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The Ultimate Guide To Student Life: Productivity, Health, Finance and Food Hacks

The Ultimate Guide To Student Life
This post was updated on the 27th January 2016

Hey there! We’re getting to that time of year when you may be venturing out into the world of University or College for the first time. If so, good luck!

When I went to University many moons ago I didn’t have the luxury of being able to look stuff up online (yes, I’m old okay!) but today there are so many websites available offering so much advice I thought I’d go through it all and give you the best of the advice available.

This post is broken down into sections:

I hope you you find some useful advice in the links below and if you have any articles you think may benefit my readers please let us know in the comments.

General Advice

The Best Advice That College Students Never Hear – Business Insider

This article gives some interesting advice about being a student such as learning to communicate which will not only help with your degree but with room-mate issues, choosing extracurricular activities for you and not your résumé and being being careful with the friendships you forge.

Your First Year of College: 25 Strategies and Tips to Help You Survive and Thrive Your Freshman Year and Beyond – Quintessential Careers

There may be some obvious items on this list but they’re all worth bearing in mind. Number 5 is especially important: Go To Class. this may seem like a no-brainer but as I discovered it’s too easy to get cocky and feel that you don’t need to bother with some classes as you’ve entered that “I know it all” phase.

Settling in to a new college – National Union Of Students

This UK based website is well worth a look for all new – and existing – students. It’s got some great advice and discounts for all UK based students. If you’re in the UK and coming towards the end of your degree then check out the Prospects Website which gives you great careers advice and enables you to reach your potential.

Advice for New College Students from Two Sociologists – The Society Pages

Don’t be too hard on yourself and make sure you have all the facts. These are just a couple of the pieces of advice in this article.

50 Tips for College Students – Psychology Today

Get yourself a pair of flip-flops to wear in your dorm shower. If you have to ask why then you probably shouldn’t be heading to college without adult supervision! Also, introduce yourself to your professors. The Author is a professor herself and gets a bit shouty over this point so it is really important!

Some Advice For Parents Of New College Students – Forbes

It’s not just students that are going through a transitioning period when they’re off to college, parents need advice too! This article, written specifically for parents of new students, lets them know that it’s okay if their little one changes majors and that they need to allow their children room to find their own feet. Email it to your parents to put their mind’s at ease (and get them off your back a bit!)

21 Pieces Of Advice Every College Student Can Use – Buzzfeed

Listening in class means less time on homework so keep off of Twitter and Instagram during class and you’ll get to spend more time in the student union – yeay!

Things You Should Know Before Starting College – The Student Room

There’s a good list of advice here. Following on from the advice above, use your downtime between classes (including your lunch break) for homework and revision and you’ll get even more time to spend at the student union – even bigger yeay!

College tips, tricks and hacks – Matt Might

This article from a college professor gives advice from the perspective of someone who sees what you are going through so it’s a nice change on the other articles. Apparently most students regret their first semester – I guess it is party time as most are leaving home for the first time but you can study as well as having a bit of a party.

42 College Tips I Learned Freshman Year – College Info Geek

This article covers a range of topics from how to do your laundry to not drinking too much caffeine, and again mentions the importance of flip-flops; there must some some really dodgy feet on American campuses! Whilst you’re there, check out the rest of the website, there’s a free ebook download on how to study and a great resource list.

Staying Safe In College – Caller Smart

There’s a great infographic here in this article that covers everything from finding out crime rates and securing your valuables to staying safe on dates. It’s well worth a look if you’re heading off to college or you’ve been there for a while.

Productivity and Life Hacks

Draw Organizing – I Heart Organizing

There’s an old adage: Tidy Desk, Tidy Mind. The blog “I Heart Organizing” has two posts on helping you keep your desk straight: One for home office draws and one for organizing your school supplies. Check out the rest of the site as well as there’s some great tips on organizing your dorm room including how to stick your posters up without wrecking the wall, basic equipment you might need and some clever storage solutions.

36 Life Hacks Every College Student Should Know – Buzzfeed

Gummy Bear studying incentive? How did I miss this? The other tips are also borderline genius including brewing coffee without a coffee machine which is an essential tip for a student (although I’d just buy a Cafetiere!)

Student Life Hacks – Pinterest

Who knew putting tea bags in a shoe could act as an odour eater? And delete a whole word with CTRL+Backspace (Or CMD+Backspace), HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS??? Wow!

Student Hacks – Student Hacks

I’ve not selected one article from this website as there are many relevant articles for you to read from 5 simple exercises to do in your dorm room, what those confusing laundry symbols mean, and 21 food hacks every student should know

College Life Hacks College Life Hacks Tumblr

Again, I’ve not selected one post from this Tumblr blog as there are a variety of great posts here for you to check out

12 Hacks That Will Improve Your Studying – Kaplan University

Scents are well known to aid memory so use a spray (or chewing gum) to help you whilst you are studying.

Hack College – Hack College

This is another website that has a variety of great ideas for attending university.

College Un-Checklist: 10 Things Not to Bring to Campus – The Simple Dollar

There’s an old saying in England that people who over-pack are “taking everything with them, including the kitchen sink”. You’d be surprised what people want to take with them to college, yes your desk chair from home may be super-comfortable but do you really need to take it with you to a college 300 (or 3000) miles away?

This article from the The Simple Dollar gives you 10 things you don’t need to take with you including a printer. Someone you know will have one, or there’ll be a print lab at your college that’ll probably work out cheaper in the long run than those stupidly expensive ink cartridges you need to keep buying (if you remember).

Back To Uni: The Essential Guide To What You Need To Take To University Or College – Flipping Heck

Last but not least in the productivity and life hack’s category, there’s my free downloadable checklist that contains all of the items you need to take with you for your first trip away to university. Whilst the article from The Simple Dollar tells you what not to take, this covers the essentials that you should at least consider taking with you.

Financial Advice

Love Your Budget Part 1: Know your monthly expenses – The Love Nerds

This article gives you a good overview of managing your monthly outgoing. Whilst it’s not especially aimed at students it will give you some good information on what to think about when planning your finances. The article also links to a free download (if you join their newsletter).

Student Finance Survival Tips – The Complete University Guide

I’m not entirely sure I agree with taking out all the student loans available to you if you’re not using them, even if you are investing them but the rest of the advice is pretty sound.

Student finance: top 10 student money saving tips – The Telegraph

There are some great tips here from budgeting to meal planning to avoiding paying to much for drinks. There’s also a fresher’s week guide that is worth reading as well.

Student Finance Tips A-Z

The Money Saving Expert website give some great financial advice for UK based students. There’s advice on student loans, graduate bank accounts and more. If you’re in the UK you can also check out the Government’s Money Advice Service guide for students.

10 Budgeting TipsAdd to Favorites – College In Colorado

Use cash for small purchases as much as possible. That way you can keep your eye on what you’re spending and stick to your budget.

10 Easy Budgeting Tips for Students – Yahoo Finance

Learn to cook so you don’t have to spend money on expensive takeaways and research used books to save even more money.

Health Advice

Six Tips for College Health and Safety – CDC

A healthy lifestyle and stress can be contributing factors to getting ill when you get to college.

101 Health and Wellness Tips for College Students – Rutgers at Camden

Some of these tips are University specific with the services they offer but there are some excellent tips on this exhaustive list.

10 Tips to Stay Healthy in College – Huffington Post

One of the tips in this post is to get a flu shot, I would also add that if your local health service office it (and you haven’t had one already) is to get vaccinated against meningitis which has had a history of spreading through colleges during the first few weeks of term.

10 Healthy Eating Tips for the Busy College Student – Clarke University

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so make sure you tuck in to a good meal along with following the other tips in this post.

A College Guide To Healthy Eating – Nerd Fitness

This is a great article with lots of information on healthy eating. There’s also an interesting bit on the idea that we have a finite amount of willpower so if we try an concentrate on doing one thing then we may struggle to do others – so pick your battles carefully!

Student survival guide to healthy eating – University Of Waterloo

There’s some great quick snack and breakfast tips in this post – who knew that popcorn was a good study snack?!

Over To You

Do you have any tips for students venturing out into the world of Higher Education for the first time? Let us know in the comments.

Also, keep an eye out on the tag “Back To Uni” on the Flipping Heck Blog to keep up-to-date with the posts I’ll be running over the coming month which include free downloads and app reviews.

Featured Image by sippakorn from Free Digital Photos

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