College can be a confusing time. Make it easier with these life hacks, all guaranteed to improve your standard of living while maintaining your *very college* bottom line.
1. Use a soda can to get a better wifi signal
If you live off campus and miss the joys of NUWave, enhance your wifi signal with a cut-up soda can. Slice off the top and bottom of an empty can (carefully) and cut a slit straight down the side. Flatten this aluminum sheet a bit to make a gentle curve, and affix it behind your router antenna.
2. Keep your dorm room smelling fresh (and not like Cheetos dust) with a dryer sheet
Dryer sheets are the be-all-end-all of a successful college career. They’re not only great at getting rid of funk smells, but are awesome at tackling static (in your hair or on your clothes). They can also be used to work out deodorant stains, which is great because it means you don’t need to do laundry for another week (month).
3. Block distracting websites (Facebook, Netflix, what have you) during your study sessions
Raise your hand if you occasionally (or always) get side-tracked by your favorite streaming site when you’re supposed to be studying. Yeah, we thought so. If you just can’t seem to stay away from Netflix and the like, block distracting websites with Cold Turkey, an site that holds websites hostage for a specific amount of time. You can also create a “work browser” by doing all the fun stuff on, say, Firefox, and all your homework on Google Chrome. You can then permanently block websites on your work browser, and use it exclusively when you need to study.
4. Use the Pomodoro Technique (or our favorite alternative, the Gummy Bear Technique)
This simple study method has become pretty popular recently for the very simple reason that it works. First, you get your hands on a couple of (very cute) pomodoro timers, so named because they look like tomatoes. Set each one for 25 minutes, and plan a separate task for each time block. For 25 minutes, you focus exclusively on one thing, and then reward yourself with a short break (and maybe some coffee) when the timer buzzes. Every four pomodoros, you get a longer break!
Alternatively, place gummy bears along the pages of your textbook. When you read to the gummy bear, you eat it!
5. Cool off your laptop with a cardboard drink carrier
Last time we checked, fancy laptop cushions were going for $20 a pop on Amazon. Next time you grab coffee with a bunch of friends, save the drink carrier and slide it under your laptop when it starts to overheat.
6. Make your very own speakers
Who says you can’t improvise a Beats Pill+ speaker? Start by sticking the base of your phone in a toilet paper roll. If you have the time and resources, experiment with milk cartons or other cardboard implements (cereal boxes work pretty well) placed at either end of the tp roll.
7. Use your hair straightener as an iron in a pinch
This is perhaps our best tip for co-op interviewing: don’t look wrinkled. It’s a lot to ask of college students to have a full-on iron and ironing board in a cramped dorm room, so opt for using your hair straightener in a pinch. While it can be hard to reach every inch of the garment, any run-of-the-mill straightener does wonders for collars and cuffs.
8. Use a pizza box as a dust pan
Again, asking college students to have a full arsenal of cleaning supplies is a tall order. We’re betting you have easy access to pizza boxes, as well as plenty of dust that could use some sweeping.
9. And finally, become a gourmet Ramen connoisseur courtesy of this awesome Buzzfeed infographic:
College = ramen. Make yourself a bowl (boil some water in your coffee pot if your microwave is indisposed) and raise the stakes with some delicious extras.