More often than not, students search for advice that will help them save an extra dollar or an extra minute. If you’re a student at Colorado State University, read on for 20 hacks that will make your life a whole lot easier.
1. Research professors before registering for a class.
In the United States, the average cost per credit at a public, four-year university is $330 for in-state students. With each class costing over $1000, more if there’s a lab, don’t you think it’s worthwhile to research the professor you’ll be learning from?
Colorado State University students use a few websites to rate teachers, but the bulk of these reviews are on Koofers and Rate My Professor. I think Koofers is easier to use and the opinions tend to be more in-depth.
2. Rack up real-life experience.
In the real world, classes fall short of experience by a long shot. Employers want someone who’s been through it, not who have read about it. Start bulking up your resume now while you’re still surrounded by clubs and other extracurriculars.
3. Use your free gym membership.
When graduation day comes, you’ll thank yourself for making the most of a free gym membership for four years. Especially at such a recently renovated rec center. If you’re not big into working out, the aquatic center has a spa, sauna and steam room you can check out. Try climbing, there are two walls: one above water at the aquatic center and a traditional top rope wall.
The rec center also offers fitness classes, intramural sports, workout studios for yoga and cycling, a tennis complex, an indoor gym and field, outdoor volleyball and basketball courts, an inline hockey rink and 24,000 square feet of cardio and weight fitness area.
4. Record teacher review sessions.
Some test review sessions are a waste of time, others are crucial to attend. You can generally tell after the test one review session whether or not it’s a good use of your time. Some teachers give away loads of test questions, sometimes even answers, during the review. It can be stressful trying to copy everything down, especially if your teacher moves through the material quickly. Use an app on your phone to record the review session and type it up later when you can pause and play it back. Most have one pre-downloaded.
5. Invest in the right brands.
Living in Colorado, there’s a different list of popular brands than most other states. Patagonia, Spiritual Gangster and Burton to name a few. Designer purses and expensive shoes just don’t get us Colorado State University girls as excited as the rest of the world. We’d rather invest in outdoor gear that will last us a lifetime.
6. Don’t sleep too much.
I was taught to sleep more than I study, study more than I party and party as much as I can. Oversleeping, however, can be just as big of a problem as under sleeping. Ever wonder how you could possibly be tired after sleeping 12 hours straight? As strange as it sounds, you slept too much. Studies show that oversleeping can lead to depression, diabetes and even heart disease. Plus, who wants to sleep away their college years?
7. Save money on textbooks.
Please don’t go buy all your textbooks from the Colorado State University Bookstore like I did first semester of my freshman year. Buy used textbooks on Amazon or from your classmates via the CSU class Facebook pages. Chegg, BIGWORDS and CampusBooks are also good resources for buying or renting used books. The best part is, you can sell your books back to any of these resources too!
8. Color code your notes.
Writing your notes with the same pen or pencil every day gets really boring. Bring a few colored pens to the classes you have a hard time focusing in and write vocabulary words blue, dates and events in green, authors in red, examples in yellow, or design your own color code creation. Adding some color to your notes should make them easier to remember and navigate.
9. Make the most of your kitchen space.
Your first few kitchens are probably going to be smaller than convenient. Make the most of your space by building a second row of shelves in your cabinets. Or if the struggle is a lack of counter space, lay your cutting board over an open drawer to create a new workstation.
Another common issue in apartments, and some houses, is lack of pantry space. Keep a basket on top of the fridge to hold some of your snacks to help mitigate this problem.
10. Find free Wi-Fi.
When you’re away from home and the buildings on campus, it doesn’t mean you have to go without Wi-Fi. There are a few apps that accumulate passwords for Wi-Fi networks. I prefer using the Free Wi-Fi Map but Instabridge works well in Fort Collins too.
Another way to find free Internet in your area is Foursquare. If you haven’t heard of Foursquare, the site offers a lot more than just Wi-Fi passwords. It’s designed to help users find nearby places to go with friends including restaurants, nightlife, entertainment and more.
11. Stop struggling with short power cords.
If you sleep lofted, lack bedroom outlets or just enjoy plugging several things in near your bed you might find yourself struggling with power cords that just aren’t long enough. Mount a power strip to your bed frame, with an extension cord attached if necessary, and this will never be an issue.
12. If you have to print, upload or export on campus, expect something to go wrong.
If you’re rushing to class and have to stop quick to print, chances are the printing center will have the longest line you’ve seen there yet and the library printer will be down. Say you finish a video project at the last minute and just need to export quickly before class, you’ll find yourself on the slowest machine in the lab.
Give yourself time for these hiccups, because professors are constantly hearing excuses like these. They can’t cut everyone slack, so chances are you’ll be out of luck.
13. Always ask if there’s a student discount.
There usually is. If not, there might be a deal in the Colorado State University campus cash coupon book.
14. Get drunk in public.
Take a page out of the It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia book and try disguising your liquor so it can be consumed in public. Drink wine out of a can or tequila out of sunscreen bottles (I’m kidding about that second one, mostly).
15. Microsoft Office and bibliographies.
Colorado State University offers its students free Microsoft Office licenses, and the applications can be downloaded on two computers. Although Google offers free online storage for documents, sheets and PowerPoints, there are still several tools in the Microsoft suite worth mentioning.
First, Microsoft Word has a bibliography function. When using Wikipedia as a resource, cite the websites and books at the bottom of the article instead, they are more reliable. There’s a table of contents function too. You’re welcome.
16. Don’t shop for food when you’re hungry.
This one is just common sense and will not only save your wallet but limit your junk food intake as well.
17. Similarly, don’t buy things online after midnight.
I’ll just share the best thing I heard in reference to buying things in college: you are young, have little money to spare and will move often.
18. Eat free your first few weeks.
With so many Colorado State University clubs and other extracurriculars kicking off, I can almost guarantee there’s free lunch and dinner for you somewhere on campus the first few weeks of each semester. You may end up eating a lot of Ramskellar pizza, but two weeks worth of free meals leaves you with twice as much beer money.
19. Chewing gum study trick.
Some scientists argue that chewing the same flavor of gum while you study and before taking exams can help you remember material easier. Research shows that chewing gum increases blood flow, sending more to your brain and improving memory for 15 to 20minutes.
20. Ask for new opportunities.
Ask your department, professors and TAs if there are any clubs you can join or events going on that will be beneficial to your degree. There most likely are, but if not your teacher will reach out when opportunities arise and will respect your effort to go above and beyond what’s expected.
Share your Colorado State University hacks in the comments below!
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Veronica Baas is a senior at Colorado State University studying media and technical communication and business administration. She has spent her life traveling as a pilot's daughter and lived in the UK as part of a study abroad program.