college hacks

Tips from my dad about buying a car

- Go in at the end of the month
- Buy the model of the year right before the model for the next year comes out (dealers get desperate to sell the old models)
- Refuse to put any money down. Say that if they ask you to put down money, you’ll leave
- Seriously. If they ask you to put down money say you need to go and walk out
- If there’s another dealership nearby, tell them that you’re walking there right after you leave
- If a deal seems unfair but you really like the car, tell them you’re going to another dealership and leave. Chances are, they’ll call back the next day with a better deal
- If possible, after the first call wait till the last few days of the month and they’ll likely call again with an even better deal
- Look around for family and friends that need a car. If you buy more than one car from the same dealership you’ll get a much better deal
- If a family member/friend is looking for a used car while you’re looking for a new car or vice versa, still get the used car from the same dealership
- If you decide to buy a new car after a few years, trade in the old car and buy a new one from the same dealership. Companies appreciate loyalty and will likely offer you a lower price

After finishing my fall semester, I have decided to compile some study strategies that will hopefully help any other college students out there (especially the premeds). These tips helped me get a 4.0 at an Ivy League school.

  1. Cornell Note-taking is KEY. Especially if you use the question-answer format. For example, for my Biology class, I took notes on the lectures in the question-answer format. By covering one side with my hand and answering the questions out loud every day, I aced all the midterms and the final.
  2. Study every day or at least most days. Trust me, cramming everything at the end is not fun. It may have worked well for a high school class but college classes have so much more material and it’s not worth it.
  3. If you live on your college campus, I recommend finding a study spot that not many undergraduates or your classmates use. Whenever I go to the most popular study spot at my school, I can practically feel the stress in the air and I just cannot focus. On the other hand, if that kind of thing motivates you, go for it.
  5. For papers and essays, write your drafts as early as you can and then go to your professor’s office hours. They will appreciate the time and effort you’re putting into the assignment. For my Writing class, I went to my professor’s office hours every week and kept asking her to look over my essay. I can guarantee I definitely wasn’t the best writer in that class but she appreciated the effort I put in and gave me an A.
  6. For STEM courses or problem set heavy courses like Econ or Math, practice problems and office hours are so important. If you have practice problems in your textbook, do ALL OF THEM. I know it sucks and it can be terribly boring but it will pay off! Also, if you do not understand something on your homework, go to the professor’s office hours. Most of the time, you and the professor will solve it together and then you will definitely have the right answer (This is so perfect if your homework is graded on accuracy rather than completion).
  7. Be friendly to the TA. Even if you are going to miss a recitation or two, make sure you ask questions and participate in the ones that you attend. That way, the TA will recognize your face when it comes time to put in your participation grade or give you a bonus point or two on your exam.
  8. When you are in class, especially large lecture halls where the professor cannot see what you are doing, turn off your phone or put it on silent. Then stuff it in the deepest part of your bag. Do not look at it until the lecture is over. If you take notes on the computer, turn off your WiFi and take notes on Word.
  9. Life is too short not to party a little. Remember to spend some time with your friends or go out every once in a while. I have found that taking a few nights off helps keep me from becoming burnt out.
  10. Always remember that you are extremely lucky for being able to get an education. There are thousands of people who do not have this kind of opportunity. College can definitely be hard and I have had some bad days but in the end, mistakes help you learn. It is better to fail at something new you tried than never do it at all and never learn from it.

Thanks for reading! Hope you all have a wonderful Spring semester!


10 Gift Ideas for The Broke Person: Gift giving can get expensive. Here’s how to work it into your budget. Click here.

Adulting: I make weekly “Adulting” posts that cover food, cleaning, saving money, and living on your own. Click here.

Balancing a Checkbook: How to balance a checkbook (and some relationship advice). Click here.

Budgeting on Minimum Wage: Some tips/tricks to living off a minimum wage budget. I also offer example budgets based on full time and part time minimum wage salaries.  Click here.

Car Insurance: Looking into car insurance but unsure where to start? Click here.

First Apartment: Learn how to look for apartments, set up your utilities, plus general first apartment advice. Click here.

Gym memberships: My weirdly popular post about gym membership. Click here.

Jobs: My post with helpful links to cover letter and resume writing. Click here.

Living on Your Own: Transitioning from a roommate situation to living on your own for the first time? Click here.

Living on Your Own (With Cats): My personal favorite post, detailing how to live on your own with cats and not loose your mind. Click here.

Long Distance: Advice on long distance relationships. Click here.

Meal Tips: My quintessential guide to feeding yourself on a student or small budget. Click here.

Paper Organization: Learn how to keep your important documents in order. Click here.

Renting vs. Student Housing: Weigh the pros and cons of renting off campus and living on campus. Click here.

Storage: I get so many storage related questions. Here are some thoughts on storage in small apartments and dorm rooms. Click here.

Tomato Sauce: Here’s a post entirely devoted to making tomato sauce. It’s cheap, easy to make, and so delicious. Click here.

anonymous asked:

Hello! I'm starting my freshman year of college this upcoming Spring semester AND I'm moving out and into my own. I'm nervous about forgetting anything at home. What are some key essentials one needs when being on there own for the first time? What school supplies do I need? What kind of important paperwork and stuff should I absolutely bring? Thanks!

Other Tips:

College hack: When your professor passes around a sign-up sheet for projects, group work, or research, choose dates nearer to the beginning of the school year, the sooner the better. The professor will grade you more leniently, you will have more energy since school will have just started, and you won’t be bogged down with midterms or finals for other classes. It seems like more work, but I swear by this tactic, it will save your nerves and your grades.

college and dorm life hacks

i made a post like this a while ago, but i didn’t write everything i planned.

As the months went on, I found more hacks and tricks to share with you for those of you currently going to the university and living in a dorm, an experience that can be very funny but also very stressful. 

Sooo, here are my life hacks:

  • sort out your style before you go to university, especially if you are going to live hourS away from home. most of the times dorm rooms don’t have enough extend for all your stuff, and if you bring everything (and most importantly clothes and accessories you’ll never use), your room will look messy even when it’s tidy.
  • have 5 or more basic outfits, for when you’re in a hurry and you didn’t plan your outfits the night before. you’ll save sooo much time.
  • have a “study/stay at home outfit”, which CANNOT AND MUST NOT be your pj. As soon as you get home, put those on and save the life of your cute outfit, which you can wear moe often. your study outfit will trick your brain into studying as soon as you put it on.
  • have a skincare routine written down and hung beside your toiletries. STICK TO IT.
  • same for a cleaning/tidying routine. you want your face to be healthy and your room ready for guests anytime.
  • keep at least 3-4 bottles of water in your room, and avoid juices and sodas.
  • clean your stained clothes as soon as you stain them and you’ll save their life (and your bank account). bleach can bring back to life white clothes (it makes them brighter).
  • keep an emergency kit in a pochette and carry it in your purse everywhere you go. you can throw in it everything you’d normally carry (medicines, hand sanitizer, make up and pads/tampons for the ladies) so you don’t have to worry about forgetting something you really need during the day.
  • little bottles/tumblers are to be carried by hand. you don’t want that extra weight on your back.
  • know which study spot/place is the most productive for you and stick to it during those finals.
  • DON’T MIX your clothes when you’re washing them just because the soap you’re using is claiming to prevent your black tee to “bleed” on your white blouse. if you have little time or money to waste on laundry, go for low temperatures (30° Celsius or even COLD WATER) and use those laundry sheets that absorbe bleeding colours (that thing works AF)
  • WRITE DOWN EVERYTHING. seriously. from your groceries to that funny thing your roommate said to a book your professor recommended.
  • if you are studying languages (like me), make an effort to learn a little vocabulary every night, like 15 new words per day. turn it into a habit and when it will come the time for the lang exam you won’t be in trouble because of the lexicon.

ok, these are my hacks. i stick to most of them and, seriously, they have made my life much easier and more focused on the lectures and the workload.

hope you read everything and found something really useful, and feel free to add yours too!!!

kisses xoxo

Hoe Tips: Looking Your Best When You Have Zero Time

Alright y'all, I know you guys have started school and you probably have zero free time to really beat your face or look groomed without sacrificing sleep or classtime, so I’m droppin some quick tips.

1. Sleep>everything. Do not get less than 6 hours of sleep each night (really, no less than 8, but as a fulltime college student in a healthcare major I know thats not always realistic). Your physical health is more important than your grades, more important than doing your makeup in the morning, etc. Span out your studying gradually throughout the week so you aren’t cramming, and if you didn’t get enough sleep, just don’t do your makeup the next morning. I promise you, no one will really care whether or not you’re wearing makeup.

2. Have a 5 minute routine down pat if you still wanna beat your face. Mine is as follows: moisturizer/primer, tinted brow mascara/brow pencil, tinted BB cream, powder, blush and highlight, mascara, sheer lip gloss, setting spray. Easy peasy.

3. Lay out your outfits on your bed/dresser the night before. Having an ensemble already available to you saves a shit ton of time in the morning.

4. Have your lunch packed and your bag ready the night before.

5. Do some of your skincare routine in the shower. Wash and exfoliate while waiting for your shampoo to settle into your hair, leave on a face mask while shaving your legs, etc.

6. Apply coconut oil/castor oil to your lashes and brows before you go to bed every night for long, voluminous lashes and bold, groomed brows.

7. Keep a chapstick/lip balm on you at all times to ensure those babies are soft 24/7.

8. Never skip moisturizer. I like to use a Clean and Clear moisturizer with salicylic acid in it; it hydrates my skin and helps fight acne all in one.

9. Always have a hair tie on you in case of a bad hair day.

10. The less you wear makeup, the better your face starts to look without it. I used to wear makeup religiously (and I still love wearing it), but I found that sleep and making it to class/work on time every day is way more important than a beat face. Plus my skin benefits from having time to breathe. I promise y'all are gorgeous with AND without makeup, and your skin will thank you for having a day off.

11. Keep a small spray bottle of perfume in your car/bag.

12. Paint your nails/toes while studying. Reading over your notes while waiting for your nails to dry can make good use of some time.

13. Leave one day a week where you don’t do any school work, for beauty and personal care. Everyone needs a break, and that can be your self care day.

💖Thats all for now, good luck this semester hoes, stay beautiful💖

College Survival Tips

1. Don’t schedule classes before 9:30

2. use study resources


4. always bring headphones

5. find a coffee shop

6. always carry a snack

7. print out lecture slides

8. steal bananas and fruit from the dining halls

9. bring a water bottle everywhere

10. sit near the front of your classes

11. find a study parter (emphasis on only one other person!!!)

12. never forget a phone charger

13. learn the bus system

14. say yes to anything you’re passionate about

15. learn to spend time alone

five tips for study marathons

In Belgium we have this thing called ‘blok’. It’s the name for the two to three weeks of marathon studying between the end of classes and the start of exams, related to the verb ‘blokken’, which basically means ‘hardcore studying’. It’s obviously not a very pleasant time, so here are some tips to survive those study marathons!

1. Hydrate. Of course has been said again and again, but that’s because it’s so important! I usually get myself either a half-liter pint and a (reusable!) straw. Straws really help me to drink more, but they’re not very good for the environment, so if you can get your hands on a reusable one, go for it! You can also try adding fruit to your water for some extra flavour.

2. Breathe ouside air at least once a day. I don’t care how you do it. Take a walk at noon, go on a morning run, breathe really deep when you’re in line for the library, stick your head out of a window, I don’t care. Just do it. You need the oxygen and it’s not good to sit inside all day.

3. Don’t wear stuff you sleep in. Now, I’m not saying you can’t wear pjs. What I’m saying is, don’t wear the pjs you wore to bed. Not even if you study at home. Don’t do it. Make sure your brain knows that studying and sleeping are two very different things.

4. Get off your butt during breaks. Sometimes when I’m on a roll at the library, I can study a whole afternoon, with breaks only to go to the bathroom and to refill my waterbottle/make new tea. It works, because I walk around. Point being, have a dance break! Go for a walk! Move!

5. Sleep is useful. I get that if you have an exam the next day and you really need to finish this last chapter, you stay up until 3am. But otherwise, don’t do that to yourself. You can do that tomorrow morning. Your brain needs sleep, you’re not wasting time. Promise. Take care of yourself.

I hope these are useful! You can do this!

Ramen hacks 101

Hey does anyone else have a lot of trouble getting out of bed and feeding themselves sometimes? Yeah me too. BUT I’ve basically gotten the cheap, easy, fast ramen thing down to a T by this point and thought I’d share it with you guys. It can be made very easily for any type of diet, including gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian. 

Time: Will vary depending on your ingredients, but at minimum it’ll take about 5-10 minutes. 

For just a soup base+noodles, you will need:

  • A package of cheap-ass ramen noodles - throw away the seasoning packet or save it to use with something else. Buy in bulk if you don’t want to go to the store every time you want noodles. If you’re gluten-free, get rice noodles or another gluten-free option. 
  • Miso paste - I got mine for about $3, and it lasts for a very long time in the fridge. Pro tip: it’s cheaper at an Asian grocery store or market if you have access to one.
  • Stock cube/paste - around $2 at my local grocery store. I went for low-sodium chicken stock cubes, but you use your preferred type.
  • Water - about 2-3 cups for one portion depending on how big your bowl is. Remember, if you’re adding in extras, the liquid level will rise. I’ve made that mistake way too many times.

If you want extras, some good options to mix and match at your preference/budget/convenience are


  • Bean sprouts - super cheap at the grocery store. Just throw a handful in and call it a day. I like mine to still be a little crunchy so I do it in the last 2 minutes of cooking.
  • Snow peas - ditto to the bean sprouts. Extras can be frozen.
  • Onion - I typically use half or a quarter of a white onion cut into thin slices, and tossed in the broth asap because I like it a bit more tender. Freeze the rest if you’re not going to be using it within the next few days.
  • Green onion/scallions - 1-2 will be good for one portion. Slice in thin disks, or on an angle if you’re fancy. Also you can use both the tops (green) and the bottoms (white), but that’s to your preference. I typically use these as a garnish, but you can add them in whenever you’d like.
  • Bok/pak choi - one of my favorite vegetables in the entire world. It can be found in most grocery stores nowadays, but is much cheaper at an Asian market if you have access to one. Cut off the very bottom part and then cut the pieces in half length-wise. Throw them in at the beginning if you like them softer, or in the last 3 minutes if you still want them a bit crunchy.
  • Spinach - just chuck in a handful whenever. Spinach can also be used frozen and is often cheaper to either buy it already frozen, or buy fresh in bulk and store it in your freezer to have forever. Get those vitamins!
  • Shredded carrot - you may not have the time/energy to shred carrots. Buy the pre-shredded kind and freeze whatever you have left over.
  • Corn - use frozen.
  • Mushrooms - slice thinly or buy pre-sliced. Add to broth toward the beginning.


  • Tofu - silken tofu is usually the best option for this, but use whatever it is you have/can afford. Cut into small cubes and add whenever you’d like.
  • Soft-boiled egg - how to boil an egg or whatever your favorite method is.
  • Chicken - use leftover cooked chicken to add to your soup or slice a raw chicken breast thinly and poach it at a gentle simmer in the broth for 7-10 minutes or until it is white and opaque. It does take a little extra time, but you don’t actually have to do anything while it cooks and this will add extra flavor. Pre-marinated chicken is good for this as well (look for “Asian” flavors like soy, sesame, ginger, garlic, chili, etc.). Again, more expensive or time-consuming if you’re marinating it yourself, but it’s up to you. 
  • Shrimp - use pre-cooked frozen shrimp to save time and just dump in a handful. Buy the frozen stuff in bulk. Or, like with the chicken, poach raw shrimp in the broth until they are pink and opaque. 

Additional flavorings:

  • Garlic - either use a garlic crusher if you have it or just toss in thin slices into the pan with a little bit of veg or sesame oil for about 2 minutes, before you add your liquid. I buy pre-crushed frozen garlic that comes in little cubes and just pop them straight into whatever I’m cooking. There’s also that pre-crushed/chopped garlic in a paste or little jars. The pre-prepared stuff is more expensive than just buying bulbs of garlic BUT it will last you a while and saves a lot of time and energy.
  • Ginger - same as the garlic.
  • Chilis - chopped into thin disks. Take out the seeds and white part inside the chili if you don’t like it too spicy. Add as a garnish or into the broth if you like it a little spicier.
  • Hot sauce - use your favorite brand.
  • Chili oil - I got mine for about $1.50 and it’s a must-have for me in my soup. I drizzle a couple teaspoons on top when my soup is all done.
  • Soy sauce - light or dark soy is fine. Add as much or as little as you like.
  • Sesame oil - this is quite strong, so a little goes a long way. Use about a teaspoon.
  • Fish sauce, oyster sauce, rice wine/mirin/sake - these are great flavors but may be a bit harder to find and tend to be a little more expensive. Use about 1-2 teaspoons if you have it.
  • Cilantro - throw the stalks into your broth and strain them out afterward or just use the leaves as a garnish.
  • Lemon or lime - a squeeze to taste.
  • Sesame seeds - sprinkle on top.

Like I said, all the above ingredients are simply suggestions. It’s up to you to decide what you want, what you have the time and energy for, and what you can afford. This is just to show you the range of options.


  1. Prep whatever ingredients you’re using (slice/chop/take out of freezer). If you’re not using any, just go to step 2.
  2. Bring 2-3 cups of water to a boil. If you have an electric kettle, this will make the process much quicker.
  3. Add in your stock cube and miso paste and cook for about 2 minutes until they dissolve. You may want to stir a couple times just to help it along. 
  4. Add in whatever vegetables/protein/additional flavorings above suit your fancy and cook to your liking. 
  5. Add noodles and cook for 3 minutes. 
  6. Put food in bowl. Don’t worry about making it pretty. Garnish as you like.
  7. Put food in mouth. 


Put any leftover soup you may have into a tupperware or thermos and take it to work/school the next day. Or save it for 3-4 days in the fridge and heat it up when you’re hungry. 

Another pro tip: you can make the soup base in bulk and freeze whatever you don’t use. when you want soup but don’t want to go through the whole process again, stick the frozen soup in the microwave/melt in a pot on the stove, bring to a boil, add in your noodles/extras and you’re good to go.


College Haxx

1. For some reason, Google Docs makes papers appear a little bit longer than they actually are. Be wary of this when printing off your final paper; you may end up just shy of meeting the required page count.

2. Download the Video Speed Controller extension for Chrome (or an equivalent for other browsers). Save time when rewatching recorded lectures by speeding them up, or slow them down to make fast professors speak more slowly. 

3. Make stupid jokes and references in your notes. Don’t be afraid to use curse words and memes. Forming some kind of association will help you remember material better than just rote memorization. 

4. A few days before a quiz or a test, ask some of your classmates if they want to collaborate on a google doc review sheet. If you don’t know anyone in the class, ask the person next to you and the person who participates the most in class, or ask the prof if you can make an announcement at the beginning of class. Odds are, your classmates will spread the word, and at least one person will add something to the doc that you hadn’t thought of. 

5. Invest in a bulk pack of granola bars. A granola bar and some fresh fruit can suffice as a meal on particularly tough days. 

6. You will meet so many people who seem like they’re better versions of you than you could ever be. It’s hard, but try to ignore them. You’re the only person who can be you the best. But also know that you aren’t alone, and your peers probably feel the same insecurity that you do.

7. Take lots of photos with the intention of uploading them absolutely nowhere. Candids, photos with bad lighting, photos of nature and architecture, photos of yourself messing around with snapchat filters. You’ll back on these photos years down the road and cherish the associated memories. 

8. Keep looking for scholarships! No one told me you could apply for scholarships after you entered college, and by the time I figured it out myself, I was a semester away from graduating. 

9. An easy way to meet people and make a name for yourself is to hand out stickers to your classmates before exams and wish them good luck.

10. Don’t buy books for a pass/fail class. Even if you think you’ll need them. Even if the professor says you’ll fail the class without them. You can get most of the knowledge you need out of class discussion and review sessions with your classmates. 

a honest study guide

As I am usually a straight A student, I thought I’d share some of my favourite study “hacks”, but be warned: i will not be gentle with you. I am going to tell you the brutal truth about getting great marks, because it is no use sugarcoating the fact that school is actually super hard work! 

discipline beats motivation

to be honest no matter how perfect your/any studyblr might be, looking at a blog will unfortunately never ever motivate you to study as hard as you will have to to get an A. Studyblrs may inspire you, but the one thing which will really get you studying is discipline. So, as cruel as it may sound, force yourself to be productive and you will get some serious work done.

Originally posted by prettylittleworldoflies

have no social life

… at least on some days. if you find it difficult to fit your studies into your social life, try reversing the whole thing. Don’t make plans with your friends on days during which you want/need to study. This definitely isn’t fun, I know, but for me, I often find it difficult to get work done when I have plans later that day as firstly, getting a certain amount of work done within a strict time limit stresses me out and secondly, you should definitely use all the time you can get - especially shortly before the upcoming exam.

Originally posted by geeky-ness

all-nighters equal bad time management

truth be told good students normally won’t have to pull all nighters as sleep is very important for not only your concentration but also for your health. To make sure that you get enough rest you should start studying as early as possible, for me that is normally one week before the particular exam, and plan what you will do on which day without trying to fit everything into the last minute. That will leave you relaxed, well rested and concentrated on the day of your exam.

Originally posted by suitelikechocolate

find something that keeps you going

i usually drink a lot of coffee when i am studying, because during a hard study session i need to stay focused and awake. If you don’t like coffee, you could also go for black tea or green tea or simply some fruit as it is very important to get some vitamins (or in my case caffeine) in your system to not fall asleep while working.

Originally posted by whymywriteriscrying

ask for help

whether you swap notes with your colleagues or you mail the professor some questions doesn’t matter at all. It’s only important that you accept that you probably won’t be able to do everything on your own, so find yourself a study partner, ask questions when something seems unclear to you or even get a tutor. And definitely don’t be embarrassed about asking questions! Nobody knows everything.

Originally posted by adolescencia-turbulenta

no distractions

studying is boring and you might find that music makes it a little more exciting, but often listening to music or taking a lot of breaks is only keeping you from getting work done. So suck it up and study either silently, to classical music or to relaxing noises you can find on the internet. Also try not to take too many breaks. Don’t overwork yourself, of course, but also try to stay focused for longer than 15 minutes as this will allow you to be more productive and don’t study with friends if you end up chit-chatting to each other instead of working.

Originally posted by droneandting

write everything down

even if you have a good memory, you won’t be able to remember a thing after class, so suck it up, don’t talk to your desk mate and focus on writing everything important down what the teacher says. even if you get handed enough material there will still be things which you should write down such as explanations, examples and additional information. that will help you later on to understand what you are actually studying.

Originally posted by teendotcom

you absolutely need to study

don’t ever think, no matter how much attention you’ve paid in class or how good you are at a certain subject, that you won’t have to study. there is always work to get done and if you are already good at something work on being better to excel at academics. 

Originally posted by dadgan

(i added fun gifs, because it seemed a little too harsh - good luck, babes, you are going to pass your exams) 

part 2 - a honest university guide

Preparing for the new school year step by step guide

Summer vacation is almost over, school is starting again, maybe already started for some, so we better try to make the transition as easy as we possibly can.

  • STEP 1 : Reflect on the previous year;

Think about what you did well, what you could do better this year, what exactly are your strengths, your weaknesses, your study methodes, everything. Find what you want to keep, change or improve and go from there.

  • STEP 2 : Resources and inspiration;

Now is the time to browse your favorite tags in all your favorite places: tumblr, pinterest, etc. Find anything that would be helpful: tips, printables, DIYs, etc, and take notes.

  • STEP 3 : Make a goal list; 

Grab a piece of paper, or whatever pleases you to jot down your goals for year to come, keep them SMART, and organized by importance.

  • STEP 4 : Clean and declutter;

EVERYWHERE. Start from your room, your wardrobe, your laptop, email account, etc. Make it clean, comfy and organized, redecorate it even if you so please.

  • STEP 5: Get a planner and actually USE it;

Start now, fill in the details you know of currently, the more you do now the easier it will be later. You can use a digital one also if it fits your need better, I personally prefer the ol’ pen and paper.

  • STEP 6 : Establish routines;

Morning, night, study routines, I even have a weekend routine. Also choose your fav study methods, note taking ways, … 

  • STEP 7 : Fix your sleep schedule;

It’s time to start sleeping at a reasonable time, and for a healthy amount of time.

  • STEP 8 : Get in shape;

Get exercising if you stopped during summer, do some face masks, whiten your teeth, get you hair done, … Just take care of yourself.

  • STEP 9 : Get familiar with your classes;

Make some tables of all the lessons in each class. Watch some crash course videos in the topics you’ll see the next year Review last year’s notes if you need to.

So this is it, I hope you have a wonderful year, and achieve everything you want. You got this. ;)