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10 Hacks To Make Your Life Easier At Howard University

1. Stack your classes.

If you haven’t figured it out already, going up and down all the hills on Howard’s campus can be exhausting. To fight this, try to take most of your classes on two or three days. Not only does this save you energy, but it also frees up your schedule so you can have more time for internships and jobs during the week.

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2. Learn the stops of the shuttle bus.

The shuttle bus is a great hack and another way to save you time and energy when traveling around campus. Although the bus changes slightly after every semester, there are key places it always picks up and drops off students, for free. Here are the typical places it can bring you and pick you up at: outside of Cramton Auditorium, Shaw-Howard Metro, Bookstore/Starbucks, and the iLab.

3. Learn the best times to eat in the caf.

Knowing when and when not to go to the cafeterias is essential. Going at its busiest times, like 1 p.m. on soul food Thursday, can easily mean a 20 to 30 minute wait for food. Be sure to figure out when the lines are shortest so you can get in and out, without missing class.

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4. Make sure your teacher knows who you are.

Many teachers at Howard have other jobs in the city or hundreds of students. It’s impossible for them to get to know every student, so make sure you’re one of the students they do know. Sit in the front row; you won’t regret it. There were times where I knew I had a high B and the teacher gave me an A, simply because they knew me. Teachers love to honor effort.

5. Don’t go to the iLab if you REALLY need to study, or get in and out.

Countless computers and access to printers sounds great, until you end up running into all your classmates and can’t focus anymore. To avoid this, go to the iLab with a set time to leave in mind. This forces you to focus and not just socialize the entire time you go there.

6. Ask for help in person, as opposed to calling or emailing.

Some of the administrative sources at Howard University aren’t the most reliable, and you will be calling a certain office for weeks with no response. To combat this, try going in person and talking to someone face to face. Even then it’s still important to get that person’s name, their direct number or phone extension, and a copy of any new documents or paperwork; that way nothing can get “lost.”

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7. Use the GroupMe app.

This is a great app that is used to communicate for just about everything on campus, from parties and elections to dorm emergencies and free events. You can even make them for group projects or for your friend groups. If you ever need anything, you can almost always find an answer or help from your GroupMe chats.

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8. Take advantage of RSVP points.

This is a Howard University hack that isn’t talked about enough on campus, but is so important. RSVP points determine your positioning when choosing housing on campus. Participating in organizations, going to school events, and having good grades all contribute to the amount of RSVP points you get. Howard basically wants to give housing to students that are most active on campus. That being said, if you participate in events, you should be fine when it comes to selecting housing assignments.

9. Use hair salon and barbershop discounts.

A lot of salons and hair studios in the area love Howard University students and usually offer lower prices for the students. Even if you haven’t heard about a promo, always ask about a student discount and have your ID ready.

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10. Always ask a previous student for a free online e-book or any old notes.

Textbooks for one semester can easily be $500 or more. Before you purchase, always talk to an old student to see if you really need it and if you can buy theirs for free. At Howard in particular, some people have copies of the e-book that they can send you for free, so always find out before spending the money.

Have any other on-campus hacks for students at Howard University? Comment below!

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Dawn Richard

Dawn is currently a journalism major attending Howard University in Washington, D.C. She enjoys reading, writing, and exploring the nation's capitol with friends in her spare time. She works in retail and has a great fascination with fashion and beauty. When she has free time, she is probably relaxing and listening to music, most likely Kanye West.

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