Thought Catalog

50 People On “My Best College Life Hack”

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1.

BowsNToes21:

Within your major ask every single one of your professors if they need help with their research. Now you have a shit ton of things you can put under job experience.

2.

croatanchik:

if you have to print something on campus, just go ahead and plan for every possible thing to go wrong.

3.

wisherg40:

Our air conditioning in our dorm would only go so low, so it was always hot in our room. We took a washrag and ran it under hot water, then laid it on top of the thermostat. Instant cool.

4.

Wendy14618:

Find a professor that you like, and keep in touch with them often. Go to their office hours with questions, e-mail them, and keep them in the loop in regards to your academic career. When you are applying for grad school, medical school, etc. you will need at least one letter of recommendation from someone familiar with your work, and that can attest to your qualifications.

5.

Paraglad:

Here’s a comment from an actual professor whose session starts in two weeks:

Go to office hours. 95% of the time, I’m sitting there on Reddit hoping someone will stop by. Every prof I know is in a similar state except the week before the test. We will absolutely help you out and you’ll get more out of the class than just showing up to class.

Also, do your homework. Seriously.

6.

discoshit:

Credit cards ARE NOT free money. The banks know you’re young and experiencing freedom. Please, don’t spend money you don’t have, it’s a vicious cycle that can lead to a lot of problems.

7.

Eurynom0s:

if you getting say a B or B+ comes down to which way the professor rounds, they’re more likely to round up if they know that you’ve been putting in the work, and going to office hours is one way of letting them know that you’re putting in the work.

8.

g123g012y:

Date and befriend incredibly smart and responsible people. Even if you aren’t incredibly smart or responsible they’ll rub off on you or at least they won’t get you in trouble.

9.

_scottyb:

The advice I was given, “hang out with the people you want to be like, and act like the people you are around.”

This changed my life.

10.

missdewey:

Financial aid advisor here. Apply for EVERYTHING. I work at a technical school, private, very expensive. I have tons of students who apply for nothing. Most of those who apply get $1000-$3000 in scholarships. I have one kid starting classes next month who is getting $15,000 in scholarships, not counting his grants. That’s more than 1/3 of his total tuition just because he filled out some paperwork and took a test.

11.

Watcherthatboxer:

Microsoft Word has a bibliography function built in to help you cite resources.

12.

rawbamatic:

Cooking with a coffee maker. It boils water when you don’t have a stove.

13.

HyperionCantos:

In my dorm, people would leave a bunch of shit in the lounge at the end of the year. Picked up good stuff like posters, racks, and shit. Lots of kids didn’t want to bring that stuff home if they were flying.

14.

Prototypexx:

Your goal is to find the bathroom on campus that’s used infrequently and find out when they clean it. When you find the perfect time and location, don’t tell anyone until you graduate.

15.

mbmcda:

Dominos lets you get cheap one topping pizzas. Find a friend who likes hawaiian too and order one pineapple and one ham split them and sandwich two slices and boom you got hawaiian pizza.

16.

newuser13:

Wear a condom.

17.

kmillionare:

God, I see so may kids start research papers by just grabbing a stack of books. No, fuck that. Read about your topic first, familiarize yourself with what aspect you want to talk about. Want to write about the black power movement? Go to the fucking Wikipedia page, find what interests you. Do you find the Malcolm X and the Black Panthers interesting? Then go on JSTOR (if your college doesn’t give you access to JSTOR then transfer, you don’t go to a real college) and look up Black Panthers + Malcolm X. You’ll find some papers about how Malcolm X influenced Huey P. and what not, and then you look in the bibliographies of those essays for books, and then you go find those books. Library doesn’t have the books? If they’re not on google books then use Interlibrary Loan. You should always start researching well in advance in order to use this option. Library doesn’t have ILL? Transfer.

Also, never read a book strait through, you don’t have time for that. Always go to the index or table of contents first, or ctrl + f the PDF to search for specific things.

18.

Nikhilvoid:

Buying stuff tips:
Don’t shop for food when you’re hungry (or inebriated). You’ll end up with a cart full of quick-fix, high-carb solutions.

Don’t shop online after midnight. Your ability to resist regrettable purchases is greatly worn down by that time. Especially if it is something you’ve been looking into for a while/all day.

Don’t join deals forums. “I don’t need it now but that is a great deal”-type purchases add up real quick. Peer pressure. E.g.: I have 70 pounds of whey protein on me right now. And yes, I lift.

Don’t think “It’s totally worth it. It will last me a lifetime!” You are young, have little money to spare, and will move often.

19.

su5:

At the beginning of the semester if you are dedicated all dinners should be free. There are so many events, club presentations, etc that have food you should be set.

20.

thundermole:

bigwords.com is your best friend. It searches a bunch of sites for cheapest books, helps predict whether it’s cheaper to buy and sell back or rent, and has an awesome Zen truths page that comes up while it’s thinking (“It’s always darkest before dawn. So if you’re going to steal your neighbor’s newspaper, that’s the time to do it.”). And no, they didn’t pay me to say this.

21.

eyes_up_here:

Want to meet girls? Go outside when its raining with a huge umbrella and take your pick.

22.

Get_it_Reddit:

Honestly? Here’s what I’ve found:

Take your first semester with relatively easy classes (Gen. eds, etc), and join whatever club/sport/group that seems interesting. Pretty quickly you’ll realize what you like and what you don’t; then you commit to those clubs that you want to (probably not more than 2-3). These clubs can be the foundation of your non-academic college life.

Figure out our personal balance of socializing via those clubs and/or your other friends, and maintaining your benchmark grades. College is every bit as much about developing as an adult as it is learning. Socializing is essential, clubs make that easier.

On top of this, grades don’t matter quite as much as you are told. A 4.0 GPA looks fantastic, but using professors to create connections in your field is the real key to getting in your industry. There are 100 other 4.0 students, people hire names and faces they recognize and trust. Maintain solid grades, but kiss a little ass too.

23.

connierubirosa:

Treat it like a 9-5 job. If you have time in the morning, between classes or in the afternoon, go to the library and work ahead. Not very much goes on during that time of day and you’ll have the whole evening to be social (or Internet).

24.

stormstopper:

Don’t be stupid. You’re going to have access to alcohol, pot (and harder drugs), and sex, and you’ll be more insulated from authority. While all of that can be fun (in moderation!), it’s not without risks. Don’t kill yourself or someone else because your drunken mind thought everything was totally fine.

25.

anaccidentalmemory:

Figure out who in your class works hard and is competent. Make friends with them. Do projects with them while pulling your weight. The next four years will be so much easier with built in group members and good study friends.

26.

Sticky_Z:

Egg in ramen. You are welcome.

27.

Habana:

Bring a door stop, keep your door open in dorm to meet new people all the time, the more people your meet=better.

28.

Spiderpirate:

I was taught to sleep more than you study, study more than you party and party as much as you can.

29.

searchresults:

Internships. Every summer.

Your grades matter a lot less than your experience.

30.

HunterGuilherme:

In the bibliography, instead of citing wikipedia, cite the sources by the end of the page.

31.

CatzerzMcGee:

*Put shredded cheese on a piece of bread plus other toppings that you want. Microwave it and easy pizza!

32.

MR1120:

If your school is in a snowy area, cafeteria trays make great sleds.

33.

arodtwlv:

No one cares what you did in high school.

34.

ski3:

Stay on campus during the weekends as much as possible (and definitely do not go home during the weekend for the first few months of freshman year). So much of the college experience and making friends takes place on the weekends during the first few weeks of school. Most of the people I’ve seen pack up to go home every weekend early on in school ended up transferring out.

35.

HoochieKoo:

If you don’t have a lot of room in your place to put your speakers, use macramé plant hangers and hang your speakers from the ceiling to save space.

36.

eec003:

The god of all advice…
http://www.ratemyprofessor.com

37.

nickiter:

90+% of college students make themselves stupider during college. How? Chronic sleep deprivation.
SLEEP. Get 8 hours a night, if not 9. It will literally make you smarter. Besides the quantity, maintain a good habit – if you have 3 days that start at 9 and two that start at 11, don’t go to bed late two nights a week. Pick a sleep schedule and stick to it. If you think staying up all night to cram for a test is going to help, it’s not. Sleep instead of studying. You will do better. (Unless you haven’t studied all semester, in which case you made your bed so you might as well sleep in it.)

38.

mc_ha_ha_hales_ale:

Never World of Warcraft.

39.

celestialsynapse:

Professors do not have to care about you or anything that goes on your life. Your job is not an excuse. Your transportation is not an excuse. Your SO is not an excuse. And your hangover from last night doesn’t matter.

40.

WatermelonMacheteMan:

The best thing I learned in college wasn’t anything academic, but more just how to communicate and write effectively, elegantly, and simply. It’s impressive when if you turn in a dense, complex paper about a complicated and intricate topic. It’s even more impressive if you can write that same essay in only 5 pages and in a way Joe Public can understand.

Whenever you learn something, think about how to describe it to someone you’re sharing an elevator ride with.

41.

Korben__Dallas:

No matter how smart you think you are or how little you had to work to breeze through high school, learn good study and homework habits.

There are a lot of classes that don’t require homework be turned in. There is nobody standing over you to make sure you do your assignments. College is too expensive to waste time and money failing classes because you simply couldn’t be assed to pass them.

42.

Iamsqueegee:

If you’re on a meal plan and someone you know isn’t, grab food for them if you can. One day they will have beer when you don’t.

43.

shydominantdave:

If you ever feel overwhelmed or suspect that things are starting to spiral downhill for you, make use of the school’s psychological services (all colleges have them). It is not a big deal and they see students exactly like you all the time. Most likely you will just talk for a bit, but they will always be there for you should things start to get serious.

44.

Advokatus:

Email accomplished folks and play up that you’re a college student seeking for advice. So many people will be willing to help you out.

45.

A_Downvote_Masochist:

When you start school, you have approximately a two week window in which you need to talk to everyone you possibly can. After that, people will start finding friends and making cliques, and although it’s never really hard to meet people, it’s infinitely easier in the beginning when nobody knows anybody. Seriously, talk to everyone. Learn their names. Show up to class a few minutes early to chat people up before it starts. This is the best piece of advice I got about college.

46.

real_cool_club:

Unplug your internet connection. No reddit, facebook, twitter, etc. during classes and while trying to study.

Take breaks every 40-50 minutes. Reddit, facebook, twitter, etc.

Repeat.

47.

Stembio:

LEAVE COLLEGE WITH RELEVANT WORK EXPERIENCE. You know all the complaints you see on here about how entry level positions want experience? You’re supposed to get that experience in college. Go to your professors, ask to help with their research. Ask for internships. Spend your summers doing internships. Do whatever you can to get experience in your field. Ask your professors, ask the department, ask your TAs, ask anyone you can if they have any opportunities for you.

48.

moun6776:

I can’t stress this enough: go study abroad. It is a once and a lifetime opportunity. It was easily my best decision in college.

49.

AmericanIMG:

Remember what you are there for: to learn and get yourself closer to whatever job it is you want to do. Don’t take college for granted and treat it like an endless vacation or put in the bare minimum. Go to class. Make a daily schedule and stick to it. Maximize your experience by working hard and playing hard. Meet new people, expand your horizons. But always remember that if you mess up it could ruin your chances at being what you want to be and doing what you want to do.

50.

najowhit:

Basically, it all narrows down to living your life and enjoying the time you have there. For the majority, you have a short 4-5 years. And believe me, it flies by very quickly. So make the most of your time and actually do something that will make you miss it when it’s done. I promise you that you will make friends, make memories, and actually learn more about yourself than you did in K-12.

TC mark

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  • http://aellerson.wordpress.com aellerson

    Reblogged this on Mind Over Matter and commented:
    Relevant and good advice.

  • Maria

    Reblogged this on College Tips and 'Ships.

  • http://myundiscoveredworld.wordpress.com myundiscoveredworld

    Reblogged this on myundiscoveredworld.

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  • PN

    Reblogged this on the confessions.

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