10 Essential Life Skills That Every Student Must Have

In today’s world, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. There is a lot to do and time is always less. Unfortunately for you, I am about to go over ten skills I think you should learn. Yeah. Sorry about that.

But in all seriousness, you must be thinking what makes these skills special?

Actually, these skills build a fantastic foundation to help you become a fully-functioning human being and will make it easier to do almost anything else you might wish to do later.

One more thing to keep in mind is to understand this very fact that all of these skills are easy to learn. That means you need to think of them as some inherent trait (he is a born speaker, I’m not) but as a lesson/ skill to be learned deliberately.

Benjamin Barber, an eminent sociologist, once said, “I don’t divide the world into the weak and the strong, or the successes and the failures… I divide the world into the learners and non-learners.”

In this article specifically, I am talking about:

Starting a conversation:

Starting a conversation is always a good thing. But why all of us struggle with it. It is generally as most essential skills of social engineering, to be able to start a conversation.

Moreover, being able to start a conversation with a stranger strongly increases your likelihood making new friends.

It has been proved that if you don’t start a conversation within 4-5 seconds of seeing someone, it becomes harder to start a conversation with that person. You start to feel awkward to start a conversation now.

Solution-finding:

Don’t tell me, I know this. Yes, I know that but do you deliberately practice it or you’re like me who easily get tensed whenever a problem comes across. This skill basically points to a solution finding approach, a mindset. Where it doesn’t mean that you will always find a solution to a specific problem, but at least you tried. Whether you believe it or not while trying to solve a problem you will learn a lot of things which might not prove to be useful at that time itself but may come to help at some later point in time.

In her TED talk “The power of believing that you can improve” psychologist Carol Dweck provides valuable insights from her researches and shows significant differences in habits of children with a growth mindset.

Taking criticism/failure in stride:

This one is tough. Personally, I still struggle with this and not able to always take criticism or failure in a positive sense. Being a human, feeling bad for failure and criticism comes inherent.

But over the years I have learned this thing that most of the criticism is not meant for us, it is somehow the perception of the person giving it. To know that whether it is meant for you or not, just ask one question: “Does this person really cares about me, or he is just giving his views on this”

Most of the time the truth is later. But once in a while, you might come across a criticism which is really meant for you. Then you must accept it in stride.

Study Sutra - skills
No. You can’t criticize me.

Listening:

No, I mean active listening. Nobody likes a person who continuously interrupts you talking in between just to show how well informed or intelligent he is. It feels bad. Active listening is an essential skill in the attempt to be a good human being and a life-long learner. Even, the best public speakers attribute their success to active listening and consider it as most important skill as a person.

Active listening doesn’t only means nodding your head while keeping an eye contact with the speaker. It means to understand what another person really wants to convey and giving appropriate feedback for the same.

Study Sutra - skills
Needles Talk. Blah Blah Blah.

Cooking:

Yes, you heard it right. During last 4 years of me living on my own. I have learned this hard way, that one should know how to cook.

I’m not asking you to be a Master Chef. It’s just one should know how to cook some basic stuff like Briyani or some chapatti. (Maggie doesn’t fall in this category. Yippie too!).

I know you might say that when one has money he can buy anything he wants. But sometimes you can get stuck in a situation where buying is not an option.

Also, cooking is not a rocket science. Go and learn some cooking stuff.

Study Sutra - skils
Wohhooooo. I’m cooking something

DIY:

Also called DO IT YOURSELF. This encompasses many things but this is more about small things like changing a tire or fixing your own computer. More about embracing a DIY mindset.

But how will I learn to do it?

Find yourself. That’s what it is all about. Find a YouTube video or some article on a blog. That’s how I upgraded my laptops RAM, it was easy.

It has another benefit that it helps to build your confidence. You will feel more confident next time when the problem occurs with any of your friends. It will make you their SUPERHERO.

Learning how to learn:

This is what Study Sutra is all about. Our education system has wired us all in a wrong manner. Where we are taught books are the only source of knowledge.

Instead, learning is required to be seen completely differently. Something which has to be learned and doesn’t come automatically.

The whole learning process can be divided into four tiny steps:

  • Deconstruct the whole thing in small little chunks just like mini skills;
  • What are the most important chunks out of them all;
  • Eliminate barrier to start or working daily;
  • Track your progress and practice deliberately.

Talking about yourself:

This one can be a hard to learn. According to me, it’s about maintaining a balance between Bragging about yourself and demoting yourself as a useless creature. Really, whenever I come across new people either they are bragging about themselves to create an over confident image of themselves, or they just hide behind something which clearly shows theirs under confidence.

The knack is to find the perfect balance between the both sides. Which can be done by giving yourself a powerful introduction. You need to write down on a paper, who you are, what qualities do you have, what makes you unique from others around you.

Go and write a statement for yourself now.

One more thing to keep in mind is that you need to be a genius of some skill to include it in your statement, you can just start by small things such as “I’m learning web design or I’m learning this new recipe” and who knows the other person might be of same interests and you find a good friend or teacher.

Study Sutra - skills
I’m awesome and I know it.

Forward-thinking:

It might seem too obvious for you but this one is what will make or break a career for you. You must have heard those enlightening phrases “Live in the present. Forget Past or Future”.

But what it fails to explain is the importance of planning in life. Live in the present is the motto when you have your future plans sorted, it’s a reminder to keep working towards those goals. It nowhere denotes that you need not a plan.

Just remember you will succeed in life only if you plan for it.

If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.

But what it doesn’t mean that you keep bothering yourself with thoughts of future and trouble your present life. No, you can’t.

Being a good significant other:

This one seems to be disconnected with the whole idea of studying but as I mentioned in the opening paragraph that these skills will help you become fully functional human being. Human life includes emotional connections with your loved ones.

Definition of a good significant other is a pretty vast. (If you go by opinion of your aunties). But if I come to define this, according to my understanding of relations, it just comes down to one thing UNDERSTANDING. Yes. That’s it.

Sounds simple?

Indeed, only if you follow it rationally. It demands you to be a rational person who sees the world just as it is.

Because sometimes you might come across a situation where there will big, big clash between you and your loved ones. In such scenario, understanding is what it all demands.

Another thing to be kept in mind is the need to communicate openly, howsoever tough the situation may be. Because this is the most important thing on which your relationship solely depends.

Go and have that hard conversation. If you’re not able to do that, you’re planning to have a big loss right away.

Just like financial investments, you’ll want to get started on these skills sooner, rather than later, so you can get your hands on some of that sweet, sweet compound interest.

Author: Prajjwal Kaushik

Being a CA aspirant, I had to deal with a lot of study pressure. I studied and learned about various study techniques adopted by the students worldwide to deal with my own study burden. I write about study hacks and tips to help you build a remarkable school/ college experience.

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