It was Mark Twain that said: “don’t allow schooling interfere with your education” and I quite agree with him.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m an advocate of formal education but I make bold to say that college is not education ends.

The best you could get from college is a degree, few connections and maybe a little exposure. In fact, you could be an expert in your chosen major, get a nice job and start raising a family shortly after.

But how do you handle real life issues like emotional strain, psychological trauma, and other unforeseen challenges?

These are important life issues that you get to learn outside the four walls of college through your daily struggles. There are no lesson notes; no professor; just practical experiences.

Here in this article, I’ll share with you the 5 valuable skills that I learned from the school of hard knocks, which have made me a better person.

1. Blogging

If there’s one thing college students should learn to do while in school, it should be blogging. This is because blogging helps you to improve your writing skills, share knowledge, express yourself, promote a cause and become a better person.

I started blogging in my third year in college. Although I didn’t make money from my blog back then, all I knew was enough to teach my colleagues how to start a blog. And that brought me great joy and fulfillment. Today, I’m a full-time blogger and I make all my earnings online.

2. Personality building

Personality building has to do with developing unique qualities that distinguish you from every other person. A great personality allows people to form a good perception about you. And once that’s done, you’ll be highly revered and have great influence on the people around you.

Building an awesome personality involves having self-discipline, high moral values, self-confidence, financial independence and civilization. Once I learned to carve a niche for myself with a great personality, things began to get clearer for me.

3. Effective Communication

Good communication is a social necessity. It’s crucial to our success in life, work, and relationships since we need it to get through with our friends, loved ones, colleagues, and to conduct businesses successfully.

For communication to be effective there should be a feedback between the source and the receiver. That’s why it’s important to learn all its elements such as speaking, listening and writing, and how you can use them to achieve great results.

4. Entrepreneurship skills

Like many people, I never gave entrepreneurship a serious thought while I was in school. All I wanted was to graduate, get a good job, and start raising my own family. Yes, I did get a job after graduation but the two years I spent in that job were hellish. And that gave me the drive I needed to become an entrepreneur.

Being an entrepreneur made me realize that I could make as much money as I want. I can create my own opportunities, work on schedule, stand up for what I believe in and be my own boss. There’s really no limit to what you can achieve as compared with being in a 9 to 5 job.

5. Emotional Intelligence

Nobody teaches how to handle the emotional breakdown in college. Even if you read tons of essays on emotional intelligence, only a practical experience can give a clearer picture. For example, how do you handle cases of stress, workplace harassment, divorce, exam failure, and a crumbling career?

You could only handle those through your ability to identify, control and evaluate your emotions. Essentially, emotional intelligence involves creating a positive environment around you, being focused, having empathy, and taking responsibility for your behaviors. This is the easiest path to being emotionally intelligent.

In the end, you’ll realize that education is a lifelong process and there’s a lot more to learn outside of school. Look closely at real life occurrences around you and see what insights you could glean from them.

If you’re still in school, you have to think beyond your college degree and develop yourself with valuable skills like I did. That’s the only way to key into the dynamic world out there.

Author's Bio: 

Hafiz is a freelance writer, content strategist and online entrepreneur. He helps businesses to build brand awareness, get more inbound traffic, engage their target audiences, generate more leads, and increase sales. Follow him on twitter and LinkedIn