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  • Staff Writer

Learning Life Skills and Creating Lasting Change


When students transition from high school to college, their world is turned upside down. While in high school, they had a system of support, both academically and otherwise. In college, they will be entering a phase of their lives where they will begin to care for their own needs. The skills they need to deal with life's challenges are called life skills. Learning and improving these skills can create lasting change for young adults. Additionally, this transition is the ideal time to learn skills that will help students far beyond college. Working with Northwest College Support can help students learn life skills and integrate them into their lives to make them their own.


Improving College Success With Life Skills


Many skills are both necessary and helpful for college success. Of these skills, life skills are particularly important. Examples of life skills that play a role in a student's success in college include:

  • Exercise routines

  • Healthy diet

  • Money management

  • Stress management

  • Self-awareness

  • Conflict management

  • Communication

  • Problem-solving

  • Creative thinking

Life skills enable students to do well in classes by helping them complete their work, show up to class, and solve problems. However, the need for life skills in college goes beyond the direct application to the classroom. When a student has a good handle on managing their time, emotions, and communication, their overall health and wellness increase. This helps them to feel better mentally and physically, create and maintain community, and have the capacity to do well in school regardless of the direction they are going.


Creating Lasting Change Through Life Skills


Learning life skills can make a big impact on a student's life. Students who struggle with executive functioning or mental health might struggle with these skills. Therefore, the process of learning will look a bit different. However, regardless of their starting point, they can improve their life skills and create lasting change.


When young adults learn life skills in college, they are more likely to continue them into adulthood. For example, it is common for high school athletes that do not go on to college athletics to struggle with an exercise routine. This lack of structured routine can carry on from college to adulthood, leading to health issues in the future. However, when young adults discover the skill of integrating exercise into their life in college, it can help. The tools they use in college to maintain their physical health are likely to be continued forward into their adult life.


However, skills need to be adjusted over time. Fortunately, learning life skills with the support of a program like the ones available through Northwest College Support does more than simply help young adults learn a specific skill. By working with mental health professionals, students can learn the process. This process will look slightly different for each individual. However, learning how to adjust their skills can make a lasting difference in the life of a young adult.


How to Create Lasting Change


Many young adults need to learn life skills to help them be successful in college and live independently as adults. However, what does the process look like for them to learn these skills? Additionally, is it possible for young adults to fully incorporate these skills into their lives? The answer to the second question is, yes. Young adults can learn new skills and make them their own. However, it does take time.


Skill development is a process. The start of the process is awareness. This includes awareness of themselves and of the skills that they need to learn. It also involves becoming aware of the roadblocks they may face when learning these skills. The next step is for young adults to go through the process of the new skill. For example, if they are learning to manage finances, this might involve budgeting and keeping track of their weekly budget. The first time they go through this process, they will need help. This might include being led through the process, and taking them time to fully understand it.


However, as their skills develop, they will be able to practice them more quickly. Ideally, these life skills become normalized to students. For example, the skill of managing stress might eventually look like a daily check-in with themselves to see if they need to adjust anything. Finally, as a student develops many of these skills, they will learn how and when to use these skills, and how to make some adjustment to them. While students have a few years of college, these skills are also useful after graduation. Ultimately, the entire road of fully learning life skills will take somewhere between nine and twelve months. While this can initially seem like a long time, it is a year's worth of work for a lifetime of success.


When students transition into adulthood, they are thrown into a whole new world. However, learning life skills as a young adult will help them in the transition and also make lasting changes in their lives. To see lasting change, young adults need 9-12 months. At Northwest College Support, we understand that the process takes time, structure, and support. Our programs are created with the goal of helping students to gain skills that help them to be successful in college and far into adulthood. If you are concerned about your student's transition to college and their skills to live independently, we can help. Call (877) 485-2776 to learn more about how we can help your student succeed.

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