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10 College Tips & Tricks To Get You Through The New School Year!

08-11-2022 by Jazlen Patrick

  ( © Sean Simmers/The Washington Post via Getty Images)  


Summer is coming to an end for college students and now is the time to start thinking about all of our dorm needs and wants. Colleges already require a lot of money and stress, so finding ways to save money, time, and peace of mind will definitely help you get through the year!


Whether you’re a freshman looking for first-time college tips or a college student aiming to sharpen up on any tricks you may have forgotten over the break, you’re in the right place! Here are 10 tips and tricks that will guarantee you to be fully prepared for the new school year!


1. Don’t Buy Textbooks From The Campus Bookstore!

Coming in at #1, this is easily the most important, most money-saving tip out of this whole list. If you take one trick from this us, take this one! NEVER, and I repeat, NEVER buy your class required textbooks out of your school’s bookstore. They are usually crazy expensive and you can find these same textbooks online for half the price or even for free with Google PDFs! Websites like Libgen or even Amazon are great to check out!


2. Command Strips Are a Scam!

Most schools tell you to bring command strips to hang up any picture frames or wall art that you have for your dorm room. And this is a big NO! Schools almost always re-paint dorm room walls over and over again, which cause the paint to become super easy to peel off. One snatch of a command strip and there’s a huge spot of paint missing on your wall! Instead, use small push pins to hang up and cover the tiny holes with paint, putty, or even toothpaste to hide them at the end of the year (or just use the putty to hang up artwork and posters). We won’t be getting fined this year, thankyouverymuch!


3. Stay Away From Those 8ams and 5pms!

You may think that, just because you did it in high school, you can do it in college, but I’m here to tell you, 8am classes in college and 8am classes in high school are two completely different things! Starting your day with a 9am class or, even better, a 9:30 class will make all the more difference in your day! And this goes for afternoon classes too! If you can, stay far away from those 5pm classes. You may think that you want a late class so you don’t have to wake up early, but being in class until the early-to late-evening leaves you no time to wind down at the end of the day or even go out for dinner with your friends. Trust me on this one.



4. Buy That Lamp!

It may seem unnecessary considering that your dorm obviously comes with an overhead light, but unless you enjoy feeling like you’re in a classroom at all hours of the day, I suggest adding a lamp to your dorm needs list! Most lamps are pretty inexpensive and will give you the calm and relaxing feeling that you want when you’re chillin’ in your room, especially at night. So invest a couple of extra bucks into a nice lamp, I promise, you won’t regret it.


5. Buy All of Your College Stuff at Home!

College towns are always super packed full of students moving into college, especially on move-in day, which means stores are E-M-P-T-Y. Buying all of your college essentials while still in your hometown is super important because you don’t want to be out of luck when you get to school. It’s okay to run to the store to get some extra cleaning supplies, but the big, trendy things that you might be saving for last minute, you might want to buy at home! BUT if your hometown does indeed have nothing, it may be helpful to drive 30 minutes or so away from your college town to other stores that might have more in stock, or even order online!


6. Make Move-In Day Easier: Bring a Wagon!

Move-in day is finally here, and not only do you have a truck full of stuff (or a U-Haul full of stuff like me…yeah, let’s not talk about it), but you also only have a couple of people to help you unpack. Bringing a wagon or trolley will save you the hassle of lugging all of your things to your room little-by-little. Some colleges may provide wagons to help with this, but they may only have one or two. There’s also hundreds of other students moving in at the same time as you, so chances are, they're nowhere to be found. Moral of the story, just bring your own!


7. Don’t Leave That Water Filter at Home!

It’s Midnight. The cafe is closed, you’re parched, and the only thing that’s worth drinking is that sink water in your room or bathroom. Gross. BUT, if you have a water filter with you, it’s actually not so gross! Bringing either a Brita filter or a ZeroWater filter (or any filter that works, for that matter) is a game-changer when it comes to needing a glass of water at night or any time of the day so that you don’t have to leave your room! They even have water filter bottles! They may tell you that it takes up space, but I guarantee you, it’s worth it. Don’t leave that water filter at home!

@nikki.neisler don’t walk all the way through ur dorm w ur brita #collegehack#cuboulder♬Just for me - PinkPantheress


8. Change That Lockscreen!

You may have used this trick in high school, and if you did, you’re way ahead of the game! But don’t leave this hack in high school! Change your lock screen photo to a screenshot of your class schedule so you don’t have to go through your photos to see where your next class is! If you thought your new high school schedule was confusing, you’re definitely in for a treat in college! Your family dog will understand. After a week or so, you’ll have it down and you can change it back! 


9. Don’t Bring Your Whole Closet!

I know you’re excited to escape the strict dress codes of high school, but that doesn’t mean bring all of your clothes! This is important especially if you plan on staying on campus. Most dorms don’t have more than one closet with minimal extra storage space for clothes, so it’s best to leave all of the extras at home. And I’m not saying pack your most basic and boring outfits, but be mindful of packing some of the things you never wear (like that chunky knit sweater you got for your 16th birthday that still has the tag on it... yeah, leave it at home, Grandma will understand). @briannashaulsol's TikTok series on what clothes to bring to college is great! Definitely tune in for more clothing tips! 


10. That 6-10ft Charger Will Come In Handy!

Most of us already have our extremely long 10-foot chargers, but if you don’t, go ahead and add it to your Amazon cart! Whether your dorm bed sits up high or not, there also may not be any outlets that are close enough to your bed to reach you with just a regular charger! How are we supposed to watch TikToks before bed if our phone isn’t charged?!


Using any, if not all, of these tips and tricks will ensure you get your bang for your buck and a smooth ride back to school this Fall! Happy back-to-school season!