Applying for college is not just about GPA or test scores. It’s your first step in taking on the bigger challenges in life. It’s your stepping stone to the real world. If you want to have better chances of getting accepted to college, then you need to find out the leadership skills colleges look for.

Universities are out to find those who have the potential of becoming leaders. That’s why you need to be ready in presenting yourself beyond your grades. Whichever path you pursue, being a leader in your own right ensures a better future for you and the people around you.

Need a jump start? Here are the top 10 leadership skills colleges look for in 2018:


1. Shows love for learning

The eagerness to learn is a leadership skill colleges look for. Sure, it’s not just about having high scores. However, being counted on when it comes to learning and understanding can set you apart. You are always a step ahead of discovering and applying your knowledge, thereby inspiring others to do the same.

So be curious. Be open to what you can learn beyond what you know. This is one trait that easily helps you to stand out.


2. Displays promising impact

Colleges look for someone who foreshadows positive impact on the campus as well as his/her fellow students. These colleges have developed a seasoned sense of young leaders who can potentially make an impact when they graduate too.

From being motivated to staying spirited, there are many ways you can be a promising servant leader. It’s about staying true to yourself and what you believe in as well as influencing others in a positive way.


3. Possesses likeability

People like people who they can relate to. That’s why likeability is one of the many leadership skills colleges look for.

It isn’t as shallow as you might think. When people are in front of someone they feel like they can easily open up to and trust, communicating feels more natural. When they trust you, it opens a world of possibilities and opportunities.  You are able to work together more efficiently, thereby yielding much more productive results.


4. Exhibits a sense of social responsibility

There’s much to be done in this world. Whether in a local or global scale, there are plenty of issues and crises that young people can help put an end to.

Having a sense of social responsibility makes you stand out from the rest. When you are passionate about improving other people’s lives, you have a better chance of entering the college of your dreams. In fact, your potential university will instantly see this as strength, an opportunity to give you a platform of making a change.


5. Takes initiative

True leaders don’t wait it out. They take initiative and do what needs to be done. They devise a solution to a problem instead of just taking the back the seat and “letting it roll out”. Moreover, they’re always ready to take every challenge head on.

This is yet another leadership skill colleges look for. They want someone who is ready to act as needed but always with better judgment and good intention.


6. Displays positive attitude

Moods and attitudes are infectious. That’s why leaders who have a positive attitude produce a much healthier and happier environment. Moreover, people want to work around them because these leaders are able to smile and laugh even in the most stressful situations. They have grace under pressure and aren’t easily shaken by obstacles.

Positivity is a strong leadership skill. When the going gets tough, you must bring the light with you. You must continuously inspire others to keep their heads up.


7. Commitment

Colleges need to know that you are in this for the long haul. Whichever endeavor you are passionate about, it’s important to follow through on what was agreed to. You must be willing to put in the extra hours or do more than what you were asked to. Granted it won’t always be a smooth road ahead. However, it is your commitment that will help you surpass the challenges and come out triumphant.

Commitment is also more than just dedication to the job. For example, promising your fellow club members a reward is something you need to see through the end.


8. A team player

People who can lead and function with a group of people effectively is one of the main leadership skills colleges look for. Being a leader isn’t about telling people what to do. Leadership is about guiding them and being one with them throughout the journey. It’s more than just delegating tasks. It’s about helping them see these tasks through.

Being a team player is one of the many leadership skills colleges look for. You must work easily with other people, and enjoy while you’re at it. For an aspiring leader, it is more a privilege than a chore to have a team by your side.


9. Willingness to take risks

It won’t always go your way. There will be a lot of challenges that will make you rethink your strategy. Moreover, there will be moments wherein you need to come up with Plan B, C, and so forth. What you need to have is a willingness to take risks.

Making calculated decisions on the fly is another trait many universities look for. When you’re put in certain situations where you won’t have the luxury of time, you must be ready to take risks.


10. Resilience

College is good training grounds for potential leaders. There are many challenging opportunities as well as continuous problem-solving. It hones your ability to deal with difficult situations gracefully and efficiently. When you go out to the real world, you’d be more prepared to take these challenges head on.

That being said, you need to be resilient. A true leader understands that it is not an easy road to take. There will be many problems to solve along the way. There will be people, situations, and things that will end up frustrating you. What matters is you are strong enough to get back up and do it again and again, as needed.

Now that you are applying for college, keep in mind these skills that universities are looking for. It’s not just about the technical abilities you possess. It’s also about certain capabilities that prepare you for the real world.

Good luck!