College Life Hacks: How to Survive

Lauren Efron, Staff Writer

Going off to college is scary enough already, but between living in a dorm, the workload, and creating a whole new lifestyle, these life hacks will be essential to college survival.

   When it comes to your course load, a great life hack  is to take basic classes during your first year of college. This will build up your GPA so that you are prepared for harder classes in your junior and senior years.

   These next hacks relate to study habits and the best ways to learn and remember new material. According to Student Hut, it’s a good idea to work out before you study. Exercise stimulates the hippocampus, says Scientific American, the part of the brain that is vital for reasoning and memory, so exercising before you study can stimulate your brain and help you retain what you have learned ( According to Purdue University’s website, when studying, avoid easy-to-read fonts such as Arial. Studies have shown that easily-read fonts get skimmed over, where as a harder to read font like Caveat will force you to read every line in depth. Another studying tip is to use “studying incentives” such as gummy bears or other candy at the bottom of the textbook page so that you are more motivated to finish reading/studying (

   With all the inevitable late-night study sessions, waking up in the morning is dreadful. However, this quick and easy hack will help you make it to those early classes. All you need to do is set your alarm and put your phone into an empty glass cup. The glass cup will amplify the sound, blasting your alarm right in your ear. It may sound awful, but it’s a fool proof way to wake up for that eight a.m. class. If that still doesn’t work, set your phone on the opposite side of the room so that you’re forced to get out of bed in order to turn off your alarm.

   The following hacks all come hand in hand with living in a dormitory with roommates. Short on space in the dorms? One website recommends to loft your bed! It creates seemingly endless space underneath that is definitely necessary if you want to bring an extra bag of clothing/items to school. For additional space, fold your t-shirts and your pants vertically. If that still isn’t enough space, use a hanging shoe organizer to store not only your shoes, but your socks, underwear, and even your school supplies (

   Tired of your room smelling like instant noodles? An easy hack to avoid that would be placing a vent clip on your vent or fan. If you do not have a vent clip, no worries, use a dryer sheet. Both hungry and running late? One microwave isn’t always enough when you share a dorm. A quick and easy solution when trying to fit two bowls in one microwave would be placing one of the bowls on the tray while the other is placed on a mug that is next to the bowl (

   As a college student, it’s unavoidable — you’re going to get sick or slightly injured in the four years you’re on your own. With no parent to save you, make sure to store a first aid kit somewhere in your dorm. Fill it with things such as cold medicine, aspirin, tums, band-aids, cough drops, and other essentials. This will save you from having to go to the pharmacy while feeling like death, and, you never know, you might just be the savior of your dorm (

  It’s understandable if you’re low on income going into college, so these next hacks provide money-saving tips vital to a college budget. Scavenging for money for lunch or dinner is hard; that’s why you must take advantage of free food opportunities. There are multiple events, such as club recruitments, freshman welcome events, and student government events that are all gold mines for free food, so don’t be scared to take advantage ( According to Best College Reviews, the college experience doesn’t have to mean a huge budget. Most stores will give student discounts. Not all of them will advertise them, but the majority have them. Another hack would be getting a coffee maker. Not only will you save yourself time and money by not having to go to Starbucks every morning, coffee makers have the ability to make so much more than just coffee. They can be used to cook all sorts of foods including ramen, hot dogs, oatmeal, grilled cheese and much more. A coffee maker may just be the best investment you’ll ever make (

    Waiting in line for the bathroom when you only have a few minutes to get to your next class isn’t ideal. According to Awesome Jelly, an easy way to avoid those treacherous lines is to scout out the bathrooms during your first few weeks attending school. Look for ones that are close to your classes and that don’t fill up with long lines of people waiting to do their business (

   “College life hacks will help me stay organized in my workplace and they’ll make it easier to not get distracted while studying. Just because colleges aren’t strict on attendance, doesn’t mean you don’t have to go! So college life hacks will make it easier to stay on track and get things done,” said Junior Daniela Gutierrez, who couldn’t be more right. These life hacks will help you in class, in day-to-day dorm life, and just in life in general.