College life is stressful especially when you are a newcomer and you don’t know what to expect. Yes, college is going to drive you insane and you will probably have a few breakdowns. I have complied a list of 20 hacks that should prevent that from happening. The key to making it through college is staying as organized and on top of things as possible. I came up with 20 hacks to make your life easier at UNC Charlotte and they are basically things that most people that I know do.
1. Phone Chargers
Keep a phone charger in your backpack at all times because you never know when you will get back to your dorm to charge it. Also, it is a good idea to keep your phone on low-power saving mode if you know you are going to have a long day. A crucial tip is to keep your phone on DO NOT DISTURB while you are in class because you don’t want to be that one person whose phone starts singing Shakira in the middle of a test. You can save your self from so much stress by doing these few things. This should be number one for your list of hacks to make your life easier at UNC Charlotte.
2. Google Drive
A lot of students are committed to using Microsoft, but Google Drive will become your best friend. The school provides you with a student gmail so why not take advantage of it! Google Drive comes in handy when your computer randomly crashes or restarts because it automatically saves your work. Plus you can access your files from any computer because all you have to do is log into your account!
Classes get pretty hectic throughout the semester so the use of a planner or any calendar will definitely save you some sanity. Between classes, SI sessions, work, clubs, sports, etc. a planner will keep your life super organized so you don’t forget anything. Get a good planner that will last you the whole year. Don’t spend a crazy amount, go to Walmart or Target and get a cheap one.
ALWAYS keep an umbrella in your backpack. You never know when it is randomly going to rain here. Even though the weather app says sunny, it will still rain! It has happened before and thank god I had my umbrella in my backpack.
5. Student ID’s
Memorize your student ID number. It stays with you throughout all your years at UNCC. You may think you won’t need it, but I actually learned that you use it a lot more that you would think. Like for tests/exams; you have a section of the test that you have to fill in your student ID. It just makes things a lot easier and quicker if you have it memorized.
6. Office Hours and SI (Supplemental Instruction) Hours
Take advantage of these opportunities! If you don’t fully understand something go to these hours. Even if you do understand everything you can still go to get that extra practice. Plus some teachers give extra credit to those who go to these hours. It helps you in the end and benefits you so much more than what you would think.
7. Go To Class
Many think this is common sense to go to class and it should be, but there are many people that don’t go to class. Don’t be one of those people. Some teachers may not take attendance so you think that you don’t have to go, but GO!! It is only hurting you in the end if you don’t go. Most teachers take attendance and give points for it. So, going to class should be easy points to get. Remember skipping class only hurts YOU in the end, teachers don’t care if you come or don’t come. It is up to you to decide what kind of grade you want.
Print each class’s syllabus out and keep it in each classes notebook/folder. You can also go through your planner/calendar and write all the due dates down so you don’t forget. I fill all the due dates in because I can get a lot of things done early. This is very helpful for someone who is going to be working, joining an organization or sport on campus.
9. Study Groups
Make friends in your classes so you guys can get together and study. Study groups are amazing especially when tests/midterms/finals come up. They also come in handy when you have to do group work or group presentations because you already have your group ready to go. Plus it gives you the chance to meet new people and make new friends.
Set alarms in your phone for everything. Trust me, there will be times when you will easily forget something and wish you would’ve set a reminder/alarm. Alarms can keep you organized and on top of everything else you have to do. I use my phone alarms to wake me up for class, when my classes start, medication, when I have to get laundry out, etc. You can use your phone alarms for so many different things. College life is a busy life. So, you want to try to stay as organized as you can so you don’t go crazy.
Try to do your laundry every Friday. Most students go home during the weekend, so you don’t have to worry about waiting for any machines to open up. Also, most custodians clean Friday mornings. So, by the time you get to the laundry room it will be nice and clean for you.
12. Social Media
Get involved with the school’s social media accounts. Join the Facebook pages. Follow their Twitter and Instagram accounts. Add them on Snapchat. The school also keeps their org sync accounts updated with upcoming events. Search for the different events that CAB does. There are so many things the university does! Like make your own sushi, movie nights, grocery bingo, karaoke, etc. Get involved! Plus most events give out free stuff and have free food.
13. Belk Gym
The gym’s cost is included in your tuition so why not take advantage of it! They have several pools, basketball courts, volleyball courts, racket ball courts, a gym and many different exercise rooms. So, if you are feeling stressed out, go to the pool or try a yoga class. Definitely go check out their website to see their hours and find out what classes they have on what days. This is for sure one of the greatest hacks to make your life easier at UNC Charlotte.
14. Join Organizations
Definitely check out the list of all the student organizations on the school’s website. There are running clubs to sororities to volunteer clubs. They have so many different organizations. I definitely recommend joining a few to figure out what you like or don’t like. Joining an organization can also help you take your mind off of school work. Plus you will meet great people and make many connections.
Most college students are probably having to watch how much they spend due to bill and student loans. Couponing is one solution that could help you save money. You can shop anywhere and use coupons (I recommend Walmart and Harris Teeter), which you can get from newspapers or get them on websites like www.coupons.com. You can also download apps like Ibotta and receipthog to maximize your savings and get money back. When you’re in college, you will soon come to know that every penny matters.
16. Budgeting and Meal Plans
This somewhat goes along with couponing. College is expensive with all the loans and bills you have to pay for. So you are going to want to save as much money as possible. You should set a budget every week/month. Personally I set one every two weeks since I go grocery shopping every two weeks. I also plan out how much DB I can spend a month (you don’t want to use it all up the first month of the semester). As for meal plans the unlimited is unnecessary. Most people switch over to the 175/300 plan during their second semester since they want more DB.
Personally, I started with the 175/300 plan and calculated how many swipes a day I could use before I ran out (try to limit yourself to 2 swipes a day). Though at the end of the year I had many swipes still left over so I switched to the 160/300 plan. I would probably recommend the 175/300 for incoming freshman (if you qualify for the 160/300 do that to save more money). Overall make a budget and stick to it. Your parents will thank you. Your bank account will thank you. And you will thank yourself.
Make sure to keep a copy of your schedule on your phone and in your planner. To be extra careful you might even keep one on your dorm wall or door. I find it very helpful in case you are in a hurry. It’s useful to keep a list of your teachers office hours and SI session hours in your planner as well. I also put the gym’s hours in my planner too. It’s just nice to have everything organized in case you need to check something or find out that you have free time to go do something. The more organized you are the less stressed you will be.
18. Post-It Notes
Post-Its will become your friend. They can remind you of simple things you need to do like remembering to do laundry or remembering to clean the sink. They are very useful to just have because you will never know when you are going to need them. I actually used them for my roommates birthday. I stuck them all over our dorm door; which she really liked. So, you never know when and where you will need them.
19. Color-Coding System
Having a color-coding system for your planner/notebook will make everything more organized. Each class can be a certain color and when you write in a due date, make sure that it corresponds with that color. I use this system right now and it has helped me so much! It is also nice to be able to differentiate between classes and the different assignments. I would say the most important things to highlight are tests, quizzes, midterms and final exams because you don’t want to miss those!!! Personally one of my favorite hacks to make your life easier at UNC Charlotte.
20. Buying Books
Buying books is a stressful process. Try to rent as much as you can and not buy any books. Check with friends to see if they are selling old books for cheaper prices. Check out the school’s Facebook page because people sell books on there too. Use the website www.bookfinder.com to find books to rent or sell. Email your teachers to double check if the book is actually used in the class. Just don’t buy all your books brand new because that is a waste of money. The main thing that you have to stick to is buying all access codes from the bookstore. Do not buy them from Amazon or anywhere else. The bookstore is the most reliable place. I once bought a $200 access code off Amazon, it didn’t work, and they didn’t give me a refund. So what I learned is that you should ALWAYS buy your access codes from the bookstore on campus. Once the semester is over you can also sell the books that you bought too, so that gives you a chance to get back some money too!! I use all of these hacks to make your life easier at UNC Charlotte!
Did you come up with other hacks to make your life easier at UNC Charlotte? Let us know in the comments below!
Featured image source: weheartit.com
Hello, I am currently a freshman (credit wise I am a sophomore). I enjoy volunteering, reading, singing, animals, sports, going on adventures, and meeting new people. I love love love couponing. It is so handy especially in college!! I am from Schererville, Indiana and moved here to pursue a degree in the maths and sciences. My goal is to get a PHD and to help and inspire others do great things!!