For most people leaving high school and planning on going to college, they have given two main pieces of advice both by parents, by teachers, as well as by guidance counselors; get good grades, and do as many extracurriculars as you can. Many others have been told that they must get leadership roles in these positions, lest they fall victim to only being accepted to a (gasp) state school.
Yet of the tens of thousands of high school valedictorians and football stars who try to get into Ivy Leagues, only a very small percentage actually get in. And sometimes, the ones who get in are not even at the top.
How? It turns out that with the huge influx of people trying to get into college, just being smart doesn’t cut it anymore. There are several skills which an applicant needs to get into their school of choice, skills which many kids don’t have.
People in high school have some sort of a framework and schedule which helps them get good grades and stay on top of everything. But in college, your entire day is no longer filled up, and you have to spend that downtime somehow.
Many people don’t know how to fill in the hours in between classes when they first start college due to the fact that they have never had to make a schedule for themselves before. Yet without time management, it is nearly impossible to be able to balance out both the academic aspects and the social aspects of college.
There are many who leave high school and go live somewhere else – either a different part of the state or even a different part of the country.
But a major issue that college administrators are finding more and more is that students are simply lost, and have no idea how to find their way around. In fact, many of them have heard more than one distressed student’s phone call to parents asking how to get from one place to another on campus.
This is a simple life skill which many people just do not seem to have. And in this day and age with smartphones, GPS, and maps literally everywhere, it is a shame more and more people can’t get around on their own.
How to collaborate
Due to the fact that for years everyone has been telling high schoolers that they need to be the leaders and forge their own path, something has been getting left out – the ability to collaborate. Without this ability, the new college student will not only have a lot of trouble working on group projects (and therefore getting good grades), but will also be left out of a lot of social events as well.
The ability to collaborate on projects is essential not only for college but the real world as well. Collaboration involves discussion, learning how to negotiate, and learning how to both give and receive constructive criticism.
Simple interpersonal skills
A big issue both employers and college administrators have with young people is the simple lack of decorum millennials have when speaking to, well, nearly anyone.
Many times millennials will be on their phone when speaking to someone, they won’t maintain eye contact, and will be visibly bored if a conversation goes on for too long.
Also, many millennials will speak over each other, and abruptly change the subject when they get bored with whatever is being discussed. If you are trying to get work done in a group or even try to make a connection with someone in your field, this is not how to do it.
Problem solving skills
No path in life is straight, and problems and roadblocks come up nearly every step of the way. As Murphey’s Law states; if something can go wrong, it will. Students need to know how to navigate these issues and how to overcome obstacles.
They will not always be able to call upon their parents or their friends to get them out of a sticky situation. Instead, those who are successful know how to effectively combine pulling themselves out of a problem and asking others for help and advice.