How to Survive Being a Student: 20 Crucial Life Hacks

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Entering a college can be quite challenging: professors demand a lot, homework has to be done, friends wait for you to hang out. It could mean exponential personal growth and expanded connections, or if we are not careful, it could also mean depression and anxiety. It pretty much depends on how we react to external factors.

I can tell you one thing for sure: college life is not easy. It takes time to get used to the new environment, make new friends, and connect with new people. College is not only about partying endlessly and working hard to get good grades. College is a new door that opens amazing perspectives and opportunities if you become aware of its significance. You can volunteer for a cause that you love, involve in multiple interesting projects, or even open up a new club at your university. You can truly make a change and become a leader if you take the right path.

Anyhow, college is a place for new, funny experiences too. Not much money and too much freedom will add greatly to your individual growth. We’ve put up a list of practical “hacks” for new students that will make you laugh, but also help you a lot. Take a look!

  1. Set 10 alarms. In college, you cannot afford to miss classes. Make sure you wake up by setting at least ten alarms consecutively. If your targeted waking up time is 6 AM, start by setting an alarm at 5:45, one at 5:47, and so on and so forth. You’ll wake up eventually.
  2. Keep Your Desk Clean. Keep your desk clean by any means! In order to do so, set up a certain time to clean it every week. Respect that promise! A clean desk helps you study better and more efficiently.
  3. Check Your Essays. Check your essays for grammar and spelling mistakes, and use different proofreading services to improve your essay’s quality.
  4. Order Your Books. Be well-organized! When you come back from school, always take your books out of your backpack, and put them on your shelf. That way, you won’t have to search for them every time you need them. That takes a lot of your time.
  5. Buy Good Coffee. “I can’t function without coffee,” – that’s a common line you’ll hear from friends. Unfortunately, many of them drink coffee from the cafeteria, so they don’t know how good coffee tastes like. Valuable tip: Buy your own, and invite them over for a cup of love!
  6. Cook Rather Than Order. Ordering food can become a routine, and I am sure you have better ways to spend your money. If you have too much money, save it, don’t spend it on food. Go to the cafeteria (if you have a meal plan) or cook!
  7. Keep Your Fridge Full. When you shop at Walmart, look for deals like ‘buy one get one free.’ Always keep your eyes open and pay attention to good offers.
  8. Decorate Your Room. It’s important to live in a good environment. Make sure you feel comfortable in your room by decorating it. You can use washi tape to hang stuff on the wall.
  9. Buy a Used TV. Who wouldn’t want to have a movie night with his/her friends at least once a week? For that, you need a TV. Buy a used/refurbished one! Look for yard sales or super cheap deals at Target. You can also search for deals on eBay.
  10. Use Innovative Trash Cans. If you are not able to buy a new trash can, or the one you have is too small, improvise. Flip a chair, put a trash bag on it, and use it wisely.
  11. Replace Cooler with Washing Machine. If you don’t have enough money to buy a cooler, keep your beer in the washing machine. Fill it with ice and stack it there until you drink it.
  12. Drink in Public Buy cheap tea/coke cans on Amazon, and use them to drink alcohol wherever you want to!
  13. Get Rid of Distractions. When you work or study, turn off your phone. Do not reply to any texts or read any e-mails – they can all wait while you’re busy studying.
  14. Take Constant Breaks. Take a 10-minute break every 50 minutes. Set an alarm for that and do it! It’s important to relax every hour in order to be productive.
  15. Talk to Yourself in the Mirror. Later in life, you might have to speak in front of big audiences. College prepares you for that. Practice the art of speaking by looking and talking to yourself in the mirror before classroom presentations. It helps!
  16. Use Different Colors. Buy colorful markers to underline important paragraphs in your notebook. Attribute a different meaning to every color – for instance: yellow means it’s SUPER important, red means it’s crucial, green means it has to be learned, and so on.
  17. Find a Job. If you don’t have enough time for an offline job, search for freelancing opportunities online. Kevin Lorenzo, an HR specialist for Best Dissertation, recommends “interviewing for different writing services that hire students who are passionate about writing.”
  18. Record Your Professors. Instead of writing everything down, record your lessons. It’s easier to follow. Don’t forget to ask for permission!
  19. Use Gift Cards for Free Stuff. Don’t throw away those Visa gift cards you received a long time ago! Use them to sign up for free stuff online.
  20. Use Memes for Presentations. Memes are funny and popular. Use them in your PowerPoint presentations to keep your colleagues engaged.


Good luck trying all of the above hacks! They’ve helped me a lot during my freshman year when buying a chocolate was a huge financial effort for me. Check them out and leave us a comment if you’d like to add anything!

 Author bio:

Steven Wesley is a creative writer and ESL teacher interested in digital marketing, tech and educational issues. Besides, Steve believes in the mighty power of the pen to change the modern world. Drop him a line on Twitter and Facebook!