Ultimate List of College Life Hacks

Navigate through college with this amazing ultimate list of college life hacks, pro tips and tricks. From how you study to small things you do to cut corners on expenses, and things you do to make your college experience easier.

Ultimate List of College Life Hacks

  1. Read before the corresponding lectures.
    Most professors will have a full syllabus for the whole quarter so you know ahead of time exactly what is going to be covered. Personally I like to try and do all of the reading for the week the weekend before. For example, go into the lectures on George Washington having already read the chapter and/or assigned book on George Washington. You will be much more prepared and should have an easier time in the lecture.
  2. Your Starbucks birthday drink can be used at teavana for an ounce of tea instead.
    An ounce can make like 20+ cups or something, and some of their teas can be up to $15/oz. It’s a great deal if you like tea.
  3. You may be able to opt out of the meal plans, which can save considerable coin.
    If you can get into housing with even a partial / galley kitchen and you can cook your own food…  – On the topic of food, here is Reddit’s College Cookbook.
  4. Please locate and leverage your Student Career Services.
    Spring Break is your time to play.Summer Break should be spent in an internship, co-op, research opportunity, or something to help you tell an employer (or postgraduate admissions) “I have at least a clue about what I’m doing.”. Else you will be posting angry memes about how you can’t get an entry-level job without experience, so you can get experience to get a better job…
  5. Never buy a book that’s available in the public domain.
  6. If you have to read a lot and you have very little time, the trick is this:
    Read the intro, then read the first and last sentence of every paragraph. Then read the conclusion. You’ll get the gist.
  7. Learn the name of the person who actually runs your department.
    I guarantee you it isn’t the department chair. It is usually their assistant. That is the person to suck up to. They are the person that pulls the strings, gets it done, and makes accommodations. Be friendly with that person. They are actually running the show and the favors they’ll do for you if you get stuck in a bind are bordering on miraculous.
  8. Sparknotes.
    Never heard of it till waaaaay into college!
  9. Buy/rent used books on Amazon or download books for free.
    Much cheaper than buying books. Do what you can to lower the price.
  10.  If you can, carry a laptop.
    They’re very useful for any class in college. Some profs have a fit over them though.
  11.  Learn mnemonics.
    Mnemonics are memorization devices that are useful for all aspects of every day life. They are extremely helpful to help you study and learn. Learn some techniques and apply them when you study. Flashcards are also great for studying.
  12. Sleep.
    So many people walk around like zombies and constantly complain about how tired they are, but then they go and stay up til 4am or later every night and sleep like 4 hours. That’s fine like once a week or something, it’s good to have fun, but remember your health and just flipping go to sleep.
  13. CLEP: College Level Examination Program.
    Get credits for what you already know or what you feel you can study on your own for. Each test is about $80 and Cam save you time and money. Some universities don’t accept them though, research and find out if yours does!
  14. Buy a multitool for my graduation two years ago, and that has become extraordinarily helpful in regular dorm life. 
  15. Find out what services your school offers and use them!
    My school offers amazing health services that cover anything from sexual health to mental health. Also my school has a really nice gym that not nearly enough people utilize.
  16. When packing clothes to move in to or out of your dorm, haul it all in trash bags.
    I moved in with like 7 bins of clothing and figured out I could move it all out in just 2 trash bags. Trash bags made a huge difference.
  17. Buy a planner.

Some more resources:

Poor Student’s Cook Book

BookFinder – Textbook Price Engine

Vista College – Guide to Cheap Textbooks

Amazon textbook rentals seem to be a pretty popular option.


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