A life hack is a simple tip that you either stumble across, read about, or that gets passed on by friends and family. They’re just small things that help to make life that little bit easier, and the very best ones stay with you throughout your entire life. Here are our top ten uni life hacks for student living…
1. Look after the pennies…
Spare change comes in handy for all-sorts. Keeping a money box or jar for your loose coins will mean you’ve always got your bus fare, a couple of pounds for the hall’s washing machines and some money to chip in for milk. Why not get creative and check out our paint your own piggy bank? You could even paint it in your university colours!
2. It’ll all come out in the wash
Sorting washing is a pain. And so annoying if you need to wash colours and whites on the same day. No need to bother going back and forth to the washing machine though, just throw a Dylon Colour Catcher in with the load and you can mix your wash. Go on – we dare you!
3. Keep an open door
Get yourself a door stop! Many halls have the sort of doors that close automatically behind you. Propping your bedroom door open on moving day (and over the weeks to come) will help you make friends with your new housemates. They’ll be more likely to come and talk to you, and you’ll be able to spot people nipping into the kitchen – the perfect place for a chat!
Make sure you check fire regulations before using this one. No propping open fire doors please!
4. Command your deposit back
Need more storage? Command hooks will stick to the wall and come off again without damaging the paint underneath. Command also do picture hanging strips so you can stick up as many pics and posters as you like without enraging the landlord or doing a last-minute paint job before you move.
5. Take note
Look over your lecture notes post-lecture and highlight the key points. This will make it so much easier when you come to write an assignment or revise for an exam.
Speaking of revising – when writing up your revision notes, use different coloured pens. You could even use a colour code if it works for you. It’ll get both sides of your brain working and help it to remember all the stuff you’re trying to cram into it! Not to mention, it makes things a bit more interesting…
6. Cook home-made ready meals
With the hectic uni lifestyle, there’s not always time to cook. So when you do find the time, always make at least a portion more than you need; wait till it cools, box it up and freeze it. Store a single portion per box so you don’t need to defrost more than you’ll eat and remember to write what your food is (and the date it was frozen) on each lid – nobody wants to play guess the mystery meal! We’ve got a great blog about batch cooking, click here to check it out.
7. Back it up, back it up
Always back your work up on a USB stick in case of sudden computer malfunction. Make a point to save your work every time you take a tea, food or toilet break – it’ll get you in to a good routine.
If you need to print an assignment at the library, send yourself an e-mail with the work attached before you leave. This way, if the computer won’t read your memory stick (or you leave it on the bus!) you’ve always got a back up.
8. Turn to dos in to have dones
Get yourself one of our ‘Things To Do Today’ pads. Each page has a space for your to do list (complete with priority ordering), a box for to dos needing particular attention, a place to keep track of appointments and a section of squared paper for working out or sketching (or, y’know, doodling – we’re only human!).
Writing down the things you need to get done will keep you organised and help with your stress levels. Trying to remember everything at once will only make things harder to stay on top of, so making a list will help you concentrate on one thing at a time. Plus, crossing things off is sooo satisfying!
9. Make veggie-cubes
Fed up of veg going off before you’ve had a chance to use it all? If you only need half an onion or one clove of garlic, chop up the rest and freeze it in an ice cube tray with just a little bit of olive oil. Then, the next time you’re cooking, all you need to do is pop out one or two of your cubes and add them to your dish. You can apply the same thinking to lemons, cutting one up and popping the slices into a freezer bag so you’ve got an instant ice cold slice of lemon to add to your water… or G&T of course!
10. Actually attend that 9am lecture
If you know you’re terrible at getting up for those 9am starts, make yourself a morning playlist. Start with slower, upbeat songs that’ll put you in a good mood as soon as the alarm goes off, then, build up to more energetic songs that are guaranteed to get you out of the door and on your way! This will help even more on those cold rainy mornings.
Try and time your choices so your playlist lasts the same amount of time as it takes you to get ready, that way, as soon as the last song ends you’ll know it’s time to go. Just remember to refresh the list every so often so you don’t get bored of it!