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13 Basic Skills That Took 3 Years of University To Master

University is just as much about learning how to be a successful human than it is gaining a degree. But should it really have taken as long as it did to master these basic life skills?

1. How to take notes and listen at the same time.

First year you either heard what the lecturer had to say or frantically wrote down a few things from the slide thinking, “what was that!? GO BACK!” Final year students are the masters of multi-tasking.

2. Setting up and keeping track of bills. 

“What the hell is this line rental charge? Why won’t these companies just leave me alone? I actually have to pay for water!?” – said every second year student ever.



3. Cooking a meal without any disasters.

It took the good part of a year to build up the courage to move away from frozen meals. Another two years after that to get your signature dish right every time.

4. How to write a successful email (to get what you want).

Asking for an extension in first year? No chance. But in your final year, your way with words can woo even the sternest of professors. That’s a skill that’ll come in handy when applying for jobs.

5. Doing laundry.

Firstly, not leaving it until you have literally nothing left to wear. Secondly, actually knowing what goes where in the machine.

6. Knowing what’s worth highlighting and what isn’t.

Let’s just say your books where a lot more colourful in first year.


7. Knowing your limits. And staying within them. 

Not a single fresher has this skill. In fact, you might still not have it when you graduate.

8. How to budget your life.

Comes with bonus skill: how to resist temptation and show financial restraint. Remember checking your bank balance and seeing 8:00pm: £20.00 Cash Withdrawal. 10:00pm: £30.00 Cash Withdrawal. 01:00am: £50.00 Cash Withdrawal.‘ ? Like the money you once had, those days are gone. Hopefully.

9. Memorising all the rules to all the drinking games.

Just as everyone was getting bored of them, too. And for those who think this isn’t a life skill, two fingers.



10. How to properly manage your time.

AKA not leaving everything to the last minute, not staying in bed for days on end stuck in a loop of “just one more episode”, and not miscalculating how fast university can go by.

11. The ability to speak to people.

When you started as an awkward fresher, you couldn’t hold a conversation without alcohol to fuel the fire. But university throws all kinds of people at you over the years which prepares you pretty well for real life things like “networking” whatever that is.

12. Harvard Referencing.

Just in time for you to never use it ever again. And you thought drinking games was a useless skill.

13. And how to plan ahead.

Your first student summer was spent mainly in bed. Your second you probably planned to meet a few people. But in your third you had a summer holiday, festivals, road trips – everything was organised through the fear that it may be your last.

Put all those on your CV.

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