Every college graduate should know these life skills! #college

For most people, college graduation is the official entry into REAL adulthood (not that fake one when you turned 18). College is a great time to learn some essential life skills, before taking that final plunge into adulthood. Unfortunately, most of these skills aren’t taught in the classroom; they have to be learned through real life experiences.

Here’s some skills that I think every college graduate should know & some resources to help you learn them!

1. How to properly tip.

You don’t want to be THAT girl when you’re out to dinner with your friends – the one who doesn’t tip enough or at all because she doesn’t know how. A good rule of thumb at a restaurant is that the tip should generally be double the tax.

Here’s how: General Tipping: When, Where & How Much (Emily Post)

2. How to navigate a place you’ve never been.

Every college graduate should know these life skills before graduation!

Even if it means using your phone, you should be able to figure out how to get home no matter where you are. Thankfully, we have amazing technology right in our pockets that can help us out.

Here’s how: If you have a smartphone, make sure that you know how to use the Maps app. If you don’t have a smartphone, then invest in a GPS or even pick up a map from your local bookstore.

3. How to write a professional email.

In college, you probably only had to write emails to your professors or maybe your Grandma Betty (because she just learned how to use email). But, in the working world, email is used all of the time. It’s basically the texting of the business world.

Knowing how to utilize email for business purposes is an incredibly useful tool. (Click to tweet that!) The great thing about email is that you can start practicing writing professional emails now!

Here’s how: 10 Ways to Write Better Emails (The Muse)

4. How to apologize.

You will hurt, offend and demean people many times throughout your life…whether you mean to or not. It happens and sucks, but you can either pretend like nothing happened or fess up to your mistakes. The true sign of maturity is admitting when you mess up and apologize.

Here’s how: 5 Rules for Apologizing Like a Grown Up (XO Jane)

5. How to cook a decent meal.

Every college graduate should know these life skills before graduation!

Although we all love a little mac and cheese every once and while, you should know how to cook at least a few meals that can impress your family and friends. After all, you want to be able to invite that cute boy over to dinner sometime, right?!

Here’s how: 31 Foods You Should Learn to Cook in College (Buzzfeed)

6. How to budget.

In college, it’s more acceptable to be more free and loose with your money. But, when you are receiving bigger paychecks, saving up to buy a house and having to pay off student loans, budgeting will make your life a WHOLE lot easier.

Here’s how: The Beginner’s Guide to Budgeting (The Budget Mama)

7. How to dress professionally.

After graduation, you’re sure going to miss the days when you could roll out of bed, throw on an old sweatshirt and head out for the day. Unfortunately, that most likely will not fly in whatever job you end up in after you graduate.

Every college graduate should have at least a couple of office-appropriate and interview-ready outfits (Click to tweet that!), whether that be a professional dress, a button-up top and some slacks or a pencil skirt and a blazer.

Here’s how: The Collegiate’s Guide to Dress Code (Mostly Morgan)

8. How to write a thank you note.

Every college graduate should know these life skills before graduation!

Gone are the days when your mom would sit down with you and make you write a thank you note to your Aunt Matilda for your birthday present. Knowing when you should send a thank you note and how to write one is an essential skill for adulthood. Showing gratitude and appreciation for things that people have done for you will serve you well in life. (Click to tweet that!)

Here’s how: Etiquette: Thank You Note Edition (Alyssa J Freitas)

9. How to have an intelligent conversation about current events.

It’s kind of awkward when everyone is talking about the prison break in New York and you think they’re talking about a TV show. Being informed on current events and news will make you appear more educated and knowledgable.

Here’s how: Download the CNN app or follow your favorite news network on Twitter for quick and short news snippets.

10. How to say no.

You will receive many great opportunities in your life, but unfortunately, you will not be able to it all. Knowing how to say no is arguably more important than knowing how to say yes. Anyone can say yes – we say it all the time! It takes true maturity to decide when to say no and stand by it.

Whether it means saying no to that creepy guy at the bar or saying no to a job offer, the word no is extremely powerful. (Click to tweet that!)

Here’s how: How to Say No (Alyssa J Freitas)

What skills do you think are essential for college graduates? Let me know in the comments below!

16 thoughts on “10 Life Skills You Should Know Before Graduating College

  1. Great ideas!! Tipping, dressing professionally, and thank you notes are A MUST. I give way more extra credit points to those who know how to cook right out of college because you’re so used to meal plans, bar food, starbucks-before-finals sandwiches, and Mom’s home cooking. I wish more students knew how to have intelligent conversations about current events and saying “no” were more common, but I guess those are just skills that are few and far between special superstars like you! 🙂 🙂


  2. You did a wonderful job on this post. All of these skills are on point and you don’t ramble on and on, and you also leave a link to an article someone else has done to elaborate on what you already said. I liked that you included dressing professionally, so many people don’t know how to dress for interviews and for their job. Also how to say no, something I struggle with every day!


  3. Thank you for this list. My girls know most this before entering college. Thanks for linking up on the #HomeMattersParty this week and I hope you will come back next week to link up again.


  4. Great list. Could you to emphasize good writing skills a little more? They seem to be lacking in today’s graduates. Thanks again.



  5. “How to tip properly” should say “how to calculate percentages.” As an adult you should be able to pull out your phone calculator and figure the tip.


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