College is great! You get your first real taste of freedom, meet new people and come across new ideas but it also has its struggles too and the best way of getting through these is to be prepared so here we have a few top tips for student survival so you can focus on working hard and playing harder in order to get the most out of your student experience.
Spending wisely may seem like a logical thing to do but you'd be surprised by just how many people don't heed this advice. All the time you are at college you are racking up serious debt and you don't need to be creating more problems for yourself by eating pizza every night and not buying the right study texts. We're not saying don't enjoy yourself every now and then but just think about what you are spending your money on and plan accordingly.
Don't go out and buy a flashy new wardrobe to impress all your new friends, focus on survival and study needs first and foremost.
2. Save Your Spare Change
Very few people keep an eye on the spare change and will often just use it on coffee or candy bars but it all adds up and, if you don't live somewhere with a washing machine, that change is necessary for clean, dry clothes at the laundromat. If you don't keep the coins you may end up wearing some very odd combinations of clothes as they are all that are left clean.
Even if you do have a washing machine, collect your coins and you'll be amazed at how it adds up and how much you could then save on necessary things.
3. Label Things
If you have something you just bought or there's something in the fridge you really like then put your name on it otherwise it is likely to go missing. Sometimes the cause of this isn't malicious as people just borrow things and forget to give them back but if it has your name on it, you always know what is yours.
People may see this as a bit of a passive-aggressive move but it is either that or risk the worst of communal living as food and items forever go missing.
4. Stash Toilet Roll
One thing you will forever find in communal living is that people are reluctant to do anything if they feel they don't have to. As such, little things, like the toilet roll not getting replaced, will happen so if you keep your own stash, you don't need to worry about this as people are likely to leave you with nothing as long as they are fine.
Again, even if people aren't malicious, all it takes is one forgetful party and you could be caught short.
5. If It Can Be Used In Costume, Keep It
From fancy dress parties to themed nights out, you will forever be in need of a costume at college but it can become expensive and time-consuming to keep buying new items for them. If you find something that may come in handy later, hold onto it and re-use, re-use, re-use! Also, learn to be creative, blankets can become capes etc.
This may sound flippant but if you want to be part of the fun and keep it on the cheap, this advice is vital.
6. Get To Know The Best Take-Out Deals!
Despite all your best intentions, you are going to have a few nights that end in a takeaway meal or a delivery coming to the door as you have, yet again, left the fridge empty. Scope out the best deals, work out who likes what and see what's cheapest. Some places will really pile your plate up for cheap.
Also, don't be afraid for a doggy bag if you go out for a meal and don't finish it because you've paid for that food and can make it last longer which will save you money in the long run.
7.Set A Limit Before A Night Out
Before a big night out, set yourself a limit of how much you are going to spend. It may sound silly but when if you wake up the next morning with an awful hangover and no money in your bank account you'll be wishing you had controlled your spending a bit better. One way around this is just to take the cash out you need with you and only use your card for emergencies (like a late night taxi).
You also need to budget within your means, there is no point setting a limit if that amount is way too high. Be sensible about what you have and what you need.
8. Master The Kitchen Basics
A boiled egg every now and then is fine and so is instant ramen but doing that for all of your meals is not good for you and will also become very boring very quickly. Master just the basic know-how and you'll go far in the culinary delights you can rustle up in the kitchen. You never know, you may even find you enjoy it.
These are skills you will find you need later in life anyway so you may as well get a jump on them now.