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Conflict management and resolution will serve you well in every area of life - not just work. Shutterstock/Mon Dela
hard knock life

The 4 major life skills to learn by the time you are 18

A former Ivy League admissions interviewer says that these help students to thrive.

IF THE FUTURE generation is going to one day successfully run the world – or at least thrive in it – they’ll need a few essential skills at their disposal.

Jillian Bayor, founder and CEO of college admissions firm Ivy League Essay and business school admissions firm MBA Ivy League, spent the college admissions seasons of 1998, 1999, and 2000 looking for the world’s future leaders as a Harvard admissions interviewer.

“They’re looking for people who are going to go into the world and do things and become thought leaders in their areas, become the authors, become the writers, become the scientists, become the people who create patents that advance the world,” Bayor says.

“They’re looking for, on a certain level, the achievers, but it’s more than just being an overachiever — they’re trying to pick the people who are going to push society forward.”

And while not every 18-year-old will meet Harvard’s requirements, each one will have a better experience in college and the world beyond if they’ve at the very least mastered these most essential skills:

The ability to manage money

“I definitely think students should be financially astute before they get to college and have at least read some books geared towards students on money,” Bayor says.

She explains that, for many college students, this will be the first time many of them are controlling their finances, and the academic rigors may distract them from doing so effectively.

To better manage their money, Bayor says students should know how to create a budget, live within their means, and not accrue credit card debt.

“I strongly think there is not enough financial education in this country, especially for those who don’t learn it from their parents,” she says.

Time management

“I also think students need to know how to balance their time, as college is about being fully self-motivated and structuring time to finish papers and classwork without having anyone looking over you to make sure you’re doing the reading or completing assignments,” Bayor says. “Your success is based on you and you alone.”

Conflict resolution

Bayor says that by age 18, you should be able to resolve or negotiate conflict in a healthy way.

“A lot of students will be living with roommates for the first time in their lives, and conflicts will absolutely come up,” she says. “How you resolve them, and the relationship skills you have, will add or detract a lot from your happiness with others.”

The ability to stay positive

Bayor says that, most importantly, students need to know how to maintain a healthy outlook on life.

“College can be stressful, and it helps to have the inner resource of being able to see things in a realistic way — to understand that a single bad grade on a test or paper is never going to make or break you — and that one doesn’t need to be perfect to succeed,” Bayor says.

- Rachel Gillett

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