12 College Life Hacks From Reddit You Definitely Need To Know, Because Getting Quarters For Laundry Doesn't Have To Be Difficult
It's been a mighty long time since “back to school season” actually meant going back to school for me — but I still kind of love this time of year anyway. As such, it's probably not surprising that I got sucked into a recent Reddit thread about need-to-know college life hacks, because, well… back to school plus life hacks equals Internet gold, right? Redditor Joltegon posted a thread simply titled, “Reddit, what are your college lifehacks?” to the AskReddit sub last night, and it couldn't be more fortuitously timed — so for all the students settling back into campus life, this one's for you.
Are all of the tips in the thread genuine life hacks? Not totally. When most of us think of the term “life hack,” we think of some nifty trick you never would have thought of that results in an unexpected bonus — typically one that makes life easier in some capacity. As such we don't always think of general advice as “life hacks,” per se, mostly because they often seem like common sense. But, given that the dictionary definition of “life hack” is “a tip, trick, or efficient method for doing or managing a day-to-day task or activity,” maybe pieces of general advice still qualify — and either way, these collegiate tips and tricks will go a long way towards helping you get the most out of your college experience.
If you're getting ready to hit the books again, you might think about incorporating a few of these tips into your semester routine. Check out what I think are the most useful ones below, and head on over to AskReddit for more.
1. Take advantage of the resources you have — even if you don't think you need them.
Seriously, you guys. Most schools have a ton of easily accessible resources that are either cheap or free — and you will never again in your life have things like these at your beck and call. Making judicious use of the writing center, the health center, the career center, and more will stand you in very good stead. Trust me.
On that note…
2. Office hours are your friends.
All that? That is why.
3. Use Wikipedia responsibly.
I would actually argue that there's more to it for students. Wikipedia can be your friend… but only if you use it wisely. Because of its open structure, reliability is often an issue; as such, you should never take anything you read on Wikipedia as gospel truth. It can be a helpful place to start when doing research, but always verify information you've gleaned from it via at least one other source — and never, ever cite it as a source on a research paper.
4. Never say no to free food.
Or perhaps more accurately, almost never say no to free food. If you have a gluten sensitivity, you're probably going to want to skip the free pizza; also, make sure you're still getting fruits and veggies and whatnot in addition to all the carb-heavy items offered at most events. Still, though: There's a boatload of free food available on most college campuses if you know where to look. And hey, you get to meet new friends while you're at it, too! What's not to love?
5. Use your syllabi.
Of course, as another Redditor pointed out, this kind of system only works if your syllabi are the type that actually list due dates and such — either way, though, syllabi are still worth paying attention to. According to my friends who are professors, you'd be amazed how many students end up shooting themselves in the proverbial foot with regards to their assignments purely because they didn't bother to read the syllabus.
6. Two words: Shower shoes.
It's a time-honored tradition. Also it will protect you from things like athlete's foot, because that's what happens when you use a shower that's also used by approximately eight gazillion other people.
7. Use the vending machine as a change machine so you can do your laundry.
Grocery delivery service Instacart may be useful, but what I'm most interested here is the vending-machine-as-change-machine trick. That's genius — and, unlike a lot of the items on this list, is a legit life hack. It might not be quite as helpful if your school's laundry facilities use cards instead of quarters, but still. Definitely a trick worth knowing.
8. Get creative with your ramen.
Ramen hacks? We've got you covered. You're welcome.
9. Work with your department in more ways than one.
Here's why it's important:
10. Actually go to class.
Not just once. Not just on exam days. Not just when you have to hand in a paper. Seriously. Go to class, even if it is the worst or most poorly taught class ever.
At the very least, it will prevent you from getting docked points on your final grade due to poor attendance; plus, actually being in class will allow you to learn what your professor is like, which will help you out when you're completing assignments for him or her.
11. If you're going to pull all-nighters, do it the smart way.
The best way to recover from an all-nighter is not to procrastinate so much that you have to pull one in the first place — but if you do, keep yourself properly fueled during it.
12. Strategize the textbook situation.
Unless you happen to attend a school that has done away with textbooks altogether, your books are going to be scary expensive. Luckily, though, there are a ton of ways to work around it. One of the biggies? Don't buy the book until you actually know you need it.