life skills for adults

Life Skills for Young Adults (before they turn 30)

Employable skills can at least guarantee a person success in a job, but life skills are just so profound—and can afford you success in life when learned and practiced carefully. 

They are healthy living skills that can make you invaluable in your world and the people around you. Therefore, in this post, we shall be exploring 15 of them as observed by experts. And these powerful life skills for every young person (including students) are:


15 Important Life Skills For Students (and Young Adults) before they turn 30


Learning is a continuous exercise. Little wonder, American author John Naisbitt once made a powerful quote about learning. He said, “In a world that is constantly changing, there is no one subject or set of subjects that will serve you for the foreseeable future, let alone for the rest of your life. The most important skill to acquire now is learning how to learn.”

Thus, the following are some the important life skills students and every person should learn on time: 

1. Decision-making skills

At one point or the other, taking a stand concerning some matters is something you must do. It could be making a career choice or choosing a life partner. Or perhaps, you are about to relocate due to a transfer at work or other factors. Maybe you need to decide to bring an end to a destructive relationship.

Decision-making is a life skill that may incorporate other skills, such as problem-solving skills, emotional intelligence, creativity, time management, etc., depending on the situation. 

Whichever be the case, decision-making is life skill for students. In fact, it’s something every person must develop before they turn 30.

2. Social life skill

Man indeed is a social being and therefore has social needs. But many still find it extremely difficult to lead a social life. The simple reason is that they lack social life skills such as interpersonal relationship skills

They seem unable to understand why they feel helpless and uneasy in getting along with people.

3. Critical thinking in life skills

Finding solutions to any problem or challenge requires critical thinking skills. Hence, critical thinking and problem-solving skills are crucial in life. And every young adult needs them in their everyday life.

One cannot overstress the significance of critical thinking skills in personal and professional life. And for a young adult to be able to think critically over time and in his lifetime, he must be able to observe, reflect, and analyze very holistically. 

However, sadly, many young individuals are not critical thinkers because of no commitment to practicing things or engaging in activities and exercises that will help them become more critical in their thinking.

4. Self-discipline

Many have defined self-discipline as the ability to control self, while others see it as the synonym for self-control. However, while self-discipline may appear as a virtue, it can be considered a life skill that young adults must master before they hit 30. 

That’s because their success in life hinges on it.

Self-discipline is the ability for one to be able to set goals and find the necessary motivation amidst identified obstacles to follow them through. Until they become the desired results.

5. Self-awareness life skills

Without giving much thought to the term self-awareness, many people may get tempted into thinking it is an egocentric term. But in reality, that is not the case. Self-awareness skill is a life skill that allows individuals (especially young adults) to display empathy in their actions and decision-making. That’s because it makes them assess themselves, from time to time, against acceptable standards or norms.  

Say, for example, you got into a gathering, and after five minutes in that group, you realize you seem to be dominating the conversation and not giving room for others to talk. That is to say, you are talking too much. 

Self-awareness skills will help you caution yourself. In other words, self-awareness skills allow you to question your thinking and actions objectively. To enable you to adjust to a more realistic and rational position, fostering cooperation, teamwork, and peaceful coexistence. In psychology, it is better captured by the ego reality principle.

6. Adaptive living skills

The primitive man never had a phone or smart device to communicate with his fellow man thousands of miles away. As a result, the man moves from one place to another. And at worst, he wandered in search of things—changing their environment.

It may interest you to know that what kept them going is the skill called adaptive living skills. Now, present-day living is far more civilized than what primitive man lived thousands of years back. But that should remind you that change is constant in a world that keeps evolving.

Remember, when you newly started work at your workplace, right? You felt overwhelmed by the newness of the environment and maybe how different it was from your former place of work. And you needed to employ your adaptive skills. That is the same way a UK resident who plans to relocate to Texas in the United States will need to survive.

In summary, challenges usher every human into each phase in their lives. But these challenges are often overwhelming and require you to take up new habits. And that’s what being adaptive is all about. It makes you scale through challenges with resilience no matter what happens.

7. Independent life skills

While parents shouldn’t throw freedom at their children, they need to teach them what it means to be responsible and to take responsibility for their actions. And being independent is a sign of being responsible.

Every student and young adult must learn and be emotionally ready to harness independent life skills. And they include the ability to take care of one’s hygiene, monitor what and how he eats, what and how to dress, and money management, amongst others.

On that ground, independent life skills are all-encompassing as they capture the abilities that will equip an individual to lead a life that reflects well-being in personal health, society, and finance, to mention a few.

8. Community living skills

Just imagine that there’s only one house in your neighborhood. And say that apartment happens to be yours. The truth is that you’d not want to stay in such a house or environment. I mean, who lives on the planet called mars?

You would want neighbors in your neighborhood, except for situations whereby one decides to buy a house on an island to experience nature or serenity.

However, whether you like it or not, you’d always belong to a community at a different point in your life. And for each phase in your life, you interact with your community and the people who belong to it. And that requires community living skills, such as socialization skills, apartment upkeep, the ability to use public transportation, and restaurants, among other facilities.

9. Money management skills

Everyone knows what it means to spend money, both young and old. But then thousands of young people lack the necessary life skills to take care of their finances. Because money management skills are a life skill for students (and young people). Yet most people may not be privileged to learn from school, yet need to keep their heads high above horrible financial challenges.

On this ground, every young person before the age of 30 should learn about money and how to manage it. This knowledge and skills are essential to living a beautiful life. In simple terms, financial life skill or money management skill is the ability to make, invest, spend money, and plan with money with a very low possibility of getting into reckless financial problems.

American business mentor and account Sharon Lechter once said, “Money is a life skill – and as parents, grandparents, interested adults – it’s up to us to make sure our children are prepared for the financial world they are going to face.”


10. Communication life skills

Communication as a skill is as old as life itself. And without communication, nothing is done. Take a moment and imagine what life would look like if there were nothing like communication. Terrible and lifeless it would have been.

American actor Bret Morrison once quoted, “Of all the life skills available to us, communication is perhaps the most empowering.”

No wonder, every employer seeks good communication skills in all every prospective job applicant. Thus, the competencies to communicate effectively are life skills for students and other young individuals. 

Communication is a life skill and may take a lifetime for one to master it. That’s why every child begins to learn about it. But to live a successful life, every young person must decide to become more proficient in the art of communication by learning communication skills. And these skills consist of listening skills, speaking, reading, and writing skills.

11.  Negotiation skills

As part of our everyday life, we negotiate our ways through things and matters. In casual, romantic, and business relationships. While many know what negotiation is, only a few know how to enter into negotiations that will produce results to their advantage.

Negotiation skills in daily life are essential. That’s why you should take it upon yourself to develop and master the skills and process of negotiations as a young adult. In other words, improving your bargaining ability will help you succeed in your personal and business life.

12. People skills for life

Some people think only a few people need people skills. But that is not true. Everybody does need it, including young adults—especially those who are yet to hit 30. The earlier, the better.

People skills involve the ability to relate and socialize with others without stress. They consist of interpersonal relationship skills, social skills, and emotional intelligence.

13. Leadership life skills

Leading is one thing many will spend their lifetime learning. Some people take courses to grasp and be able to practice these skills, while others harness these skills with ease.  

Leadership is the ability to influence others, and it can be learned and practiced. Making them life skills for students and youngsters. 

And to be a good leader, one must have the following attributes:

  • Ability to communicate effectively
  • Confidence and courage
  • Ability to stimulate teamwork
  • Empathy
  • Sensitivity to the environment and situations

14. Time management skill

Time is transient. But how we use it will determine the quality of our lives. That explains why the time management skill is a life skill that every young adult must learn and master if they want to achieve success in anything they do— and in life.

Every goal takes time to be achieved, right? 

Therefore, to achieve any goal in one’s personal or professional life, one must be able to optimize the resource called time. It could be educational goals, business goals, or career goals.

15. Managing emotions life skills

Many adults talk about emotional intelligence, but just a few possess it. It is the ability to recognize your emotions at any given point and manage them and not allow them to cloud your sense of judgement or decision-making. These skills are also called emotion management life skills. Others may refer to it as emotional intelligence.

Whatever name you decide to call, it is a life skill that young adults who want to achieve success need to cultivate before they clock 30. Reason is that it is more difficult for older adults to go through change without any complexity. Thus, the ability to take charge of emotions is life skill for students and any other young individuals.

When you are in charge of your emotions, you’ll be careful not to make rash decisions or judgments, either in your personal or professional life. But sadly, a lot of people have gotten into some big mess from their inability to manage their emotions. Perhaps, in their marriage, career, finance, or as the case may be.



We have looked at fifteen powerful life skills every young adult should develop before turning 30. However, while these skills appear to be interrelated, they can still be learned and harnessed by any person willing to change their lives rather than stay stagnant.


What other skills do you think should be part of the life skills every young adult needs?

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