Everyone starts college with some degree of excitement about this new journey they’re about to begin. Whether it’s a shot at their dream career or the crazy party culture that they are looking forward to the most, college opens up doors for everyone to experience something new and life-changing.
What most people do not anticipate is that the college experience could be extremely overwhelming. Rather than simply being a time to learn, eat, sleep and have a good time, college could often be about eating Ramen noodles for weeks in a row, obtaining worse grades than you’d imagined possible, and getting little to no sleep.
Having the right information to get creative with every aspect of college life is crucial to solve some of the problems college life will throw at you. Not to worry, we’ve done the work for you and lived through getting it wrong at times—but these life hacks we didn’t have, will make your college years go by a lot easier and hopefully, help you be more successful.
1. Join Study Groups or Form Your Own
When it comes to group and clubs, you need to be a joiner or a former. It’s a great way to locate people that have similar interests early and stay on top of your grades while making new friends.
2. Use Snack Incentives
If you’re struggling to finish reading a chapter, place a little snack as incentive to sections of the reading you have to do and it can make it go by that much faster.
3. No Distractions
Decide on a break-taking system that works and stick to it. Several free mobile/desktop apps like Offtime and Forest are designed to keep you focused on the task at hand.
4. Have Trouble Reading?
Record audio versions of lectures and save time studying by listening to these recordings on the go.
5. Ace Your Presentations
Never look unprepared for presentations. Let a friend ask you a question you’re all set on to impress your professor and excel.
6. Commit Your Schedule to Heart
For the first week of classes or as long as you need, have a screenshot of your course schedule as your lock screen; that way you can check out phone briefly to know where you need to be.
7. Color-Code Your Notebooks
Save time trying to locate the right course notebooks by color coding the edges of your notebooks with highlighters or buying different colored notebooks in the first place.
8. Label Your Keys
Get in and out of your dorm room/storage locker quicker by using labels for your keys painting the top of each one with a different Sharpie or nail polish color.
9. Make Quick, Wasy Grocery Lists
Skip the traditional grocery list and snap a photo of your fridge contents to save time and make sure you get all you need.
10. Avoid Sleeping through Your Alarm
Never miss the important things on your schedule (even it’s your least favorite 8 a.m. lesson). Place your phone in a glass cup and let the reverberations amplify the sound of your alarm.
11. No Coffee Maker? No Problem
This genius life hack will save your mornings if you’re a coffee lover. Cut the bottom out of a foam or paper up and place a coffee filter above it. Fill the filter with ground coffee, hold it over a mug and slowly pour hot water to make hot coffee.
12. Explore All the Uses of Your Permitted Machines
Now if you are permitted to have a coffee pot in your dorm, feel free to create simple meals with it.
13. Save Time Heating up Food
Don’t wait turns to use the microwave. Place an empty cup and a second bowl over it to heat your food at the same time.
14. Washi Tape is Your BFF
Putting up posters to beautify your dorm space may be cool, but skip the tack to avoid the extra housing charges for ruining the dorm walls. Stick to using washi tape to spice up your room.
15. Maximize Closet Space
Double up your hanged clothes by using cans to put up two hangers at a time. You can also save closet space by filing your clothes neatly so the dressers can hold more of them.
Related: 12 Tips to Decorate Your Dorm Space
16. Create Meaningful Friendships
The friendships you make in college are the best networking tool. Job hunting after graduation would be that much easier if you’ve already built yourself a decent network!
17. Travel the World (Study Abroad)
Studying abroad can help you develop skills that would go a long way later in life. The added perspective of “fresh eyes”; seeing different cultures and being in a foreign environment will help build independence and confidence.
18. Get to Know Your Professors
Having a good relationship with all professors could vastly improve your grades. Attend office hours. That extra effort would make life easier for you as professors are willing to help students they see putting in some work too.
19. Take Advantages of the Resources Colleges Offer
Colleges offer a variety of resources that most students do not take advantage of despite having paid for them: career services, psychological counseling and advising, sports clubs, health services, financial aid, and library and research facilities. Find out what your college offers and use these resources fully.
20. Stay Healthy
None of the hard work would be worth it if you’re not alive to reap the fruits. Maintain good, healthy habits – eat well, exercise and get enough sleep.
Now you’re a certified life hacker, and can power through these worst and best years of your life as a college student!