• Robb Jenson

Developing College-Ready, err I mean… Life Skills


For many high school students, the idea of college seems like a world away, hardly something that needs immediate attention, right? For some, this may be true if you're in middle school or early in your high school career. However, you can begin efforts now as a student that will help develop a set of critical skills that I call, "Transferable Life Skills."


These transferable skills often go unnoticed or under-developed, but can mean the difference of whether or not you are successful in college. Too often, students believe that success in college is defined by their intellectual wealth, rather than their individual skill sets. While this is true to some extent, this misconception can be disastrous. With the skills below, you can ensure success in not only college, but in life beyond.


  • Resourcefulness. Students who possess this skill are adept at navigating their surrounding environments and problems. They understand the resources that are available to them, or at the very least learn how to find them. Students who possess this skill tend to be great problem-solvers and are typically able to take more ownership of their personal development.

  • Communication. Whether you're discussing difficult concepts to a professor or leading a group of your peers, communication is an essential skill. It is important for students to take on opportunities that challenge themselves in communicating in both verbal and written forums.

  • Self-Starter. As students enter college and eventually move into their profession, there will be less oversight in regards to their responsibilities. Being a self-starter helps students learn to tackle problems on their own and anticipate what is needed from them to achieve a certain standard of work. It is important for families and mentors to guide the students, but gradually take a step back and allow them take on more responsibility.

  • Persistence & Grit. Failure is bound to happen at some point for every student. If they have yet to experience failure, then the student is failing to challenge himself or herself thoroughly. Those who persevere the most know how to best cope with difficult moments and keep a clear head to strategically move forward. Be sure to challenge your student and push them beyond the limit of their abilities.

These skills can benefit a student in any environment, whether that is in the classroom, work, or in personal relationships. As they move forward and work to achieving their goals, these skills can certainly help them manage any situation.

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