College can be a very memorable experience, but it can also be a challenging experience as well. But what if you hate challenging? Well, these hacks could at least make the college experience less challenging, if not memorable, so navigate life as a college student with these helpful tips, including:

  • Studying hacks
  • Dorm cooking and food prep hacks
  • Organization hacks
Photo of three girls in a room studying and writing
You need a lot of concentration to be able to study well, which is what these studying hacks will give you. Image courtesy of ThoughtCo.

Studying Hacks for Savvy College Students

1. Use incentives while studying

It can be hard to make yourself sit down and read whole chapters from your textbooks without giving yourself a little motivation. Try this hack: 1) Open up your textbook to your assigned reading on your table or on the ground. 2) Place a piece of candy, chocolate, or any other small treat that you really love every few paragraphs. 3) Start reading your assigned reading and when you get to a piece of candy, chocolate, or any other sort of treat, reward yourself.

2. Take color coded notes during class

Take your notes by creating a color code and writing your notes down in various different colors. It has been proven that color coding your notes will stimulate your visual memory and make it easier to recall certain details. Your notes will also stay organized with color coding and certain pieces of information will be easier to find.

3. Build your Grade Point Average (GPA) early

Strive to take easy general education classes in your first and second year of college and try to build up your GPA. This way, in your third and fourth years of college, it will be easier for you to maintain your high GPA when you are taking harder courses.

4. Keep your laptop cool while studying

In order to keep your laptop from overheating, take an open egg carton or a fast food drink carrier, turn it upside down, and keep the laptop on top of it. This way, the air coming from the laptop will flow away from the laptop and the laptop will cool down. 

5. Get to know your professors

It is really beneficial to befriend your professors. If you know a professor, you can easily transition between classes, have some help solving class-related issues, gain job or research positions within a college department or out in the world, and obtain glowing letters of recommendation. 

6. Make friends with people in a major

It would be ideal for you to befriend other students within your major. They can give you advice on which professors to take and which ones to steer clear of. They can also give you course recommendations and trade textbooks with you. They can also be great study groups and great support systems.

7. Study after exercising

You should exercise, or just walk around, and then study for optimal brain performance. Exercise will make the blood in your brain pump harder and faster, and that blood flow will help you better focus on what you’re studying and stimulate your memory more productively.

8. Study before going to sleep

You can retain more information by studying before going to sleep, but do not cram everything and stay up late so that you only get two to four hours of sleep. Make sure you study but also have as many hours of sleep as possible.

9. Have more light in your study area

If there is more light in your studying environment, then you will be more productive, so make sure you have as much light as possible while you are studying. This is so that your brain stays awake and retains focus for a longer period of time, and if you are studying during nighttime, having a lot of around you will trick your brain into thinking it is still day outside and therefore you will not get tired.

10. Have some dark chocolate

Eating dark chocolate can help you get your focus back so that you can continue your studying because it has certain agents inside of it that send chemicals to your brain to focus and work harder.

11. Write with blue ink on white paper

When you are taking your notes, take them on white blank paper with a blue ink pen, because notes taken on white paper with blue ink are the most memorable visuals.

12. Watch on double speed

If you are watching your recorded college lectures or a long YouTube video, watch it on 2x speed. You will still be able to understand everything that’s being said, and the speed will keep you more engaged because the video’s speed is different than what your ears are used to. In addition, your studying time is cut in half.

Photo of a woman putting a rice dish in the microwave
You need to feed yourself when you’re in college, so it would be best for you to be able to prepare something edible. And maybe even tasty! (Sorry.) Image courtesy of Clark Howard.

Food Hacks That Will Instantly Upgrade Your Dorm Room Cooking

13. Learn how to make mug recipes

Making food in a mug is the latest trend when it comes to quick and easy cooking. Every meal from breakfast to lunch to dinner to dessert can be made in a mug. All you need to make a mug recipe is: a mug, a microwave, and a few ingredients.

For instance, try this mug recipe for scrambled eggs:

  • Spray a mug with vegetable oil cooking spray and add two eggs and two tablespoons of milk or any dairy alternative. 
  • Whisk the eggs and milk until they are blended. 
  • Put the mug in the microwave and microwave it on high for 45 seconds. 
  • Take out the mug and stir. 
  • Microwave the mug again for about 30 to 45 seconds or until the eggs are almost set.
  • Then add any toppings you want, like shredded cheese, salt, pepper, spices, and herbs.

14. How to heat two bowls in the microwave

Do you need to heat two bowls in your microwave at a time? Then set the first bowl in the microwave, place a mug or a short cup next to the first bowl, and then place the second bowl on top of the cup. It may take an extra minute to heat both bowls instead of one, but if you are in a hurry, this hack can save you some time.

15. Master cooking in a coffee pot

If you do not have an accessible microwave around to cook with, the next best option would be a coffee pot. You can prepare a lot of foods in a coffee pot, like:

  • Ramen
  • Hot dogs
  • Queso dip
  • Pasta
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Soup

16. Cool your drinks quickly

Do you need to cool your drinks fast? Chill a can or glass bottle quickly by slightly dampening paper towels, wrapping the damp paper towels around the drinks, and keeping them in the fridge for around 15 minutes. After 15 minutes your drinks should be chilled and ready for you to enjoy.

17. Cure your hangover

Had a rough night? Here are a few things to munch on or sip after a hangover:

  • Kiwis
  • Bananas
  • Sports Drinks like Gatorade and Vitamin Water
  • Water

Note: Please do not consume more alcohol to cure your hangover. Get some rest and eat or drink the items above when you wake up. Prevent hangovers in general by drinking a lot of water before you go to sleep.

Image of a pink closet organizer hanging on a white rod
Your college dorm room won’t tidy itself like how your room back home used to, so you need to really step up your cleaning game. (Shoutout to all the moms!) Image courtesy of Seventeen.

Organization Hacks: Making the Most of Your Dorm or Tiny College Apartment

18. Keep your desk clean with toilet paper rolls

Keep your desk tidy with old toilet paper rolls, by using them to organize and hold pens, pencils, or other desktop necessities. If you do not want a plain old toilet paper roll on a desk, then cover it up with colorful washi tape.

You can also use toilet paper rolls to tidy up your electrical cords and keep them off of the floor. First, take a cord and wrap it in a circle, and then gather the middle so you have several loops. Then, hold one end of the bunch and feed it through a paper roll, and your cords are now orderly.

19. Fold your t-shirts and stack them vertically

Learn how to properly fold and stack t-shirts in order to make some valuable space. 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. Then when you are putting t-shirts in a drawer, don’t stack them one on top of the other, but instead stack them vertically to save space.

20. Save space in your closet with soda can tabs

In most college dorms and apartments, the closets are very small, so you may need to find a way to maximize space. A quick and uncomplicated way to get some extra space in your closet is to use soda can tabs on your 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 will help you save space and give you more room to hang more of your clothes.

21. Some handy apps and websites

In this digital age, it would be wise to keep some websites and apps handy in order to keep you working at an optimal level performance. Some great apps and websites to use include:

Arm yourself with these hacks and charge headfirst into the college experience that you deserve to have!

Nov 11, 2020