In today’s post, we are going over my TOP college hacks for freshmen that will make your life so much easier. Don’t worry, if you aren’t a freshman reading this post, these college hacks will be just as helpful! I seriously wish I knew all of these things my freshman year of college. I don’t want to keep you waiting, let’s hop right in!
This post may contain affiliate links. This means I will earn a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. Please read the full disclosure here.
College Hacks For Saving Money
Budgeting is the number one thing college hack to save money. Now is the time to create good spending habits. Your future self will thank you for this. If you don’t have a job and rely on your meal plan or money from your parents, it’s still important to budget.
For example, if you have $1,500 on your meal plan to spend for the semester, and there are 15 weeks in a semester, you can set a budget of spending $100 per week.
To stay on track with this, I recommend getting a budget planner and logging the money you spend each day on food and other spending money.
Make a meal plan
If you want to avoid the freshman 15 (trust me, it’s real) making a meal plan every week is a must. It’s super easy to just go with the flow and eat whenever and whatever, but a simple meal plan will make all the difference!
To make this process simple, I usually stick to eating the same 3-5 things for each meal every week so I don’t get bored eating the same things every day!
Download a free meal plan template below!
College Hacks For Studying
Use Socratic and Homework Lib for help on homework assignments
You guys…these two sites are seriously GAME CHANGING. If you have any math/accounting/finance class, Homework Lib is a lifesaver! You can look up your homework question and it will pull up a similar question and show you exactly how to work the problem out!
Socratic is also really good for pretty much any class if you need help on your homework assignments.
Avoid doing homework on the weekends
This year I tried something new: I completed all of my homework during the week so I wouldn’t have to do any on the weekend. And let me tell you….it’s the best thing EVER! I’ve never felt so free!
Here’s how you can do it: For each of your classes give yourself 2-3 days Monday through Friday to get all of your work and studying done. Here’s what my schedule looks like this semester as an example:
- Monday: Negotiation & Talent Management
- Tuesday: Talent Management, MSIS, & Oral Communication
- Wednesday: Business Administration, MSIS, & Negotiation
- Thursday: Oral Communication & Finance
- Friday: Business Administration & Finance
Pro Tip: Schedule your class workdays in correlation with the standard due dates. In my case, most of my Oral Communication work is due on Thursday so I made sure I made those workdays before/on Thursday every week. On the other hand, all of my Finance work is due on Sunday so I made those workdays later on in the week.
Don’t be afraid to start a GroupMe
GroupMe is a LIFESAVER when it comes to your classes. Try to get in or start a group with people in your classes so you can get help on homework, set up study groups, and overall just have a sense of support in your classes.
College Life Hacks
Get a job that’s open from 8am-5am
If you plan on working during the semester, try finding a job that is open during traditional work hours. I worked as a bank teller my freshman year from 8am-1pm and had classes from 2pm-5pm.
Since the morning shift at my job was slow, I was able to get pretty much all of my homework done at work. If I had a lot to do that day, I would wake up an hour earlier to get some things done too! That way when I got out of classes I was pretty much done for the day.
You don’t need all of your clothes
I made the mistake of bringing basically my entire closet with me to college my freshman year. Don’t do it. You’ll most likely find yourself wearing the same 5 T-Shirts, shorts, and leggings every day to class.
At the very most, only bring the clothes you need for summer and fall. When you go home for Thanksgiving or Christmas, you can switch everything out for Winter and Spring.
Bring a wall scent plug in
Most dorms don’t allow you to use candles or Scentsy so wallflowers are going to be your best bet to keep your room smelling good.
Your class schedule is EVERYTHING
Staying on the topic of your class schedule, I just have to tell you how important your class schedule is. It will literally make or break your college experience.
Try to avoid having large breaks in between classes. This usually leads to wasted time. And your time is too valuable to be wasted. If you can, try to create a class schedule that flows seamlessly throughout the day.
Get a big backpack
Those cute and dainty backpacks won’t get you very far in college. You’re going to want to get a backpack that holds A LOT of stuff and is also protective for electronics.
My Favorite Backpacks for College Students:
1. North Face
Ride the bus around campus
Okay guys, hear me out. If your college campus has a bus system TAKE.THE.BUS. It’ll save you so much time getting ready for class and you won’t have to walk in unideal weather circumstances. It’s the best thing ever!
Productivity Hacks For College Students
Get a planner
If you never used a planner before college, college is the perfect time to start using one! I swear I don’t know how I would have survived without having a planner. You’ll have your entire life together with a planner.
I use mine to write important dates (tests, projects, meetings, etc), plan my days, and keep track of all of my assignments for my classes. Here are some great planners that are perfect for college students:
Don’t take classes between 8am-9am
I’m a morning person, but taking a 9am class my freshman year of college was probably one of the worst decisions I made. Don’t get me wrong, if you have to take morning classes because of your work schedule you’ll be fine. But if you don’t have to take them, don’t.
If you are a morning person too and like to use that time to be productive, use the mornings to get your homework instead. That way after you are done with classes, you can just relax or head to work.
Know when you are most productive
Knowing the time of day you are most productive is so important in college! College is different from high school because you are able to pick your own schedule to find exactly what works best for you.
I know that I work better in the morning so I schedule all of my classes in the afternoon so that I am able to get as much done as possible in my prime time.
Looking for more college hacks?