What Are College Success Skills?

Some students would describe success in college as being the brightest student in class, while others say it is the most influential, sought after, or having the most popular friends. College success, however, transcends trying to feel important or hide insecurities through titles and cliques. Let us know What Are College Success Skills?

What Are College Success Skills?

College success skills involve developing soft skills that give you a growth mindset, high EQ, personal goals, and values that ultimately create a real sense of belonging. Compared to the fleeting sense of belonging titles and cliques give, this kind is fulfilling and endures even after college life to get success in life. 

10 Soft Skills That Guarantee College Success

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-management skills
  • Time management
  • Decision making
  • Communication skills
  • Stress management
  • People skills
  • Conflict management
  • Creative thinking
  • Leadership


It is no coincidence that this was mentioned first. Self-awareness, the ability to understand and manage one’s emotions, character, and feelings, precedes any other skill you need to develop in college. Being self-aware is very important, especially when dealing with others, because it helps you understand and handle your relationships with people better. 

Self-Management Skills

Many college students see college as a time of freedom; the realization that parents or guardians are not close by to monitor their activities makes many come off as immature and irresponsible. That is why self-management skills are fundamental. You need to learn to be responsible, set goals for yourself, evaluate your progress, manage your time effectively, and organize your day to ensure no area of your life is lagging, and this involves creating study time, learning to prioritize, keeping to deadlines, eating right, getting enough rest, taking care of your health, observing proper hygiene, amongst others.

Time Management

This skill set is closely associated with self-management. We often hear college students say, “I am so busy, so stressed, I don’t even have time for myself.” Where is all my time going? If you stop to answer that question, it will help you reallocate your time better. Avoid getting involved in too many activities; if not, they’ll collide and cause you to lose focus on the primary thing you are in college for. Instead, allocate time for each engagement and follow it strictly.

Decision Making

This skill would help primarily in self and time management as it gives you the ability to make the best decisions per time, not leaving things hanging and pending. Mapping out activities in order of priority often helps in making the best decisions. 

Creative Thinking

When you speak of “creative thinking,” you speak of intentionality, thinking outside the box, problems, and solutions. Putting it together, you’ll see that creative thinker are people who intentionally consider problems around them and think up unique solutions. The college environment calls for creative thinkers, students who pay close attention to the needs of their environment and creatively come up with solutions to those needs. That’s how businesses are formed, and if you ask me, college is one of the best platforms for startups.

Stress Management

Your body, mind, and emotions will always react to change; this often leads to the phenomenon called stress. When you look at stress this way, you will realize that it is simply a reaction to change. So the next question to ask yourself is, what is that change? This helps you identify the source of stress and how best to adjust to or deal with it. 

Communication Skills

This involves listening, written, verbal and non-verbal communication. It knows when to be assertive, when to talk and when to listen, and how to carry yourself and express your ideas among fellow students and lecturers, advisors, and college staff.

People Skills

This involves empathy, cooperation, and team spirit. It is slightly different from communication skills as it involves working with and paying close attention to the emotions of others. You may know how to speak and write coherently, express and carry yourself properly, and even pretend to listen while others speak. Still, you cannot fake being empathetic, having a team spirit, or working well with people. People skills and communication skills work together. To be considered an effective communicator, you must possess people skills. 

Conflict Management

Where humans coexist, conflict is bound to occur. Therefore, knowing how to identify conflict, tame it, or handle it effectively is desirable for leaders and would make you stand out amongst your peers. 


This skill, in some way, relies on your ability to develop the skills mentioned above. However, if you take a closer look, the skills that have to do with your personal development were highlighted first before those related to people. In essence, when you develop your skills and manage yourself well, you can be well equipped to manage others. At the end of the day, these skills build you up for voluntary or involuntary leadership roles in and out of college.

How Do You Develop These Skills?

Work on understanding yourself better and your emotions at given moments. Take more time reflecting.

Focus on developing one skill per time, and it’s essential to make steady and trackable progress instead of doing a lot at once and achieving no progress at all.

Be open to feedback and constructive criticism.

Practice working with small groups, having one-on-one conversations, and paying attention to people’s body language. 

Build relationships with like-minded people who have a growth mindset and whom you could learn from.

Finally, you can learn on the job. Don’t shy away from leadership positions because you feel you are not fully ready. The truth is, you can never be fully ready. It’s okay to step out of your comfort zone.


Have you ever wondered why certain people who do not do well academically in college still get the chance to perform well in the real world? Well, that’s because while academics give you the intellectual prowess to get things done, soft skills largely determine how successful you would be. 

In the same vein, intellect would get you into college, but soft skills will make your college days a success.