree, a bonus for many students is learning how to work and communicate better with others. Pursuing your studies requires listening well and often demonstrating your understanding of concepts through written and verbal assignments.

In addition, college offers exposure to many different ideas, ethnic groups and cultures. Throughout your college career and your interactions with others, staying open-minded, listening to others, sharing thoughts and taking advantage of tutoring helps improve your verbal and written communication skills.

3. Organizational skills – Along with time management, organizational skills are paramount to college success. The best prepared college students are those who are well-organized and always know where all of their tools are located.

Good organizational skills can prevent you from misplacing items, wasting money and feeling rushed or anxious. Finding a place for all of your tools, books and other academic necessities, and always keeping them there, is a great way to build your organizational skills.

There are other soft skills that help college students succeed. For many employers, soft skills can set you apart from other members of the workforce. Soft skills can also help you better manage things at home. With a willing attitude, anybody can learn and sharpen their soft skills.