18 Tips, Tricks and Hacks for Every Student

Being a student isn’t easy. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of handy tips and tricks that you can start using right now to make your life a little more manageable.


  1. Reward yourself for studying.

If you’re not feeling motivated to read your boring class materials, promise yourself a gummy bear at the end of every chapter. You’ll be reading with speed to get to your tasty treat.

  1. Learn to cook in a mug.

With a mug, a microwave and a few simple ingredients, you can make a whole boatload of tasty meals. Best of all, each recipe only makes enough for one, so you don’t have to worry about your friends or roommates horning in on your tasty meal.

  1. Use Visa and MasterCard gift cards when you need a credit card.

If you want to pay for something online but you don’t have a credit card, or you don’t want to leave your information online, use a Visa or MasterCard gift card. Load up any amount you want on it, register it in your name and use it as a credit or debit card.

  1. Get money for those used textbooks and save on new ones.

As tempting as it might be, don’t toss those old textbooks onto a bonfire. You can get back some of your money by selling them online at a site like BooksRun. They’ll take all your old books and pay you with a check or through PayPal. It’s also a good place to buy used textbooks and rent e-books at reasonable rates.

  1. Make a cheap air freshener.

Don’t spend money on scented candles or toxic sprays. Tape or drape a dryer sheet over an air conditioner vent or a fan. It’s a cheap way to freshen the air in your dorm room.

  1. Use the Pomodoro technique.

Yes, it’s the Italian word for tomato. But it’s also a method that increases productivity when working or studying. It’s very simple. You work or study hard for 25 minutes and then you take a five-minute break to walk around, pet your cat, grab some coffee or do whatever gives you a little mental break.

  1. Go “cold turkey” on distracting social media.

The Cold Turkey and Self Control programs will block out distractions while you’re on your computer. You can set them to block whatever you want, from e-mail and message alerts to any or all web sites. You can also set study and break timers and use other productivity tools with these programs.

  1. Don’t watch the movie instead of reading the book.

Even the best-written and most faithful adaptations frequently leave out key characters or change the ending. They might even change the setting and time period. Don’t rely on Hollywood to replace your reading.

  1. But do watch historical documentaries.

Most historical documentaries are factually correct and offer a good view of the historical events in context. They can deepen your understanding of your reading material. Check out YouTube for a good selection.

  1. Use colored pens and pencils to take notes.

In fact, go a step further and use the different colors for different types of note-taking and highlighting. This improves retention and makes it easier to study. Don’t mark up your textbooks. This could make them hard to sell when you’re done with them.

  1. Get into a walking habit.

Start a habit of walking or bike riding instead of automatically driving every time you need to run out to the store for something. You’ll clear your head, get some fresh air and get a little exercise.

  1. Use an expanding file instead of separate folders.

Instead of stacking up dozens of folders for every class, keep all your class papers together in one expanding file with several pockets. Most of them come with a handy snap that will keep everything from falling out.

  1. Get earplugs and sleep like a baby.

If you have a roommate, chances are good that your roommate either snores or likes to watch television at weird hours of the night. You can let them have at it while you snooze the night away with your comfy earplugs.

  1. Make sure you wake up.

Are you worried that you’re going to oversleep one morning? If you use your cell phone as your alarm clock, try this easy trick. Pop the phone into a clean, empty glass. The glass will magnify the sound and ensure it’s good and loud.

  1. Carry spare chargers.

There’s nothing worse than being away from home with a phone or a tablet that is on its last gasp. Keep charged even on the go with spare chargers that live in your purse or backpack. While you’re at it, throw in some spare headphones, too.

  1. Lock that laptop.

It’s sad but true. Leave a laptop or other electronic device lying around, and someone is bound to walk away with it. Avoid the heartache and the expense by attaching a laptop lock. You can get one for around $20 and it will be worth every penny.

  1. Cool that soda or beer quickly.

If your beer, soda or wine didn’t make it into the fridge in time to chill properly, use this quick fix. Wrap the bottle in a damp towel and place it in the fridge. It will get cold in about five minutes.

  1. You can hang-dry everything.

Save money at the laundromat and make your clothes last longer by letting them hang dry instead of tossing them in the dryer. The spin cycle will take most of the water out. They’ll dry in a few hours. You might still want to use the dryer for heavy items like sheets and blankets.

  1. Sleep after you study.

Do you need an excuse for more napping? Now you have it. Studies have found that taking a nap after learning new material helps you retain it. In one study, subjects slept for 40 minutes and had much better recall than the subjects who continued studying.

  1. Check and double-check your time planning.

Are you feeling frazzled by everything you have to do? It might be worth doing an overhaul of your study schedule to see when you’re most productive. Try getting up earlier. Try taking breaks during the day. Shake things up and see if you can streamline your daily grind.

Allen Ray

is a graphic designer. The Design Mag was founded in 2008, and since then she is constantly looking for new ways to serve the Design community both online and offline. It is her ultimate goal to make The Design Mag the best source for Design related Tutorial and Resources. Follow on Twitter@thedesignmag

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