College might be fun, and education might be considered a stepping stone to entering the real world ready to crush it. But, in reality, the essential life skills that will help us survive, make smart decisions, live well, build wealth and create stuff, aren’t taught in the classroom.
Instead, it’s something we ourselves need to take the initiative to learn, in order to make changes and live a better life.
That’s not a bad thing. It’s just part of the process of turning into a more responsible adult, becoming an individual and doing things your way, and taking control of aspects of your life that will otherwise be done on autopilot.
You can rely on college to teach you the basics and the theory, to give you some opportunities that you won’t easily find without it, and to give you a chance to level up in your career. But that’s as good as it gets. The rest is in your hands. And you need to learn some real-world skills that will help you exceed and reach any goal you’ve set.
Here’s what I’m talking about and how to go about it:
Your Essential Life Skills List
1. Managing time.
You might often hear that time management is key for success in any area of life. But no one else will dig deeper into the topic for you, give you exact examples, or tell you how exactly they structure their day so you can copy it and start getting things done.
Time is our most precious possession, and so managing it well becomes a life skill we can’t go without.
That means breaking the bad habits that lead to procrastination, eliminating activities that don’t give us the results we want, using time management hacks to work smarter and thus get it done in less time, and more.
There are little things you can do today to become more productive and efficient in your work, and also create the ideal daily schedule so that you can always finish things on time and still have enough of it left to live life.
Take this more seriously, start educating yourself on the topic, see what the self-help gurus say about it, and begin tracking everything you do and making the most of every minute in the day.
2. Survival techniques.
Although some college students might seem like they own the world when they graduate, they can’t really survive a day in most natural environments.
The basic necessities include finding shelter when necessary, providing food and water, taking care of others, giving first aid, dealing with unexpected change of plans and handling crisis, being mentally prepared, navigation, using different tools, and more.
There’s plenty of information out there on any of these, and investing some time to go through the basics will make you a better life hacker. That itself will lead to developing the mindset of a survivor and lifelong learner, and most things you’ll encounter in life will suddenly become easier.
Why do you need to know that as part of your essential life skills?
Well, because you can’t really take a gap year and go explore a new continent, without knowing how to communicate with people who don’t speak your language, how to treat possible injuries, adapt to a completely different culture from day 1, and more.
What’s more, be it for going camping, hiking, backpacking or doing some other types of outdoor activities (or even ending up in a situation like that accidentally), you’re better off if you know how to put up a tent, start a fire to get warm or cook something, swim, navigate at night, go fishing, or else.
Learning how to live without many of the technologies and items that give you comfort in daily life is also practical.
Apart from that, you’ll also need to take care of your own safety with the right gear. And that’s when the right type of shoes – in this case, made of steel – comes in handy.
Situations in which you’re better off wearing steel toe shoes include passing a rocky area and thus having a big chance of slipping or falling, being in the wild and protecting yourself from snake bites, and keeping your toes safe from falling objects.
They are a durable piece of equipment, and although usually used for work in the construction and other similar industries, many adventurers wear such safety shoes for extra comfort and protection.
3. Handling your money.
Even if you’re just graduating from business school, and think you’ve been given enough information on finance and even know a lot about risk, saving and investment, you’re probably wrong.
Money management, however, when combined with time management, can lead to having control over every other area of your life as a result. The principles are often the same.
It all begins with budgeting. That’s basically tracking your money. It’s your job to know where every dollar is coming from, and where it’s going.
You’re also the one who needs to set some limits, such as monthly expenses, setting aside 10% of what you make in a savings account and not touching it no matter what,
Aside from that, finding new income streams early on is a smart thing and will lead to a stable financial future and being ahead of others in the business game. Be it freelancing for students, a part-time job, or building something on your own online.
All these will pay off in terms of having enough money, learning what hard work is, forming connections and building skills for life.
Managing your personal finances is one of the most essential life skills, so make sure you get your hands on the best books written by investors and financial gurus, and learn the principles behind wealth and saving money.
There’s a lot to teach yourself in the real world, that others won’t help you with. Regardless of how much your parents want to simplify your life, your friends to share what they have, your teachers to answer all your questions, and your mentors to give you advice, it’s all up to you in the end of the day.
It’s all about whether you want to take control and learn how to do things yourself, without counting on anyone else or outer factors.
If this sounds like your kind of lifestyle, then dedicate some time in the next few months to learn more about the 3 basic skills listed above.
What other essential life skills would you add?