Your bank account and living status may resemble that of a homeless man, but that is just half of the fun college brings. Use these hacks to make the grade and live a little better on a student loan income.
1. Wikipedia Is Your Source to All Sources
You have probably heard your professors speak ad nauseam about how Wikipedia is not a credible source for papers and homework. However, you can still use Wikipedia to your advantage. Just search your topic on Wikipedia, and then scroll to the bottom of the page for notable sources. You just saved yourself an hour of research time.
2. Be a Teacher’s Pet
No one likes the teacher’s pet – it’s true. However, you are not in college to impress your classmates. You are in college to get an awesome job and experience amazing things before officially becoming an adult. Learn how to suck up in a cool way. Professors always have office hours, so why not swing by with a latte or plate of cookies. During your office hour’s visit, why not ask for some guidance on your paper or homework. Chances are your professor will take a quick peak at your work and give you the lowdown on how to get a better grade. Another great thing about befriending your professor is that they can be the key to a great recommendation letter or killer internship.
3. Just Show Up
No one wants to go to class – not even your professor. However, making the commitment to just be in class and actually look like you are enjoying it almost always guarantees you a passing grade. Why? Some professors tend to weigh grades heavily on attendance. Also, most professors favor students who show up for each class and engage in the conversation. Professors are humans with hearts (or at least I think so), which means they are less likely to fail a favored student who shows up to class and at least looks alive amongst the other snoring and hungover students.
4. Keep Everything Digital
Not only is the digital version of the textbook cheaper, but you can also search through it quicker. When it comes to homework, just search a keyword to find the answer you need within minutes. This also works if you take notes on your laptop. You can find the information you need with one click rather than rereading all of your notes.
5. Use Your Coffee Pot for More Than Coffee
You don’t need access to a full kitchen to make your meals. You can make several meals with just the use of a coffee pot. You can make instant oatmeal for breakfast, pasta or hot dogs for lunch, and even boiled chicken and steamed vegetables for dinner. Of course, you should probably have one coffee pot devoted to cooking and the other to coffee. You wouldn’t want your cup of joe to taste like last night’s chicken dinner.
6. Fill Up at the Salsa Bar
Short on cash? Get your lunch at a Mexican style fast food joint that offers a complimentary salsa/condiment bar. Just order the cheapest burrito or taco on the menu and then overload it with salsa, cilantro, and whatever else you can find. Be sure to take extra containers of salsa home to beef up your eggs or ramen noodles.
7. Take More English Classes
If you don’t mind a little bit of reading and writing, then English classes are the most affordable classes. Most English classes require classic books, which can be easily purchased for a penny plus shipping on Amazon or found free at the library. Also, there is a better chance you will be able to find the answer to your essay topic through Google.
8. Spritz Perfume to Trigger Your Memory
While you are studying, spray on a strong perfume or cologne. Make sure to sniff it often throughout your study session. On the day of the test, wear the same scent. You will trigger your memory and perform better on the test.
9. Skip the Washing Machine
Doing your laundry with a community washing machine is both expensive and time-consuming. Most garments can be easily washed with a little soap and cold water and hung to dry overnight. Get the wrinkles out and freshen up clothing by mixing a half cup of laundry softener with three cups of water in a spray bottle. This concoction also doubles as a room freshener, so spray down your bed and couches before guests come over.
10. Use a Timer for Better Productivity
Getting started on a task is usually harder than the actual task. Set a timer for five minutes and force yourself to concentrate on your task wholeheartedly without distraction. You will be surprised at what you can accomplish in five minutes, and it just may be enough time to get you motivated to finish the rest of the task. If the five-minute trick doesn’t work, then use your timer to motivate you to do 20 minutes of work followed by five minutes of free time. Repeat until you finish.
While the college days may seem stressful now, you will look back on them with fond memories or at least with a good laugh. Use these hacks now because you won’t be able to pull these stunts when you’re over 30.