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Aug 18 2017
by Andreamarie Efthymiou

10 Skills You Should Master Before the End of Freshman Year

By Andreamarie Efthymiou - Aug 18 2017
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As you start college, people tell you that you should know how to do certain things, the most commonly listed being changing a tire, studying and writing a check. However, here is a different list, an easy, practical one (that does not require a floor jack), that could make your transition even more efficient. 

1. Learn how to use a search engine efficiently.

Google, for many in our generation, has become a gateway to YouTube, Reddit, Netflix and social media. However, it can be used for so much more. For example, searching a phrase in quotes makes sure your results are the same words in the same order, or using the minus sign to eliminate results containing certain words.

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2. Be able to give advice and take criticism.

A huge part of college life is being away from your parents, and hence, relying on your peers. On a daily basis, people will come to you for things: an opinion on a dress, help squashing a bug, relationship problems, etc. Granted, some of these issues are more serious than others, being able to help people with their problems and give good advice is crucial to building and maintaining friendships. Furthermore, sometimes your place will be to give constructive criticism, and feel comfortable enough to receive it.

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3. Making a budget.

We are all #brokecollegestudents, so making a budget is important. By following steps such as keeping track of your money, outlining your expenses and determining your income, you can make sure that you aren’t drowning in debt (unless you have student loans).

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4. How to cook... something.

As a college student, you will often be eating in the dining halls. Most of the time, the food is pretty palatable. However, depending on dietary restrictions or personal preference, it is likely that at one point, you really won’t want the casserole of the day. During times like these, being able to fry an egg or make some chicken is vital!

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5. How to sew a little.

The one sewing class I took in ninth grade has helped me TREMENDOUSLY over the years. When you hear that RIIIIIIIIPPPP in your super skinny jeans or that new cute skirt, you want to be able to fix it. Or else you risk everyone seeing the underwear you are wearing today. A simple stitch is very easy to learn and will save you a lifetime of embarrassment.

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6. Time management.

For the first time, you and only you will be in charge of getting things done. And for the first time, you will have more temptations than ever before at your fingertips. It is extremely easy to put things off and procrastinate, but this will dig you a ditch deeper than you can get out of. Start out strong and it is more likely that you will keep it up. Planners are your friend.

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7. Know how to remember people's names.

Have you ever walked away from a conversation only to forget the person’s name? So have I. Though you could just laugh it off next time you see that person and say “I’m horrible with names,” this could show that you don’t really care. A simple way to remember someone’s name is to say it at least two times in the conversation, or ask them for their phone number so you have to enter their name as well as contact information.

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8. Be able to tell a good story.

The majority of your college life will revolve around telling stories, whether it be informally to friends or in the form of a paper. Either way, the audience must be entertained! Some tips for doing this effectively are being authentic and allowing your audience to interact by making use of pauses or questions.

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9. Basic self-defense.

College campuses, for the most part, pride themselves on being safe environments for their students, but they all have their weaknesses. While daytime strolls to class may be without danger, a late night walk back from the library or a night out are usually not. Knowing this, all college students would benefit from taking a self-defense class or watching some videos online, because YouTube isn’t just for cat videos.

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10. Know how to apologize.

Boundaries. We all have them. College is notorious for pushing them. It is inevitable that you will have a clash with your roommate, suitemates, lab partner or random people that you just lashed out at because you didn’t have your coffee yet. In order for you to be on good terms with your peers, you must know how to apologize. Sometimes, a simple “I’m sorry!” is good enough to mend a friendship. If not, cupcakes usually do the trick. 

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Your horizons are filled with the prospect of new beginnings. Follow your path, do good and try to master these ten skills to ensure that your transition to college and beyond is a smooth one!

Lead Image Credit: Pexels

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Andreamarie Efthymiou - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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