Campus Life

20 Hacks To Make Your Life Easier At Grand Valley State University

Have you ever walked through campus wishing you could make your college life a bit easier? Fortunately, there are plenty of life hacks at Grand Valley State University. From study hacks, to organizational hacks, keep reading for 20 hacks to make your life easier at Grand Valley State University!

1. Find Your Classes

Before your classes start every semester, make sure to route your classes! GVSU is a pretty big campus, and I’ve gotten lost multiple times. I would also try to find the fastest way to get there because getting up at 8 and trekking 30 minutes to class is a no in my book. Don’t just find the building, actually go inside and LOOK for your classroom, it’s a maze I swear.

2. Bring at Least 4 Blankets

If your like me, and forced to live in traditional dorms your first year, make sure to bring some snuggly blankets. When you have a roommate, chances are they’re not going to want to be hot when they sleep, so they’ll turn the room into an igloo. Bring 4 blankets. 1 to go on top of your comforter, 1 to put against the wall so you don’t lose socks in the side of your bed, 1 to snuggle up with while your doing homework at your desk, and an extra 1 because I’m sure a neighbor will snatch one.

3. Rent Textbooks

Renting textbooks is a definite yes, seeing as they can be hundreds of dollars. If you rent them, you can return them and get your money back. It’s a hassle trying to pay full price for books when there’s already a giant hole burning in your pocket that is slowly filling with student loans. We all know how fun those are (not really). Check out Student Rate for some great deals on textbooks.

4. Get the Bus System Down

If you find yourself not being able to bring your car to school, don’t sweat it. GVSU has buses that run constantly. Whether you want to go to Meijer, downtown Grand Rapids, or you just don’t feel like walking to class, the transit will become your best friend. It’s free, it’s fast, and it’s an odd, but good way to meet some new people and fresh faces!

5. Bring a Mini Fridge

While GVSU has some great places to eat at, it can get really old eating the same things every week. Bringing a mini fridge is a perfect little way to keep snacks in your dorm (also for coffee creamer because coffee is life in college). In the winter, when it’s 14 degrees out and you don’t want to freeze just to get some food, it’ll be a damn good thing you’re stocked up on snacks and goodies. Mini fridges also take up only a small part of your dorm, so it won’t stick out or block anything! Only bring one though, or else you’ll be fined (apparently it’s a fire hazard).


6. Bring Actual Silverware (Not Plastic)

Yes, plastic is much easier and you can just throw it away instead of washing it. However, I’ve run out of plastic forks and spoons so many times I’ve lost count. It’s no fun trying to eat with a fork made out of a paper plate (it doesn’t work). It is so much more efficient, and better for the environment, to just bring silverware and wash it. It also saves time and money by not having to go out to buy plastic forks and spoons.

7. Make Ramen in a Coffee Pot

I discovered this little trick a few weeks into my first semester. Put the dry ramen into your coffee pot, put water into the back of coffee maker, and just turn it on. It cooks the ramen to perfection, it’s done in about 4 minutes, and makes little to no mess. I don’t think that you can truly become a college student unless you eat ramen at least 3 times a week, if not more.

8. Bring Tupperware to Sneak Food

At GVSU, there’s a place called the Fresh Food Company. Basically, you swipe your meal card and then you can eat as much as you want of whatever you want. Bring the Tupperware to put your leftovers in. You could essentially save meals and time by doing this. It’s not stealing, and it’s not wrong. I’ve seen so many people do this, and it’s better than throwing away a ton of food that you could’ve eaten later. It’s putting delicious food to good use, give it a try! Bring bottles for some milk too!!

9. Make Sticky Notes of Your Assignments

Keep a pad of sticky notes in your backpack as well as your desk. When you get an assignment, write it down and put it on something that you look at everyday. Such as your mirror or dresser. This way, if you have a class that night and see it in the morning, you can whip it out and it won’t be late. I’ve done this for my classes and it’s a lifesaver.

10. Put Tape on Chargers

Put colorful tape (non-flammable) on all of your chargers. This way, your roommate won’t steal them, and you can find which one you need faster. Getting cords and chargers mixed up is so difficult. Trying to find the right one while trying to untangle them, it’s a hot mess. Putting tape on them also makes for a decorative little spot in your room.

11. Picture Board

This one isn’t really a hack, but more of a comfort item. Having pictures up around your room of people you love and of home can make college a little less stressful. It’s very comforting being able to see familiar faces everyday, and it’s easy to show people your family and friends when they’re right there on the wall.

12. Buy a Bike

When it’s not snowing (which isn’t very often), it’s efficient and easy to have a bicycle on campus. It’s gets you from point A to point B without walking forever, and it’s fun if I’m being honest. In front of almost every building on campus, there are places to put your bike. And please, buy a lock for it, people can be nasty sometimes.

13. Make Two or Three Really Close Friends

At the beginning of the semester I found myself becoming sad and lonely, closing myself off, and saying no to invitations to go out. Towards the end of my first semester, I found two girls who are now my closest friends. They unknowingly pulled me out of the dark that I was in and showed me that making a family at college makes it so much easier to bare. Please, don’t close yourself off, it will make your experience at college so much harder.

14. Use Command Hooks

Using command hooks makes it extremely easy to hang almost anything on the wall. The bonus? It won’t tear any paint off, which means you won’t be charged with damage fees at the end of the semester. This is also a handy way to put your tablet up to watch a movie in bed when you’re too lazy to hold it.

See Also

15. Buy Pepper Spray

This one isn’t just for girls, but guys too. College campuses can be very dangerous, especially at night. I suggest putting pepper spray or mace on a key chain that has your other keys on it so you will always have it with you. Having a late class means walking home alone in the dark. This is legal on college campuses and could potentially save your life. So please, buy one. They’re very inexpensive and useful. (Don’t mace your friends, not funny).


16. Have Weekly Dinner Dates with Your Roomie

Having a roommate that you don’t really know and are uncomfortable around can make your college experience very awkward. By having a set plan to get food together you two will potentially be forced to talk to each other, but can essentially build a stronger bond. If your uncomfortable doing this, bring a mutual friend to ease the tension!

17. Bring a Wax Melter Instead of a Candle

Candles aren’t allowed in dorms or on campus apartments, however, a sneaky way around it is a wax melter. It’s not technically a candle so it’s not a violation. Plus, it keeps your room smelling incredibly good. The wax comes in a pack of 6 and is only $3, so you won’t be breaking your bank either.

18. Bring 2 Packs of Pens and Pencils

Odds are you’re going to lose or break almost all of your pens and pencils. Or some sneaky people are going to steal them. Either way, always bring backup. Keep a new packet of each in your room, this goes for highlighters too. Those little suckers seem to grow legs runaway as soon as you need them.

19. Bring a TV (If you Can)

So, if you’re like me, you usually like to watch Netflix while doing homework. Having a TV is useful to have a little background noise to kill the silence when you’re not in the mood for music. This is also great for movie nights with the roomies, it’s another way of bonding. I suggest Friends, just to set the mood. (Not that kind of mood, but you know what I’m talking about).

20. Have Your Mom on Speed Dial

My first semester of college (well, probably every semester after), I called my mom every day, multiple times a day. When I had free time, or if I was just walking to class. Not because I couldn’t cope without her, but because it was helpful and comforting to just talk. About anything and everything. Even just picking up the phone to say hello. I promise that it will not only make you feel better, but it will also make your mom feel better. It’s a horrible feeling leaving home, but it’s also really tough on your parents, especially your mom. Call her, just for a minute a day. Just pick up the phone and call her.

Featured photo source: and
Brittany Sanderson

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