If you’re working your way through a challenging college course, you may look up from the books now and then and wonder about the returns your long nights and high tuition bills are likely to bring in the future. Depending on the path you choose, some of your coursework may or may not reappear in your workplace (Equine cardiology? Political symbolism in the poems of Catullus? Fluid mechanics?)But if you’ve taken any of the courses below, take our word for it: these lessons WILL come in handy when you step into the working world. And not just once, but often. Pay attention, do your homework, and get ready to use these tools as you build the foundation of a meaningful career.1. Rhetoric & CompositionRegardless of your industry and your position, you’ll need to learn how to communicate effectively with other human beings. In both spoken and written forms, you’ll need to identify a central argument and then gather and present support for the claims you make and the information you share.You’ll need to master rhetorical devices and recognize logical fallacies in order to hear what others are trying to tell you and generate respect for the things you think and say. Power, influence, productivity, and human connection all begin with words.2. Economics What’s a balance sheet? What does “amortization” mean? What’s the difference between net and gross? What does it mean to collect a return on an investment or spread out a cost over time? How does interest work and how does one person’s debt become a revenue stream for another person, an item of value worth buying or selling to a third party?You may not intend to become a financier or an economist, but here’s some news: we’re all financiers and economists when it comes to our own lives and the companies we work for. Money is serious and important. Even if you’re making sandwiches all day, you’re part of a money chain—an essential part—and you may as well know how that chain works and how your efforts create revenue for your employers.3. Practical Math Every job involves written and spoken communication, and every job involves practical math. If you aren’t applying your math skills at work, you should be. Measurements of productivity and units processed, numerical value judgments, numerical comparisons, record tracking over time, and data analysis are all essential tools for success in any position.4. Hanging Out In the DormLazy afternoon and late-night dorm gab sessions are by no means a waste of time. Neither are weekends spent rambling around town. You may think you’re just asking aimless questions about the nature of life, or tossing a ball around, or taking a study break to grab a burrito with your friends, but you’re also practicing a ritual that will reoccur thousands of times in your working life. The way you navigate this scene (and hundreds of others like it) will have an astonishing impact on your professional success.