Now that the semester is coming to close you must have noticed college life isn’t easy, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make it easier. You don’t have to make a huge lifestyle change either. It’s small changes that make the biggest difference. So here are 20 life hacks at USC that are sure to make your next semester easier!
1. Make Cold Brew Coffee
Cold brew is a time saver when you need that caffeine fix in the morning. Instead of brewing coffee for a few minutes with hot water, you use cold water for 12-24 hours. Once your coffee is brewed, you simply pour 1 oz coffee concentrate to 6-8 oz of cold or hot water. Then add milk or any sweeteners you desire. You can find a number of cold brew kits on Amazon. I personally use the filtron and I love it.
2. Do Weekly Meal Prep
For those that won’t have time to grab food in between classes and don’t have a meal plan, meal prep is your friend. You can find weekly meal prep ideas all over the internet. All you need to do is spend 2-3 hours making your meals for the week. These mainly pertain to lunch and dinner, but you can do breakfast if you need to. What you pick should able to last in the fridge for the week and is freezer friendly.
3. Have Rewards Cards For Every Grocery Store You Shop At
These rewards cards will give you discounts and coupons for every time you shop at their store. Ralphs for example will track your shopping habits and give coupons towards products you purchase regularly.
4. Use A Long board Or Scooter To Get Around Faster
USC is a large campus and it can be stressful to get around when you have so much to do. Personally, a long board reduced the time it took to get to class. A long board is not difficult to learn if you know how to snowboard. For those that don’t have a snowboarding background, a scooter is the way to go. Both of these can be taken into a classroom or a dining hall because they’re compact. I don’t recommend a bike because bike theft is so common and you will spend 5 minutes just to lock up your bike.
5. A Longboard + Rope = Portable Cart
This can help if you don’t have a ride back to your dorm or apartment and you have too many groceries. Just make sure you don’t load too much or you will break your board.
6. Pre-load Your Credit Or Debit Card On The Tapingo App
You enter your order on the app right before your class ends by the time you get there, your order is ready. You get to skip the line and be on time for your next commitment.
7. Your ID Card Takes Off Sales Tax When You Order Food Or Drinks At On-campus Restaurants
This applies to places like Starbucks, Panda Express, Verde, The habit Burger, California Pizza Kitchen, Seeds Marketplace, etc. It may not seem like it, but same sales tax adds up over time and as a college student you shouldn’t have to spend more than you need to.
8. Photoshop, Illustrator, And Other Professional Programs Are Available At Various Computers Labs
You don’t need to buy these programs for your undergrad because they’re available to use for free at various computer labs on campus. Save your money until right before you graduate and use your student status to purchase it then. Or in some cases a subscription. Annenbergs students also get Photoshop for free.
9. Make Friends With Someone Who Has A Car
Not having a car can be inconvenient at times when want to go to certain places or don’t want to spend money on an expensive Uber. Just be prepared to pay for part of the parking or gas because your friend is the one that pays for gas, insurance, and maintenance/repairs.
10. Rent A Zipcar
For those that have a driver’s license, but don’t have a car and are willing to drive among the LA drivers, this is the best option. All you need is to be 18 years, a driver’s license, and $15 for membership (Normally it costs $25, but it’s discounted right now.). Membership covers insurance and gas.
11. Invest In A Phone Bank
In case you forget a charger or don’t have access to a plug, a phone bank will keep your phone alive until you can reach one.
12. Keep A USB Stick In Your Backpack
While cloud storage does exist, the internet can go down. The last thing you need is not to be able to print that important paper you spend all night working on so keep a USB stick with you all the time. It could just be a small one and they don’t cost much today.
13. Buy Value Size Over The Counter Cold Medicine, Ibuprofen Or Advil, And Allergy Medication At The Beginning Of The Semester
You will probably get sick or hurt or your allergies might act up over the course of the school year. Having these already in your apartment or dorm will save you multiple trips to CVS. Or your roommate might need it.
14. Stock Up On Coffee Or Energy Drinks Before Those All Nighters Ahead Of Time
You need all of that time to complete that work that you’ve procrastinating on or the massive workload where everything is due on the same day. You will thank yourself later.
15. Keep A Planner
It’s easy to forget about assignments if you don’t have them written down somewhere or your professor doesn’t give an assignment schedule. You can get a digital one from the app store or a paper one if that’s better.
16. Join All Class Facebook Groups
Even if you don’t like Facebook, joining these groups can tell you about events going on. Such as free food during finals week. There should be one for your graduating class, and transfer class for transfer students.
17. Always Keep Your Wallet On You
You never know when you could be invited for lunch or coffee, so it’s awkward when you don’t have it on you.
18. Sign up for Amazon Prime
Use your student email and you will get Amazon Prime for free then for $50 a year after that. It’s useful if you need a something quickly because Amazon Prime members get free two day shipping among discounts and services.
19. Wait To Buy Your Textbooks
Sometimes professors don’t actually use the textbooks listed on the syllabus. So wait until the 1st day to find out if you actually need to spend all that money.
20. Treat Yo Self
Finals are a stressful time, so remember to treat yourself after all that work. It could be getting your favorite meal at a restaurant, or going to a movie, or just hanging out with friends.
I hope you guys found these life hacks at USC to be of some help for the rest of your time and fight on Trojans.