Everyone needs a little fun, even if you’re busy studying in school and/or working a job. These college hacks help to make your college experience more enjoyable and manageable.
From simple tips and tricks for the classroom to productivity hacks and overall lifestyle tools, these ideas are here to benefit people from all walks of life.
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Top 10 College Hacks
Let’s jump right into these life hacks for students.
1. Color Code Notes
Color-coded notes are an easy way to quickly review notes. Other than making your notes look pretty, they actually serve an important purpose.
To strategically color code your notes, first pick your tool. Whether you use colored pencils, highlighters or colored pens, set up a “key” of sorts and remain consistent.
For example, you can use pink to highlight a date or fact, blue for action items, and red for formulas. This is just an example; of course, you should tailor your code based on the type of information that is being presented. When color coding your notes, be sure not to overcomplicate it and pick too many colors because you’ll have to remember what each one represents.
2. Google Trick
When you are learning a new subject or something you just want to find more information on quickly, you can use Google as your friend.
For any search, you can input the subject with “filtetype:ppt” and then the only types of searches that will be returned are PowerPoints. This is an easy way to aid your studying and review material from other students and lecturers around the world who have chosen to share their information.
There’s no doubt that textbooks can be expensive. Rather than heading straight to the bookstore to purchase a book for class, you should first try to search for the PDF version online.
Now, some people prefer textbooks over e-textbooks, so that’s a matter of personal preference. But if it does exist online, you could save yourself a good chunk of money.
Want more ways to save money in college? Try online universities like the University of the People that is tuition-free and 100% online, so all your resources are available on the web.
4. Pomodoro Technique
Say goodbye to procrastination by using this simple productivity tactic called the Pomodoro Technique.
Here’s how it works: 1. Choose your task, 2. Set a 25-minute timer, 3. Work solely on that task until the timer rings, 4. Enjoy a 5-minute break.
This technique is useful because it helps you to stay focused on one task in small increments and avoid distractions. It’s a good way to train your brain to pace itself through work.
5. Google Docs
Keep all your work organized, automatically saved, and accessible from anywhere when you utilize Google Docs.
Google Docs is a free and easy platform for writing. You can use Google Sheets for spreadsheets, Google Slides for presentations, etc. The entire suite offers the ability to nicely organize, collaborate, distribute, and save all your documents to the cloud automatically. Since Google’s suite works off of the cloud, that means that if your computer unexpectedly shuts down or your browser crashes, everything is sure to be saved and up-to-date.
6. Create a Whiteboard
If you have any glass surface or window, you have a whiteboard! Purchase some dry erase markers and use these surfaces to write notes, draw diagrams, and study freely and visually.
7. Limit Distractions
When you’re studying, especially when performing a task that requires a computer, it’s so easy to be distracted by websites. This is where apps and sites like KeepMeOut come in. You can choose which sites you want to avoid during a certain period of time, and the site will give you a warning when you go to said website that you are trying to avoid. It’s a helpful reminder to stay on track.
8. Double Up
In an effort to maximize your time, you can listen to audio lectures and podcasts on double the speed. This way, you will spend less time having to listen, but you will still be able to absorb all the information.
One study has found that speech generally takes place at 150 words per minute. The study proved that even if speech was heard at up to 263 words per minute, the levels of comprehension was not significantly altered. Comprehension may only be affected when you listen at more than double the speed, or more than 300 words per minute.
As such, doubling up your podcast and audiobooks will cut your time in half while allowing you to understand just as much as you otherwise would have!
Exercise stimulates the hippocampus region in your brain, which is where reasoning and memory happen. Therefore, not only will you boost endorphins and expel toxins from your body, but you will also benefit your studying and learning habits. Exercising before studying may help you improve the retention of information.
10. Food Fuel
Eating healthily is very important to remain alert and awake to study and learn. However, it’s okay to add some fun to the mix sometimes.
When you are reading through a lofty textbook, you can try the trick of adding a gummy bear or M&M (or, for a healthy alternative, almonds or dried fruit), so that every time you get to the end of a paragraph or a page, you can indulge in the small snack.
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Additional Time Management Tips
The best types of hacks for students can help save money, study better, stress less, and enjoy their experience more. Some of the best ways to manage all of the above could involve time management skills.
By being able to take charge of your time, you can naturally decrease stress levels, avoid paying late fees or missing deadlines, and prioritize the tasks you have to get done. Here are a few of the best ways to better manage your time:
1. Schedule Time
By using either a digital calendar (i.e. Google Calendar, iCal, etc.) or buying a physical planner, you can map your time in segments before the beginning of each week. To illustrate, you can devise blocks that will be dedicated to school, work, studying, socializing, exercising, etc.
2. Study Breaks
In the same way it’s important to schedule in time for productivity, you also must not forget to take breaks. Some good ideas for study breaks include: taking a walk, listening to music, drawing, writing, doing yoga, etc.
Although meditation may first sound like you’d be wasting time, taking a few minutes a day to meditate can provide you with an array of benefits. Not only will you feel more relaxed, but it can also help you actually focus more when you are working on a task.
Bringing It All Together
When you’re in college, there’s a lot of things to remember. From managing time to study, attend classes, see friends, hold a job, and potentially even be raising a family, these life hacks for students will make your student life easier.
Regardless if you study online or at a traditional campus, you will be able to implement some or all of these tips and tricks to reap the benefits.