College life is supposed to be a full four years of unsupervised fun, learning and an overall great time for in your life. For many people, you’re away from home for the first time. There are so many things you set out to learn in college and not all of the learning comes from text books or lecture classes. In order to solve some of college life’s inconveniences and make your college life easier, you need to be as creative as possible. Here are 20 best college life hacks that every college student needs. These simple tips and tricks will tell you how to be cool in college and make your college years a lot easier. Might sound counter intuitive at first but it really is very obvious.
Staying up late and waking up early to study. Compromised sleep is always bad for focus and concentration. And yet, the most popular study method is to study for long late/early hours before the exam. There is a clear association between compromised sleep and poor academic performance.Poor sleep might create a vicious cycle between low academic performance and associated stress which further affects sleep quality. In a study where sleep quality was measured against neurocognitive performance and academic performance shows that poor sleep causes a decline in academic performance cognitive aspects of learning. A review of a large number of studies shows that poor sleep as a result of late sleeping and early rising negatively affects academic performance in school and college students.
Counting hours. You know whats a good idea? Studying for 20 minutes properly and space out for a while. Then, return to study for another 20 minutes. You may know this as the Pomodoro technique. If done in a planned way, 20–25-minute chunks of learning are far more effective than brute force learning.
Not knowing what is there to study. Worrying takes up a lot of time and drains you. Especially when a student has no clue what material needs to be studied. Knowing your index should be your first step. This compounds with not knowing how much effort is needed to study. Counting the volume of studies. It should be painfully obvious to everyone that thinking of studying a whole book at a time can be overwhelming and stressful. This will necessarily hamper your focus and concentration. Yet, that is the common habit – I have to study 10 chapters in 2 days. It’s honestly ridiculous. This can easily change into ‘I need to study 1/1oth of a chapter every day.’
Procrastinating till you have all the notes. Why wait to have all the notes? Procrastination is actually evil on two levels. First, a student procrastinates and rationalizes that he/she will study properly after all the notes are there. This wastes time. Second, procrastination is about delaying a perceived anxiety about a future event (in this case, overwhelming nature of study material put together). This is a self-fulfilling prophecy. The student is making the overwhelming nature of studies demonstrably true by procrastinating and then is likely to worry and complain about the overwhelming nature. It’ll be far easier for a student to study in small chunks as and when they have their materials ready. Special note: chilling, partying, gaming, dating, etc. is actually nice. Don’t stop having fun. If you stop having fun altogether, you will probably face mental health issues associated with monotony, depressed moods, social withdrawal, etc. Being a student has its fun side, and it shouldn’t be taken away. So if you want to get drunk, go ahead get drunk have fun when nothing much is at stake, just make sure you don’t stay hungover all your life.
Food, water, exercise is not worth compromising on. Download an app if you need reminders to drink a glass of water and eat, but these are not things that you should skip. Quality food, enough water, and moderate exercise will raise your baseline focus and concentration as well as keep you in a sharper state of mind. The lack of these 3 things can induce severe lethargy – your enemy. Insecurities about food, socializing with food, and staying hungry is negatively associated with academic performance. Even for school going students, the quality of a meal appears to improve test scores.Food insecurities such as avoiding food-related hangouts, saving money, body image, etc. tend to reduce a student’s GPA directly as well as indirectly via related mental health issues.
The study was conducted on over 7000 students in the California University system.Drinking water and avoiding thirst is directly related to better cognitive outcomes. Dehydration can lead to cognitive impairment. Exercise promotes cognitive functions and research shows that those who exercise (even a little bit) enjoy superior cognitive abilities.This directly impacts the learning ability of students.
On a related note, hygiene is so important that UNICEF has an initiative called WASH which promotes water-based cleanliness. Their initiative has observed that handwashing can improve academic performance in school children, especially in 3rd world nations. Now, if you are willing to change your student lifestyle so you can focus, concentrate, and score without losing out on fun, I highly recommend adopting these study habits and these productivity tips. They will help you create more time in your life and maximize your efforts.
Google Scholar is an online, freely-accessible search engine that lets you scan both physical and digital copies of articles. It searches a variety of sources, including academic publishers, universities and preprint depositories. It’s a really useful database that will be invaluable when it comes to assignment writing.
The two-minute rule – If a task can be done in two minutes, do it.
It’s inevitable that small tasks will pop-up throughout your day, but you don’t want to waste time contemplating whether or not you should do them. Instead, just ask yourself if you can complete the task in less than two minutes. If the answer is yes, do it. You’ve only lost two minutes of your day. If the answer is no, add the task to your to-do list (below your top three tasks for the day) and take care of it later.
Always Be A Happy Face
Laughter helps you stay mentally healthy and in good spirits
Laughter makes you feel good. And this positive feeling remains with you even after the laughter subsides. Humor helps you keep a positive, optimistic outlook through difficult situations, disappointments, and loss. More than just a respite from sadness and pain, laughter gives you the courage and strength to find new sources of meaning and hope. Even in the most difficult of times, a laugh–or even simply a smile–can go a long way toward making you feel better. And laughter really is contagious—just hearing laughter primes your brain and readies you to smile and join in the fun.
Relation between laughter and mental health
Laughter stops distressing emotions. You can’t feel anxious, angry, or sad when you’re laughing.Laughter helps you relax and recharge. It reduces stress and increases energy, enabling you to stay focused and accomplish more.Laughter shifts perspective, allowing you to see situations in a more realistic, less threatening light. A humorous perspective creates psychological distance, which can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed and diffuse conflict. Laughter brings you closer to others, which can have a profound effect on all aspects of your mental and emotional health.Laughter brings people together and strengthens relationships.There’s a good reason why TV sitcoms use laugh tracks: laughter is contagious. You’re many times more likely to laugh around other people than when you’re alone. And the more laughter you bring into your own life, the happier you and those around you will feel. Sharing humor is half the fun—in fact, most laughter doesn’t come from hearing jokes, but rather simply from spending time with friends and family. And it’s this social aspect that plays such an important role, in the health benefits of laughter. You can’t enjoy a laugh with other people unless you take the time to really engage with them. When you care about someone enough to switch off your phone and really connect face to face, you’re engaging in a process that rebalances the nervous system and puts the brakes on defensive stress responses like “fight or flight.” And if you share a laugh as well, you’ll both feel happier, more positive, and more relaxed—even if you’re unable to alter a stressful situation. How laughing together can strengthen relationships Shared laughter is one of the most effective tools for keeping relationships fresh and exciting. All emotional sharing builds strong and lasting relationship bonds, but sharing laughter also adds joy, vitality, and resilience. And humor is a powerful and effective way to heal resentments, disagreements, and hurts. Laughter unites people during difficult times.
Humor and playful communication strengthen our relationships by triggering positive feelings and fostering emotional connection. When we laugh with one another, a positive bond is created. This bond acts as a strong buffer against stress, disagreements, and disappointment. Humor and laughter in relationships allows you to:Be more spontaneous. Humor gets you out of your head and away from your troubles.Let go of defensiveness. Laughter helps you forget resentments, judgments, criticisms, and doubts.Release inhibitions. Your fear of holding back is pushed aside.Express your true feelings. Deeply felt emotions are allowed to rise to the surface.The ability to laugh, play, and have fun not only makes life more enjoyable but also helps you solve problems, connect with others, and think more creatively. People who incorporate humor and play into their daily lives find that it renews them and all of their relationships. Life brings challenges that can either get the best of you or become playthings for your imagination. When you “become the problem” and take yourself too seriously, it can be hard to think outside the box and find new solutions. But when you play with the problem, you can often transform it into an opportunity for creative learning.Playing with problems seems to come naturally to children. When they are confused or afraid, they make their problems into a game, giving them a sense of control and an opportunity to experiment with new solutions. Interacting with others in playful ways helps you retain this creative, ability.