College Lessons That Will Prepare You For The Real World

College is a time to become more proficient in your desired field of education, but also to learn how to live independently. When you go off to college, you’ll gain knowledge about life that simply can’t be confined in a textbook.

I’ve spent three years at college and couldn’t be more excited to begin my senior year. I can sit here today and tell you that I am a completely different person than I was when I was in your shoes.

College has taught me how to act appropriately in an academic, social, and professional setting. I promise that you’ll gain these lessons throughout your college experience. I believe you learn different lessons each year; your transformation from a high school student to young professional will be a “work in progress.”

Over the next four years, you’ll find yourself in challenging situations inside and outside of the classroom. No matter how rough it gets, it’s important for you to stay focused and pull through. All of these situations will prove to be important in preparing you for the real world after graduation.

Group Projects Never End

group projects

You’ll most likely end up doing several group projects in college. There will usually be a few students who actually put in the work and a few who don’t. Rather than getting frustrated and doing all of the work yourself, take the time to separate the responsibilities within your group.

Once you enter the real world, you’ll be asked (in most careers) to work with your co-workers to complete a task. Understanding how to lead a group or work efficiently in one will make you a better employee and an even better asset to your company.

Take Good Notes

Students writing essay

Your professors in college will strongly urge you to take notes in their course. I HIGHLY recommend that you pick up this habit sooner than later. You’ll definitely need these skills in order to be successful in your career.

Once you enter the real world, Taking good notes will help you stay organized in your career and daily lifestyle.



You may be able to get away with turning in your paper a day late in college, but this is NOT how the real world works. In your career, a deadline is a deadline. No exceptions. Take advantage of the time given to you to work on that particular report, project, or presentation.

Once you enter the real world, you’ll be expected to finish your assignment with excellent quality and on time.

Lose That Procrastination and Acquire Time Management


I feel like this is the most difficult lesson to learn in college. Once you get into your daily routine, it will be easy to put off your work to do something else you enjoy. However, this procrastination will only build over time…so don’t procrastinate!

Once you enter the real world, you’ll be expected to handle your time appropriately. Your employer will want things done in a timely manner and not at your leisure.

Be Friendly To Everyone You Meet


If you haven’t realized by now, in life there will be people that you love and people that you dislike. It’s really important that you stay friendly with everyone you encounter because you never know when you may see them again; you may even work with them in the future!

Once you enter the real world, it’s important to always put your best foot forward. If you don’t get along with someone, work out your differences. If that doesn’t work, it’s important that you still act professional in the workplace. Effective communication will be crucial for your future career.

Act Professional – Even Through Your Online Profiles


I can’t stress enough how important it is for you to begin acting professional while you’re at college. During your transition from high school student to college student, you’ll come closer to the interviewing process.

Once you enter the real world, your boss won’t be impressed with those outrageous pictures on your Facebook or Twitter. So, make a point to represent yourself in the best light online and in person at all times. Even after the interviewing process, it’s important that you maintain a professional attire and brand on your online profiles.

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Stephanie Vlk

Stephanie Vlk

Stephanie Vlk is a junior at the University of Dayton pursuing a degree in communication with a concentration in electronic media as well as a minor in English. While not in class, Stephanie is involved in a service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, and a honors professional fraternity, Phi Beta Chi. Outside of academic and community activities, she enjoys dancing hip hop, reading, spending time with friends, and doing yoga.