Top 5 School Hacks for Keeping Your Campus Sanity
As a college student, the period of time between the start of the school year and the end of the semester can often be challenging. Between classes, studying, extracurricular activities, work-study, and social activities the pressure can be overwhelming.
They say that you can either have good grades and a social life, or good grades and sleep—but we think it’s possible to have all three. If you’ve ever been left wondering “how to get through college,” we’re here to help. These tips and college life hacks will help set you up for success, so you can learn, enjoy all that campus life has to offer, and get some sleep.
1. Stay Organized
One of the best things about getting to college—the freedom! Not having someone to tell you what to do, when to go to bed, what to eat, or where to be, can be liberating. But be careful, all that freedom can be a double-edged sword.
In high school, you probably had parents and teachers who were there to remind you what to do. When you get to college, there will be no mom or dad to get you out the door for class on time, and your professors won’t be reminding you when you need to hand in your papers. It’s time to rely on yourself, so make sure you are organized.
Be sure to keep a daily planner—whether it’s a written planner or online calendar, it’s helpful to keep track of assignments, social, and extracurricular activities in a calendar. You’ll have a clear idea of when and where you need to be and when all of your major assignments are due.
Make an effort to create a clear study area in your dorm room or off-campus housing. Most dorm rooms are small but try organizing your desk area, so it’s not cluttered, and all the tools you need, like pens, calculators, notebooks, and your computer are stored within easy access.
There are lots of life hacks for students available to help you stay organized, but the most important thing is you set up a space where you can feel focused and ready to get your school work done.
2. Take Advantage of the Resources Your School Offers
When you go to college, your professors and administrators want you to succeed, and they’ve set up a variety of resources to help you achieve academic success. Take advantage of the abundant resources on your campus.
Go to the library and spend time studying in a clean, quiet environment designed for you to do work. If you’re researching something, talk to the librarians, you might be surprised with what they’re able to help you with.
If you’re struggling with writing assignments, visit the writing center where someone can help you outline and edit your paper. Having difficulty grasping the new concepts you’re learning? Head to the tutoring center where someone can help you.
Get to know your professors. Start building your network and go to their office hours to discuss any questions you may have on your assignments or get additional guidance on difficult concepts.
3. Study, Study, Study
Let’s be honest: sometimes the last thing you want to do is study. But as a college student, that is your main responsibility—don’t forget to take it seriously. Your teachers will expect you to show up to class prepared and ready to participate. So, do yourself a favor and do the readings. Go to class and take notes.
There are all sorts of study hacks that can improve your studying, so start early and create good study habits. Block out a few hours throughout the day where you can completely focus on your readings or studying.
One school hack—build in incentives to keep you going. Maybe you take a 10-minute walk every time you finish a reading. Or when you finish your paper, treat yourself to an episode of your favorite TV show. Building in little rewards will help you stay motivated.
Another school hack to improve your study habits? Try consolidating your notes at the end of every week. As you review your notes, use the chunking study method —organize the information into related chunks.
This makes it easier for your brain to recall as you move away from the actual lesson. Revisiting and organizing your notes at the end of every week will also make it easier for you to study come exam time. Instead of having a semester’s worth of scribbled notes, you’ll have clearly organized information you can easily use to study.
4. Take Care of Your Physical and Mental Health
When it comes to life hacks for students, sometimes there is no better advice than to take care of yourself. Between classes, study sessions, and parties, it can be difficult to make time to take care of your physical and mental health, but those are just as important to your success as studying and going to class.
When you’re eating in the dining hall it can be easy to fall back on sugary cereals or cheesy pizza, but make sure you’re finding ways to eat healthy too. Make the salad bar your friend and use it for more than just salads.
Often times there are cheeses, hard boiled eggs, olives, bell peppers, and cucumbers. You could build a pretty tasty wrap with those ingredients. A balanced diet will help make it easier for you to focus and complete your school work and can also give you the energy you need to keep up with your busy social life.
Stress management will also be an important skill as a college student. With all of the new responsibilities you may be feeling a lot of pressure to succeed. Finding healthy ways to manage that stress, like yoga, taking a walk outside, going to a class at the gym, or meditating can go a long way in helping you keep your sanity on campus.
And remember, there is no shame in asking for help. Most schools have free counseling centers available to students. If you’re feeling a little lost, or even if the cold weather is just starting to grate on you, go check it out.
5. Pay Attention to Your Personal Finances
Money management can by challenging and is the last thing you want to think about when you’ve got exams to take, papers to write, and friends to see.
But, the point of college is educating yourself for future success and if you can take control of your finances, chances are you’ll be even better off come graduation.
College is one of the first times that you are responsible for yourself, so treat your finances accordingly. Make a budget for your spending—books, school supplies, food—and stick to it.
And if you’re like many American students, you took out student loans to finance some or all of your education. While it can be tempting to look at the loans as free money, that can come with a cost after graduation. While you’re in school, continue to research financing options, and apply for scholarships. And it’s never too early to craft a student loan repayment plan.
Refinancing Your Student Loans with SoFi
If you’re nearing graduation and have already borrowed a considerable amount in student loans, you may want to think about refinancing your student loans. It’s especially worth considering once you land a job with a steady income. Refinancing allows you to take out a new loan, with new terms, and a new interest rate.
Some students who refinance may qualify for a lower interest rate, which means you’d spend less money over the life of the loan. Before you refinance, take a look at the type of loans you have and know that if you refinance a federal loan with a private lender, you could lose out on benefits like income-based repayment. But, if your financial situation has improved since you originally took out the loans, you may wish to consider refinancing to hopefully lower your interest rate or even shorten your loan term.
Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.
The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.