9 Tips And Tricks For College Students

Hullo, friends! So today’s post is a little different. This past semester, I finished my first year of college, and it was certainly a new experience. 🙂 So I thought I would share some of the little tricks I learned in my first year at college. Keep in mind that all colleges and their surrounding towns are different, so you may  not be able to do some of these, but I hope you’re able to find something to help you out. And if you’re not in college, share this with someone you know who is (or bookmark it for future use 😉 ).

  1. Be creative when it comes to food. It is really, really easy to get bored of the same old cafeteria food. If your cafeteria has a salad bar, try using some of the items on there to mix up other meals. Tired of hamburgers? Add some bacon bits and shredded cheese. Bring some salsa from an outside restaurant, or bring your own salad dressing or sauce. Buy Go-gurts and put them in the freezer to have your own froyo (seriously, it is the best)! Building off of that…
  2. More expensive restaurants may equal more meals. Spending twelve dollars on a meal at a more expensive restaurant may not seem like a good idea at first, but take into account how many meals you can get out of that twelve dollars. To-go boxes are amazing, guys! The food is usually more expensive (not to mention better quality) at some Italian restaurants, but they usually also give you bread of some kind and a side salad as part of your meal, which can easily fill you up. And if they have big portion sizes… well, I’ve gotten four meals out of one twelve dollar meal.
  3. Get a library card. By this I mean a card for a public library, not the school library. A lot of public libraries not only have awesome reading books, they have movies, too. All you need is a library card, and you can get free movies! They’ll usually have a shorter rental period than books, but they’re definitely cheaper than Redbox.
  4. Pay with cash. Lots of studies have shown that people who pay with cash tend to spend less. This is sooo true. It’s easier to spend money with a card, because it’s harder to hand over a twenty dollar bill to a cashier than to just swipe a plastic card. Plus, this is better for your finances in the long run.
  5. Save your change. I actually learned about this from my Business teacher, and it builds off the previous tip. At the end of the day, empty out your change from your wallet or your pockets and put it in a jar or container of some kind. You can actually save up a lot of money this way! Change tends to build up without you realizing it, plus this can relieve some of the weight in your wallet or purse.
  6. Ask about student discounts. This is mostly at restaurants, but student discounts are really helpful! Just by showing your ID you can get anywhere from 10-20% off your usual price. This is easy to forget about, but try and ask when you’re shopping or going out to eat. You might be surprised at the places that do student discounts! (You can also try Googling, but keep in mind each location is different).
  7. Get up early to do your laundry. Very, very few college students will get up at seven to do their laundry on the weekends. Take advantage of the empty laundry room and get your laundry done early. Better to get up early than to wait hours for a dryer! (And also, this is just courtesy, but move your laundry right after it finishes!)
  8. Go for a run or a walk. I actually did a whole speech last semester about the benefits of exercise, and one thing I was surprised to learn was that exercise can actually help your creativity a lot. So if you’re stuck on something, try getting some exercise or just going for a walk. It can also help improve your focus!
  9. And last but not least… talk to people. I know, sometimes us introverts like to avoid social interaction, but there are times you want to hang out with people… and you can’t do that if you don’t have friends to hang out with. 🙂 In college, you even have a few basic questions you can ask the people who sit next to you in class, like “what’s your major?” and “where are you from?”. Don’t rely on other people to start the conversation. Put down your phone before class and start up a conversation with the people around you, sit with someone who’s sitting by themselves in the cafeteria, or just compliment someone who’s wearing a shirt with your favorite superhero on it.

I’m sure there are many more tips and tricks out there, but this is a pretty good start! Do you have any college or school related tips? Have you used any of these before? Do you want to see more college-related posts like this one? Comment below with your thoughts!

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Ditched – Part One

An interesting story I wrote a while back. I hope you enjoy it, and I’d love to know what you think! :

“Hi, Valerie,” Crystal said, greeting her friend as she sat next to her on the bleachers. She handed Valerie her hot dog, pushing her light brown bangs out of her sparkly green eyes. Her long brown hair fell almost to her waist, even braided. Her pale skin looked even paler in the lights of the high school gymnasium.

“Thanks,” Valerie replied, accepting the foil-wrapped wiener. She pulled her shoulder-length black hair into a ponytail before unwrapping the hot dog. She fixed her eyes on her phone with one earbud in as she took a bite of the hot dog.

Crystal sighed as she gazed out at the empty court. “They still haven’t started?”

“Nope.” Valerie took another bite. She started coughing.

Crystal looked at her, concerned. “Are you okay?” she asked.

Valerie nodded, still coughing. The coughs died off into laughter. “Robert Downey, Jr. is just too funny!” she said, still gasping for air.

Crystal couldn’t help rolling her eyes. “You’re watching Iron Man again?”

Valerie shrugged. “Why not?” Her brown eyes got a dreamy look in them. “He’s amazing! Did you know that…”

Crystal rolled her eyes again as her friend continued chattering away. Any mention of Iron Man or anything related would set Valerie off on a trail of Iron Man trivia. If you asked a simple question about the movie, you’d receive more information than you’d ever needed, or wanted, to know.

Of course, Valerie had other obsessions, too. She was the biggest fan of tennis, and could name every single Wimbledon winner. She could find a way to work tennis into almost every conversation, and you wouldn’t want to ask her about rules for tennis. She could go on forever.

Crystal tuned back in to Valerie’s one-sided conversation. “Did I tell you that they’re coming out with a new one? I can’t wait! It’s going to be so awesome! You know, it would be great to…” Crystal sighed and tuned her friend out again. She didn’t really mind Valerie’s obsessive chatter that much, but she wished that she and Valerie could actually talk together, instead of her having to listen to Valerie’s monologue.

Crystal sighed again, gazing absent-mindedly out at the basketball court. A few more fans were wandering into the bleachers and picking seats early to beat the crowd. She saw a couple members of the home team coming in late and rushing to the locker room.

“Crystal!” Valerie exclaimed.

Crystal turned back to Valerie. “What?” she asked.

Valerie glared at her. “You’re not even listening to me!”

Crystal gulped. “I know. I’m sorry, Val.”

“Why weren’t you listening?” Valerie demanded. Crystal could tell that her friend was really mad.

Crystal looked down at her hands, embarrassed. “Well, I – I – it’s just that, well, you know, you just talk and talk about Robert Downey, Jr. I mean, you never give me a chance to say anything, and I don’t really care about Iron Man or anything like that, so—”

“So you just tuned out,” Valerie finished. Her eyes flashed angrily. “Does what I say mean that little to you?”

“No, it’s just—”

“No,” Valerie interrupted. She picked up her things and what was left of her hot dog and stood up. “I’ll see you later,” she said sarcastically and stalked off. Crystal watched her leave with her mouth hanging open. She finally recovered enough to run after her friend.

“Valerie!” she cried. Valerie shook Crystal’s hand off her arm.

“I’ll go find someone who actually cares about what I have to say,” Valerie muttered wrathfully. Crystal stopped in her tracks, stunned. Her friend’s words, and actions, stung. Tears steamed in her eyes as she turned back to her seat. She slumped down in her chair, putting her hands over her face and letting the tears flow.