College life and/or university life is an important part of your development, both socially and intellectually. There will never be another time when you are surrounded by so many people in the same position as you with the exception of if you go to prison. However, you have to remember that your time in college is going to pass very quickly. It is a good time to make a few sacrifices with the aim of reaping the rewards later in life. Learn how to manage your budget, live on very little cash, how to have a good time, and learn how to avoid common student mistakes.
Making sacrifices in college is good practice for when you are older. It will help build your discipline, and will help you develop emotionally, which is something that very few students in colleges are able to do. If you are able to learn how to do things such as stick to budgets, control your feelings, sacrifice your pleasure for future rewards and struggle, then you will mature in a way very few students are able. With the help of this article, you may develop and learn things in a way that other people only learn when they hit 40yrs+ old.
1. Organize Your Living Space
As odd as it seems, our article starts with organizing your living and working space--and the reason is rather profound. It is because an organized and clean living space seems to directly affect a student's motivation. If you were to both tidy and clean your living space, and then organize it personally, you would see a direct and very powerful influence on your personal and long-term motivation.
There are many possible reasons as to why this may be the case, but we implore you to give it a try and commit to it before you disregard it.
Dramatically Lower The Amount Of Decorations You Have
Students have a habit of excessively decorating their rooms. It is all part of an animalistic urge to make their mark on a place so they feel more comfortable. However, it is also clutter, and most of it should be removed to make your room a little more minimalist and organized.
Use And Buy Items That Serve More Than One Purpose
Do this, and you dramatically lower the amount of clutter and mess in your campus dorm room/ workplace. The goal is to alter the way you purchase things. The next time you decide to buy something, ask yourself if it can serve two purposes. If it cannot, then maybe you should give it a miss.
One has to concede that some items are essential and yet do not serve two purposes. Here is a list of such essential college items. However, you cannot deny the logic of buying items that serve more than one purpose.
Consider The Number Of Items You Have
Do you really need twelve highlighter pens when you use your PC almost exclusively and haven't used paper since handing out your email address? Do you really need the three quilts that your mother gave you from your brother's beds? Is it really a good idea to bring all of your 46 shoes with you to college, including the Brazilian dancing shoes?
Empty Spaces Attract Clutter
This is the alpha of clutter-clearing tips. Do not allow empty space in your campus dorm room or working area (except for the floor). Do not have an empty portion of desk or top of a cupboard free. You will throw things on it when you are in a rush (or feeling lazy), and before you know it you will be drowning in unwanted and unsorted items.
Give Everything A Place And Get Into The Habit Of Finding Things There
The key to being organized is knowing where everything is â€œwithoutâ€ having to remember. This is where organized chaos is shot out of the water. Being organized means your hand reaches for something before you even think of where it may be. Your hand is reaching for it because that is where you â€œalwaysâ€ put it because â€œthatâ€ is its place.
How Clean Things Are Makes A Massive Difference
There is a reason why so many online articles say you should keep your area organized and clean. The cleanliness part seems to have the biggest effect on your motivation. It seems to directly affect your attitude both towards your living/working space and towards your work/goals. For example, clear out a cupboard and it is nice. Wipe it down and clean it out, and suddenly it becomes something you are proud to maintain. You may not know it, but the effect that the cleanliness of your working/living space has on your attitude is tremendous.
2. Managing And Saving Money
The more attention you pay to your money, the more likely it is that you will manage your money better and stick to your budget. It is highly recommended that you start a list on your PC or laptop that states all of your coming expenses. Every Sunday, go over your expenses, create a new weekly budget, and improve the previous budget plans you have already made. There is no guarantee of success, but routinely paying attention to your finances will drastically lower your chances of failure.
Getting a job in college is a good idea, but it is not always suitable. There are some courses where working a part-time job puts them at a big disadvantage. There are some courses that require your full attention, which means very little partying and means no time for a part-time job.
If you are able to work a part-time job without it affecting your studies, then work a 16-hour week, which is two days at 8 hours each. Any more than that and it will affect your studies, your social life and your college life.
Learn how to manage your money and work towards growing your personal wealth. Having money doesn't give you license to spend money. Keep applying for jobs all year around, especially if you do not have one yet. Most students give up trying after around a month, and yet jobs are coming open all year round, so keep trying and your time will come.
Credit Cards Use
Do not apply for a credit card, even if you want one for emergencies. Do not use a credit card, and steer clear of all forms of store card that offer credit. Credit card debt is a leading reason for students dropping out of college. Credit card debt will burn through your current funds and your future earnings.
There is never a good reason to apply for a credit card. If you are smart enough to manage your money well, then you shouldn't need a credit card because you should have plenty of savings. If you are not good at managing your money, then how good do you think you will be at paying back thousands of dollars of debt?
Renting A Room
Always do it with a roommate and/or several roommates. Pick the nerdiest people you know to live with when you are looking for student rooms to rent. It sounds fun living with the party animals and the people that are really pretty and popular, but they are always scruffy to live with. Even if they are prim, proper and neat, you can be sure they are going to have messy friends that like to drop round every day. Live with nerds, and not only will you be able to get your work done, you will never be bothered by their friends dropping by. If you advertise for a roommate, then be careful about being as PC as possible because your college will insist on it.
As for sharing foodâ€¦don't! You do not need to label your food either. The rule is very simple. If you didn't buy it, don't eat it. People that claim they do not know what they bought are lying. On the rare occasion where you cannot remember if you bought the cheesecake in the fridge, just ask your roommates. There is nothing stopping you sending them a quick text to find out.
Also, you may think that buying a few things in bulk will be a good idea for when you rent your roomâ€¦you are wrong. For example, if a student buys a bulk lot of toilet paper to last the year, he or she is guaranteed to have other students begging for it. They say stuff like, â€œAww go on, you have got loads of it, and you won't miss two rolls.â€
Making A Budget
Look over a series of budget making articles to get a feel for what you need to include in your budget. This article about budgeting in Paris is a good one to get you started. Include textbook sales, rentals and purchases in your budgets. Look for companies that sell textbooks, and ask if they sell textbooks that you may return for a partial refund when you are done with them.
The hard part is not about making a budget; it is about sticking to it. You are going to have to learn how to suffer. You are going to have to learn how to reach the end of your month's budget and suffer for a while. You need to learn that dipping into next month's funds is not a valid option. It starts you on a negative-feedback loop that forever leaves you without any money.
3. Summer Or Part-Time Job
There are plenty of reasons to get a part-time or summer job if you are a student. You get extra money, it may provide valuable experience, you may network, you may make a few good contacts, and you may improve your social life. Turning a part-time or summer job into a valuable asset to your career is easier than you think.
You Need A Job That Will Not Hurt Your Studies
You may have to face the fact that some courses will not allow you to take a part-time job because they are too demanding of your time. They will not even allow you to take a summer job because you will need to study. Do not forsake your future for the chance of a little money today.
Are There Jobs Available That Will Improve Your Social Life?
Student jobs are often paid terribly, and if they are not, then there is often an immoral element, such as asking you to take your clothes off in front of a camera (or worse). Put aside the terrible pay and consider the benefits of the job. Some jobs offer you the chance to meet a lot of new people and make many new friends.
Can You Use The Part-Time Job To Give You Valuable Experience?
Maybe you are not going to work in a lab or take a part-time job as a CEO, but there are plenty of examples of working experience that may help you as an educated student. For example, some of the most devoted students are difficult to work with, but you may gain working experience in the leisure and tourism industry that helps prove you are a little more personable than your peers. There are plenty of examples of part-time jobs giving students valuable working experience that they may apply to their resumes at a later date.
Do Not Pay To Work At Home
When you look online, you will see part-time jobs you may do at home. If the company that is trying to employ you asks you for some sort of investment before you start, then do not take the job. There are plenty of non-investment jobs you can try, as noted by the Tricks website.
Use Your Field Of Study
There are plenty of freelance roles for students with certain qualifications and skills. If you have any programming or web development skills, then finding online work will be easy. If you have design skills, of any nature, then set up your own website and see if you can sell your service. There are even websites where you may be paid for your advice, though you may have to lie a little on your application (such as claiming you already have the qualification you are working towards).
What Are The Top Five Best Student Jobs?
According to questions, on their post Five of the best student jobs, the best jobs are as follows.
Tutoring - You already have better qualifications than some people, so use them to teach other people things for a profit.
Club night organizer - If you are very personable, you may make some good money and dramatically improve your social life with this type of job.
Social media assistant - It is very low paid work, but you are usually able to work a very flexible and easy shift.
Events staff - You get to see concerts for free and meet thousands of people your own age. It is low paid, but fairly easy.
Bar staff - These are also low paid, and they are monotonous, but they are good retail experience and you get to make a few friends on the way.
Your Application And Resume Are The Same Thing
Since most applications are done online, most employers do not even open the resume attachment. This means it is a good idea to pile all of your CV information onto your application for good measure.
The OnTheHub team mentions a few good tips for your resume on their article about common resume mistakes. Their best point is that you shouldn't try and fit it all on one page. Their worst point is where they say you â€œshouldn'tâ€ add irrelevant experience into your resume. This is false for two reasons.
Reason one - You are a student with little experience, so you need to pad out your experience section as much as possible.
Reason two - The person reading your resume is human, which means you cannot tell what they are thinking. You may be applying for a part-time bar job and think that your summer job at a farm isn't relevant, but the bar owner may have been raised on a farm and may think highly of farm folk.
Try To Find A Job That Improves Your Skills
It is not as difficult as it seems. Take a look at your weakest points and try to fix them with your job. For example, if you are not too great at dealing with angry people and you shy away from conflict, then take a job at a call centre for a power company or gambling company and learn how to handle angry people on the job. You are going to have to suffer a little in order to grow, but it will be worth it if you learn a new skill. Plus, if you want a bit of extra money, then you are going to have to suffer a little anyway, so why not work on your personal/career skills whilst you are employed there.
4. Buying Stuff
There are plenty of ways you may buy cheaper stuff and get better deals. You can even be sneaky and use your parents store card for extra discounts. Try buying in bulk with your student friends. If you all pool your money, you may be able to buy larger batches of items and then split them pro-rata so that you all get a great bargain.
Sniping On Auction Websites
Look for auctions that end at unsociable hours and snipe them by placing your bid around ten seconds before the auction ends. You may also contact the user and ask if he or she will end the auction early so you may come over and buy it right away. Set your phone alarm for ten minutes before the auction ends so you do not forget about it.
Do Not Pay For Discounts
If you find a discount website that asks you for a membership fee in order to get their discounts, then forget the website and find another. All of the websites that ask you to pay for subscriptions to their discounts will exclusively promote higher-end discounts that do not apply to students.
There are quite a few places that offer a student discount. The companies that offer them are rarely quite about it. They will often push their student discount schemes wherever students congregate. However, it is worth going online and finding websites and apps that tell you what local companies offer a student discount.
Use An Email Address You Can Burn
You may want to sign up for freebies and discounts online, but you may be worried about the sheer levels of spam you will receive. If this is the case, sign up a for free email address and use it to sign up to all the websites you like. The email address will get a lot of spam as your email address is sold to spammers, but you can always delete your email account without worry or consequence.
The Inconvenience Of It All
Most times, if you are looking to save money, you are going to be inconvenienced. This is not always the case. For example, if you are switching from traditional shopping to online shopping, then the process becomes more convenient. However, in most cases, you are going to have to suffer a little, be it having to wait in a launderette, or having to grate your own cheese. The lazy guide to studying suggests you use these occasions to do a little studying. You may also like to lower your levels of inconvenience with a digital wallet.
There Are Websites With Free Stuff
Nowadays, there are quite a few websites that offer freebies. Some websites are set up specifically for swapping and for freebies, and some have classified ads with a freebie section. If you cannot get stuff for free, then consider swapping things. There is still a lot of room for barter, especially for cash-strapped freshmen and students.
Stop Buying New Stuff
There is simply no excuse for buying new stuff in your position with the exception of pandering to your own vanity. People do not expect you to walk around looking like Chris Pine or Angelina Jolie in fancy suits and cocktail dresses. There is no reason why most of your consumer goods and clothes cannot be second hand. They will be far cheaper and will usually be far better value. There are only a few exceptions, such as buying new toothbrushes and underwear.
5. Partying, Dating And Social Life
Let's break this tender topic into three sections. All three elements are linked, but here are some individual tips to help guide your way. You will be able to save money and have more fun at the same time if you are clever about it.
You don't need a lot of money to date in college because you are living the college lifestyle, which usually means living on a tight budget. It is the one time in your life when almost everybody you meet is equal. Few have kids, few have crippling debt, mortgages, terrible diseases, and divorces. Money doesn't matter as much when college dating, so do not be the fool that spends all of his or her money on finding a lover or partner.
The first tip that Dragos Roua put in his post about improving your social life is to stop fearing rejection, and he is right, but for reasons he doesn't make clear. Your goal should always be to make more friends and know more people. In that scenario, how could you be rejected? If you don't make friends with one batch of people, try another batch. You don't have to be a model (woman) or pickup artist (man) if all you are doing is making friends and being a friendly person.
The more people you meet, and the more friends you have, then the higher the chances are that you will meet somebody that really digs you.
Bring-your-own-bottle parties are great, and it is well worth bringing a big bottle of something because you will be invited to all the parties. If you are the one that brings four light beers, then people will not want to invite you to parties anymore. If you are hosting, then do not host alone. Go in on it with a few other freshman and students. Not only does this cut the cost, but it also guarantees that more people arrive because all their friends will come too.
If you are throwing a party, then make punch. Most students are really dumb when it comes to drinking and they will drink enough to make themselves ill. This is not your problem, but it will suck up a lot of your alcohol so that others are not able to indulge. Instead, make punch with hard liquor mixed with cordial and fruit juices. Also, make a few batches so you can top up the punch bowls through the night because somebody is guaranteed to drop their phone or cigarette in the punch bowl at some point.
Parties are great because they cost you a fraction of the price of going to a club or pub, and they are often more intimate, so you are able to make more friends and talk a little more. Have one pair of good-looking shoes that you only save for partying. That way, you don't have to keep spending money on new shoes for parties and pubs.
As a student, you have a fairly sad dilemma. You have more people to socialize with than you will ever have again in your life, but your qualification demands so much of your time that you have to make a compromise. You either focus most of your effort on your work and become socially inept and isolated, or you take advantage of your social situation and your qualification suffers.
Ryan Raver's blog post on depression and a student's social life suggests that you take your mind off your work and indulge in being more sociable. However, what you should really do is arrange a day off with you and all your friends. You should all discuss about how too much work will cause mental and emotional problems, so you should all agree on a single day where none of you are allowed to work. Usually, a Saturday works the best. All of you have to do something on Saturdays and hang out.