Living as a student in the modern day can be financially difficult, with balancing your studies with your social life typically being tough. Added to this, you need to sleep enough, see family and eat healthily!
One way of being astute is to use certain “hacks” that can not only make life easier, but also save you time and money in the long-term. We’ve picked out 13 hacks in this article.
1. Be on the lookout!
The very fact that you are here and looking for hacks is a great start! The first of our hacks is to always be on the lookout.
You never know where you’ll find inspiration to! Hopefully this article will provide a wealth of information to make your student life productive, as well as fun! But to get the most out of life, be alert!
2. Search Smart
Something that we all take for granted is Google. But what many people don’t know about Google, is that the search bar can be used in creative ways. By adding a file extension at the end of your search, you’ll purely get results in that file type.
To put that into English, if, for instance, you only wanted to see PowerPoint files that match your search, you would add :ppt at the end of the search. Or :doc for a Word-processed document, or :pdf if that is what is required.
As there are usually thousands of results for every search, this can help you narrow down your results.
3. Hit that word count!
For many, it is difficult to write to the correct word count. While many people will struggle to make the count, others will go too far over it, and be left in the difficult position of having to get rid of some of their content.
This can be a laborious process, and it can hurt to see your beautifully-crafted words being consigned to the abyss. A very good way of cutting words is to use the “Find” function on a word processor.
The Find function can usually be accessed by pressing ctrl and “f” at the same time. Once there, you can type in “ly”. You’ll be amazed at how many times descriptive words that end in “ly” are simply not needed.
In the small example shown above, there are a few examples of words that simply aren’t needed – such as approximately, closely and even automatically.
4. Get to know Google Scholar
When referencing your work, Google Scholar can become your best friend. A simple search into scholar.google.com will produce dozens of results.
In the wild world of academia, the chances are that whatever you are in need of, someone has completed an academic study on it. It should be relatively straightforward to reference from it.
If not, there are free referencing tools out there too – and you can normally import them straight from scholar to the software. A simple Google search will return many different results for the free tools.
5. Utilise Google Docs
Google Docs is another of Google’s offerings that can be particularly useful in instances of group projects. Group projects are of course renowned for their difficulty, but this may help.
Google Docs allows multiple people to work on one document at the same time. This is perfect for if you are writing a group report, or group presentation.
Gone are the days where you would need to send copies round via email, and suddenly everyone’s version would be different and one poor soul would be tasked with collating it all.
This greatly increases productivity. And, arguably the most useful, Google Docs keeps track of which user has made what changes, so there can be no questions over which team members actually contributed to a task.
6. Make the most of space
We are gradually moving our way to the more fun hacks. Next up, one for the kitchen. Unless you are fortunate enough to reside in a penthouse suite of sorts, the chances are you won’t be blessed with space.
But as shown in the photo above, there are ways around this. Using every last inch of space available to you can help – especially if there are multiple people using a small space.
In the picture above, utilising a draw as a space for a chopping board can be the difference between having a small dish or a big dish. By using all of the space available, anything is possible!
7. Motivate yourself to study!
As a genius showed the world above, there are many ways to motivate yourself. Reading endless pages can be tedious, but sweets can definitely help.
By giving yourself rewards for doing the monotonous tasks, it will probably be that bit easier. In the end, it will leave more time for you to enjoy yourself!
8. Don’t splash out on photos
A common decoration of any wall at University is photos. Whether they are of you and your University friends, your family back home or maybe a beloved pet, it can always help having photos nearby.
But printing photos can be both time-consuming and expensive. But, a great hack is available which will mean you can get your photos printed for free (plus a small delivery charge)!
There are great services like FreePrints and Snapfish that allow you to receive around 50 photos for free every month. The quality is good, they come straight to your door, and are free – what isn’t to like?!
You do have to pay a small £1.49 fee for delivery, though this is still significantly cheaper than spending £10 on just 15 photos in the High Street. You can also grab photos straight from your social media accounts too, it really couldn’t be simpler!
9. Get a friend to ask a “Question” in Presentations
Presentations are a gruelling prospect, and are one of the worst parts of University. But they are a fact of life, and doing them will build up some good skills.
As if remembering your lines wasn’t difficult enough – there are normally questions to answer afterwards. This final hurdle is a big one, with the unpredictability of them causing problems.
But, if you have a friend in the audience, ask them ask you a pre-agreed question. With a rehearsed answer, you’ll impress all those around you!
10. Shop late in supermarkets!
Visiting supermarkets late is a great idea – as this is when you can save money, and pick up some bargains!
With food set to go out of date, supermarkets are often flogging food at a low price – something that they do within the last couple of hours of the day.
Taking advantage of this is highly recommended. If you have a freezer, then you won’t even need to consume the goods any time soon. Over time, this will this save you big money!
11. Know how to save on rail fares
Rail travel is a great way of getting from A to B. Whether visiting friends, attending job interviews or travelling back home, you are likely to use a train at some point.
Sadly, travelling by train is exorbitant – costing a ridiculous amount. One way of softening the blow is to buy a railcard for £30.00/year – this will reduce most fares by a third.
You’ll find that the railcard essentially pays for itself within two or three journeys. While it is sad that we have to pay such crazy costs, it is unfortunately something that we can’t change.
As well as a railcard, there are numerous other ways to save money on rail travel – check our article out here!
12. Never worry about oversleeping again!
The scenario is a common one – you are heading off to sleep, slightly worried about whether or not your alarm will wake you up in the morning for that important test, group meeting or even exam.
Problem solved… Put your phone in a glass, and the vibration will help cause a mini-earthquake – ensuring that you will awake from your slumber.
Just a disclaimer though – this may not be suitable for anyone with heart problems…
13. Bring your pizza back from the dead
One of the greatest hacks known to man. Since the dawn of civilisation, man has wondered how to preserve pizza. It is common to treat yourself to pizza, or for you and your friends to get a takeaway.
But you are normally faced with a tough decision – eat all of the pizza in its finest condition – but feel full to the brim – or to leave some for tomorrow, but in sub-standard condition.
But fear no more, when faced with the remnants of an ordered pizza, consider putting said pizza in the microwave along with a glass/container of water.
The combination of water and heat will work wonders for the pizza – and will ensure that you enjoy your pizza to the maximum!
We hope you enjoyed this article, and that many of the hacks above can be useful. While some may not be relevant to you, hopefully at least some are, and can make a difference to your life!
Many hacks exist, and you’ll probably be using hacks each day without even noticing, which is always impressive! Good luck for the hacking ahead!