So I’m two years into this college-thing, with two more years to go. In a few short weeks I’ll be heading back to three crazy (in a totally good way, I assure you) roommates, six college classes, and three part-time jobs. And I’m excited about that.
For those of you new to college, or those who break out in hives just thinking about classes and roommates and tight living spaces, here’s Five College-Life Hacks that have made the experience great for me, thus far.
Eat Balanced Meals. It may be tempting to eat ice-cream on a waffle for supper (I know, I did it once) because nothing else looks appealing, but you’ll be starving by eight o’clock that night, wishing you had tried to eat at least something more substantial. Focus on getting fruits or veggies onto your plate at least once a day. Also get enough protein – from meat or beans – to carry you until your next meal.
Build a Routine That Helps You Focus. Every time I need to write a research paper, I grab my stack of library books, a notebook, my laptop, and some highlighters (Note: for the notebook, not the library books!) and climb up onto my bed. While most people will advise you against working on your bed, I almost never haul my stuff up onto my top bunk for anything else – so this actually helps me focus, instead of get distracted. When I’m studying with my roommate, we make tea before we start. It’s all about the getting yourself into a mindset to focus.
Make Time for Sleep. Seriously. I know life is hectic, but try to get as much as you can. I shoot for eight hours, which helps me feel energized and awake the next day. On a side note, if you take naps during the day, try to shorten them to around twenty minutes. You won’t wake up feeling as groggy as a longer nap would make you feel.
Create a Weekend Plan. It can be so easy to get sucked into sleeping in late, wandering around in pajamas all day, and watching Netflix every Saturday. When I do this, I end up feeling unproductive and bad about myself. I totally recommend sleeping in on weekends, but still set your alarm for that later time! Then get up and do whatever you decided to do that day. Whether it was finally getting around to vacuuming the floor or scouring the library for a book, you’ll be glad you did something to make your life easier on Monday.
Thrift Stores Are Your Friend. Looking for a Halloween costume? What about something to wear for your internship? Thrift stores are great places to look for clothes and household items cheaply. While it may be tempting to hit up American Eagle for a new sweater when winter hits, you may be surprised what you can find at Goodwill for a third of the price. Plus, some thrift stores offer discounts for college students on certain days of the week.
These are just a few things that have helped me along the way. What tips have you found to help make college life go well?