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Top student hacks

Week 28

18 March 2024

Whe you head off to university, you're going to experience a new level of freedom. You'll receive a student loan, so you'll have to learn to manage your money and you'll have to manage your time with all your lectures, exams, work, friends... The list is endless.

There are ways to make it easier though, and we’ve got some of the top hacks you need to make your life as a student as easy as possible.

Before we start, we know there are a bajillion students hacks articles out there. Read on though, because we've got some really useful tips you may not have seen before.

1. Budget

When you start, you’re going to get your student loan. Which means you're going to have what looks like a lot of money in your account. But this will have to last you until your next instalment, so let's not go crazy with it! Take some time to learn how to manage your budget, so you never have to go without.

Natwest have a super handy budget calculator for you to use while you're at uni, but it might be worth checking it out now.

2. Cooking

If you don’t already know how to cook, learn how to make at least seven basic healthy meals from scratch. Batch cooking is a great way to save some money and the food will last you a while too!

Our suggestions for some great batch cooks

  1. Chilli con carne
  2. Chicken stir fry
  3. Tuna pasta bake
  4. Spaghetti Bolognese
  5. Soup (there's millions of different types of soup, but we've settled on a healthy cauliflower soup)
  6. A nice curry, we've chosen a super tasty butter chicken
  7. A warming stew

3. Cleaning

Get your parents to give you a few lessons on the washing machine. Try as you might, you can’t leave all your laundry for home visits, unless you’ve got loads of clothes and/or the strength to haul a giant suitcase onto the train.

4. Making friends

Make sure you join a society or two. Check out week 51 for our advice on clubs and societies at university. Think of all the friends you could be making who like the same things as you!

5. Waking up

Struggling to wake up for your 9am lecture? Stick your phone in an (empty) glass next to your bed. When the alarm goes off, it’ll be much louder, plus you’ll have to use extra brain power to get it out of the glass and turn it off.

Or if that doesn't work, put the glass on the other side of the room, then you'll have to rush out of bed, so you're not THAT person who wakes everyone up.

6. Struggling?

Make sure you're aware of the support available at your university and USE IT. Everyone wants to see you succeed, but they're not mind readers - let them help you.

7. Assignments

Talk to the librarians. They know EVERYTHING.

Writing 200 - 500 words of an assignment a day is much easier than 2,500 words all at once!

Through your reading you'll start to pull together lots of different sources, which you'll use to build your arguments. Keeping track of these will make referencing your work a LOT easier. Even better, if your university uses RefWorks, use it; it can build your bibliography for you.

Tasks for this week:

  • If there are some skills you'll need to learn (like cooking or using the washing machine), do some research and get practising.
  • Speak to any friends you have who are already university students to see if they can suggest any more tips.