College was the first time I was ever on my own for a considerable amount of time. And let me tell you, it didn’t take long for me to realize that being on your own entails a lot more than you think. You have to handle your own schedule, cooking, cleaning, spending, work, homework. Everything. Before it gets to overwhelming, I’m sharing 5 hacks that I learned during my time at college that will make your 4 years a little bit easier.
It’s easy to overspend- whether you’re in college or not! It all starts out so innocently. You have every intention of staying in and cooking a cheap meal… but then your friends call and want to go out for dinner and grab a few drinks after. Repeat a few times a week, and you’ve spent way more than planned.
I think it’s easier to spend less when you pay attention to your expenses. Mint is a really helpful app that tracks what you are spending your money on. When you see just how much you are spending on clothes/fast food, you might just be shocked into keeping your purse locked up. Mint also has other great features; Mint sends you bill reminders and allows you to check out how hypothetical situations will affect your bank account. Want to add a few extra dollars to your savings account each month, Mint will create a graph to help you visualize how much more you’ll have saved by the end of the year.
Too Many Chargers
As a college student and especially as a college blogger, I had so many electronics. Instead of dealing with a ton of different chargers, the IntelliSMART 4-Port USB Wall Charger allowed me to charge all of my devices in one plug quickly. If your device uses a USB, you can use the IntelliSMART charger. This means whether it’s a smartphone, tablet, Fitbit, camera, anything, you can charge it. Not only does the IntelliSMART charger save you the space and hassle of dealing with a number of different wall plug-ins, it also has smart technology that allows your devices to charge as quickly as possible without overcharging. The intelligent wall charger determines the charging needs of each attached device individually.
I have to say, I’m always super nervous to purchase accessories for my phone that aren’t Apple products because haven’t we all bought one of those charging cords that goes in and out and you’re left fiddling with your phone just to try to get it to charge for a few seconds before being forced to repeat the process? Yeah, I learned quickly saving a few extra dollars was not worth the hassel. I was pleasantly surprised, however, that with the IntelliSMART charger, my device really did charge quickly and efficiently. It’s worth the money. With the coupon code SmartPwr you can even get 20% off!
I’ve written on how to study and stay healthy during finals and on how to increase your productivity. These are both great posts to check out if you are struggling in class, but I’ll put it here simply. It is quite possible to think you are studying so much and so hard and trying your best and still do poorly in classes or even just one class. The thing is, though, the way most college students study isn’t the most effective or even easiest way to study. You’re working harder than you have to. If you are struggling in classes or even just one class, it’s time to overhaul how you study. Here are a few hacks to help you study more efficiently and get better grades:
- Reread your notes every night after class.
- Take short, frequent breaks when you study. This will help you focus, I promise! You aren’t wasting your time like you think.
- Exercise before you study.
- Don’t wait to study the day of your exam. You remember information better after a good night of rest.
- Set your phone down and focus on what’s in front of you.
As a college student we spend a lot of time in front of a screen. And here’s a real shocker: it isn’t good for our health. I have two recommendations to make your screen time shorter and healthier. To cut your screen time down while you are studying or sitting in class, block social media. My biggest time killer is Facebook. I scroll and scroll and scroll without ever posting, commenting or interacting. It really is wasted time. There are apps you can download on your computer to block distracting sites for a set amount of time while you study. If you’re on a PC, check out Cold Turkey to block your distractions. Cold Turkey is also coming soon for Mac, but if you need a program to block your apps on a Mac right now, there is also Self Control. Make sure to check out the reviews on Self Control first though! I’ve heard mixed reviews. I personally wouldn’t recommend it; if I had to choose, I would wait it out for Cold Turkey.
To make your time sitting at the computer healthier, I suggest downloading an app like f.lux. f.lux adjusts your computer screen to match the lighting during various times of the day. The website explains that, “during the day, computer screens look good—they’re designed to look like the sun. But, at 9PM, 10PM, or 3AM, you probably shouldn’t be looking at the sun.” Through adjusting the lighting on your computer, f.lux will help you sleep better. Another great way to make screen time healthier is by investing in a pair of computer glasses. I wrote a post about the benefits of computer glasses and my favorite brand last year here. Long story short, computer glasses help block blue light, preventing digital eyestrain. Have you ever gotten a headache from sitting at the computer to long? That’s a good sign you’re suffering from digital eyestrain!
A Busy Planner
To plan out my schedule, I used to use a planner and a black pen. Then my schedule started to get hectic. My assignments and appointments were running together, and my planner was difficult to read. I decided to invest in a multi-color pen set, and my schedule automatically became easier to follow. Using different colors for each aspect of your life helps the important things stand out. For example, I used my blue pen for homework assignments. My green pen for sorority obligations. My pink pen for blog-related work. And my orange pen for everyday life and plans with friends, family, etc. After making the switch, I never forgot an event! If you don’t want to spend the money on a new set of pens, try highlighters or any other colored writing utensils you have available!
I want to know: How do you simplify your college life? Have you ever tried computer glasses? What are your favorite study tips? Let me know in the comments below!