Skills to Build Before College

Getting ready for college can seem daunting, but there are steps students can take to make the transition a bit easier. Preparing certain skills can make the difference between a freshman year filled with stress and anxiety and a year of growth and learning. Be flexible, study hard and meet new people and you’re sure to make the most of your college experience.


College is full of new experiences, and it’s important for students to mentally prepare themselves to be flexible! For many people, college is the first time they’ve lived away from their hometown, and that can feel tremendously overwhelming. It’s a new world full of interesting people, challenging classes and exciting opportunities – it’s time to put yourself out there! Being flexible is key to succeeding in such a new environment. You’ll need to adapt to things like your roommate’s habits, your academic assignments and your new schedule.

April Query, College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC) Regional Marketing Representative says, “What students really need is the ability to be flexible. Be flexible with your expectations of yourself; sometimes we put a lot of pressure on ourselves academically that first year, and it may take a semester to settle in.”

The best way to build up your ability to adapt to new situations is to practice flexibility right in your hometown. In preparation for college, push yourself to step outside your comfort zone and try new things and meet different people. Trying new things can be scary, so it’s a good idea to start small in the comfort of your family home before branching out in college.

Good Study Habits

Takeila Hall, a College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC) Regional Rep, believes that some of the most important skills students will need in college are time management, self-discipline and the ability to utilize available resources. While in high school, students should pay attention to what kind of study habits yield the best results for them. Narrowing down what works and what doesn’t will help the student succeed when it comes to the harder course load in college.  In higher education, you’ll have the freedom to set your own study schedule, so self-discipline is a must and students may want to incorporate new study tips. And don’t be afraid to use your university’s resources including office hours, tutoring programs and the library. It may take a little while to settle in to your new study routine, but don’t be discouraged.


Finally, one of the most underrated skills that could help you succeed in college is the ability to network. College is an amazing opportunity to connect with professionals in your field. Professors often have local connections and can help place you in a phenomenal internship. It’s not unusual for those internships to turn into entry-level jobs, so start making connections early! Push your boundaries and surround yourself with people who inspire you, and you’ll be amazed at how much you grow during your time at college.

College Foundation of North Carolina is a great resource for students to learn more about how to plan, apply and pay for college. With tips on everything from applying for financial aid to choosing a major to preparing for the SAT, CFNC has it all. Visit to get started today.