College Hacks Every Student Should Know

Going to college usually means lots of studying, learning, late nights, and parties. There is a lot students learn class, but there are several things that they don’t teach in the lecture hall. Master a few  helpful college hacks to help with studying, cooking, cleaning, and shopping that make college life much easier.  

Studying Hacks

 

1. Use incentives while studying.

Attribute: dragonpaint on reddit

Attribute: dragonpaint on reddit

It can be hard to sit down and force yourself to read a whole chapter without a little incentive. Try the candy hack: 1) Lay the textbook open on the ground. 2) Place a piece of candy every few paragraphs. 3) Start reading and when you get to a piece of candy, reward your studious reading with a little treat.

 

2. Take color coded notes during class.

Open note book with color coded notes.

Photo By: Organized Charm

When taking notes in class and during lectures, consider writing them in several different colors. Make a specific color code and stick to it. Color coding notes stimulates visual memory and makes it easier to recall facts. Color coding will also help notes stay organized and make finding information easier when it comes to preparing for an exam.

Taking the time to make higher quality notes during class will cut down on time required to study from a textbook and it will be much more entertaining than just taking notes with a black pen.

 

3. Build your GPA early.

Many college students take easier general education courses within the first year or two of attending college. While taking these easier courses, focus on building your GPA as high as possible. Building a GPA sooner rather than later means that it will be easier to maintain once harder classes come and a lower grade won’t drag it down too drastically.

 

4. Keep a laptop cool while studying.

College often requires lots of time spent on a laptop. If your laptop starts to overheat, cool it down by taking an open egg carton or a fast food drink carrier. Turn it upside down and place the laptop on top of it. The air flow helps the  computer immediately start cooling down.

 

5. Listen to recorded lectures.

Recording lectures while in class can come in handy later on during the semester. Listening to recorded lectures helps engrave information learned earlier into the brain. Listening to a recording ensures that any important information within a lecture isn’t missed. To save time on studying, listen to lectures at twice the speed. Most recording software has the ability to speed up the recording to save time on listening.

 

6. Get to know professors.

Building a relationship with professors makes college much easier and has long-term benefits. Most professors teach multiple courses within a major. Knowing a professor helps make for an easier transition to classes. Knowing a professor also helps if any problems arise. Professors are much more willing to help when they know the student personally.

A good relationship with a professor also opens many opportunities. It helps in securing a research position within a department or helps in finding a job in a hard to enter field. Professors who know a student’s work ethic and abilities are also helpful when it comes to letters of recommendation. If the professor knows a student well, they are more likely to write a glowing letter of recommendation.

 

7. Make friends in the major.

It is also beneficial to get to know other students within a major. Other students within a major can give advice on which professors to take classes from and which ones to avoid. They can also recommend courses or what combinations of classes are nice to take. Students can also trade textbooks within a major rather than having to buy all new textbooks. They also can be helpful in studying hard concepts and creating study guides. Above all else, other students can be a great support system.

 

Cooking Hacks

 

1. Learn how to make mug recipes.

Attribution: Society 19

Attribution: Society 19

Mug recipes are the latest in quick and easy cooking. Every meal from breakfast to dessert can be made in a mug. All that is needed to make a mug recipe is: a mug, a microwave, and a few ingredients.

Try making scrambled eggs in a mug. Spray a mug with cooking spray and add 2 eggs and 2 tablespoons of milk. Beat the eggs and milk with a spoon until blended. Put in the microwave on high for 45 seconds. Take out and stir. Microwave again until eggs are almost set (30 to 45 seconds more). Then add any toppings you want: cheese, salt, pepper, and herbs.

 

2. Heat two bowls in the microwave.

Microwave with two bowls, one on top of a glass.

Attribution: http://gwyl.io/master-kitchen-microwave-hacks/

Need to heat more than one bowl in the microwave at a time? Fit both bowls in the microwave by setting the first bowl in the microwave. Then place a mug or short cup next to the first bowl, and place the second bowl on top of the cup. It may take an extra minute to heat both bowls instead of one, but when in a hurry, this hack can save some time.

 

3. Master cooking in a coffee pot.

If there isn’t a microwave around to cook with, the next best option is a coffee pot. Learn creativity, resourcefulness and figure out how to make some staple meals with a coffee pot. Several things that can be made in a coffee pot:

  • Top Ramen
  • Hot dogs
  • Heat queso dip
  • Pasta
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Soup

 

4. Cool drinks quick.

Needing cold drinks fast? Chill a can or glass bottle quickly with a paper towel. First wet a paper towel and make it slightly damp. Then wrap the damp paper towel around the drink and place it in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. After 15 minutes the drink will be chilled and ready to enjoy.

 

Cleaning Hacks

 

1. Keep a desk clean with toilet paper rolls.

Three toilet paper rolls decorated with washi tape with cords through the middle.

Attribution: Crazy Organized

Tidy up a desk with old toilet paper rolls. Use rolls to organize and hold pens and pencils or other desktop necessities. Don’t want a plain old toilet paper roll on a desk? Dress it up with washi tape for a fun and easy organizer.

Toilet paper rolls can also be used to tidy up cords. Take a cord and wrap it in a circle. Then gather the middle so you have several loops. Hold one end and feed it through the roll. You can decorate the roll or write what the cord is on the roll to keep organized and cord bunches off of the floor.

 

2. Fold t-shirts and stack them vertically.

Drawer full of vertically folded t-shirts.

Attribution: https://www.reddit.com/r/lifehacks/comments/1bgwgj/file_tshirts_vertically_to_see_and_have_access_to/

Save valuable space by learning how to properly fold and stack t-shirts. First lay a t-shirt flat on the ground. Next fold the t-shirt in half vertically. Then fold the sleeve in towards the center. Next fold the top of the t-shirt down one third horizontally. Finally fold the bottom of the t-shirt up one third. When putting t-shirts in a drawer, instead of stacking them one on top of the other, stack them vertically to save space.

 

3. Use dryer sheets to make a room smell clean and fresh.

If a room is smelling bad, there is a quick and easy way to make the room start smelling fresh without having to buy expensive air freshener. To freshen up a room, get at least one dryer sheet and tape it to the ac unit or a fan. Turn it on and in minutes you’ll have a fresh and clean smelling room.

 

4. Organize bottles in the fridge with binder clips.

Bottles stacked in fridge with binder clip.

Attribution: Glad Pinterest

Keep an organized fridge with a few extra binder clips. This will work with a fridge that has a grated shelf. Neatly stack bottles in a pyramid and place a binder clip through the rack shelf next to the bottom outside bottle to hold the stack together.

 

5. Save space in the closet with soda can tabs.

Two shirts hanging on hangers combined with soda can tab.

Attribution: Shabby Creek Cottage

Most closets in college dorms and apartments are very small, and finding a way to maximize space is a must. A quick and easy way to get some extra space in the closet is to use soda can tabs on hangers. Slip one hanger through one hole in a can tab and slide it to the bottom of the hanger hook. Then slip a second hanger through the other hole keeping it at the top of the hook. Hang the first hanger in the closet and let the second hang. This helps save space and leaves more room for more clothes.

 

Shopping Hacks

Take advantage of your student status and use student discounts.

Lots of stores and restaurants offer student discounts for college students. Even though they don’t openly advertise the student discounts, don’t be afraid to ask for them. A few college discounts include:

Amazon: Anyone that has a valid .edu email can join Amazon Student. Get free 2-day shipping, unlimited photo storage through Prime photos.

Barnes and Noble: Students save up to 90% on used textbooks at Barnes and Noble.

Sam’s Club: Show a student ID when signing up for a Sam’s Club Collegiate Membership, and get a $15 Sam’s Club gift card and extra deals.

Crew: Students receive 15% off normally full-priced purchase.

ASOS: If students register with studentrate.com, they receive free shipping.

Apple: Students get education pricing on Apple computers, software, and select third-party products.

Adobe: Students get 60% off Adobe Creative Cloud; which makes it only $20 a month to download and use any Adobe product.

Spotify: Whether it is for a party, study session, or road trip, students receive unlimited access to music for 50% off. Spotify Premium, which removes ads and allows unrestricted use of playlists on smartphones, is a great way for students to get the music they want when they want it.

Chik-Fil-A: Get a free drink when you present your student ID.

Buffalo Wild Wings: Grab your favorite BBQ wings or other favorites at 10% off with a student ID.

For a full list of student discounts, see here

 

 

Use gifts cards to sign up for free trials.

 

Instead of using a credit card (or if you don’t have a credit card) use a Visa gift card to sign up for the free trial. If you forget to cancel the free trial, then you won’t have to worry about a recurring charge on your credit card every month.

 

Read more about tips and tricks to survive in college from Best Value Schools.