People tell you that college is the best four years of your life (sometimes seven, if you’re unlucky), but various costs associated with college can leave you strapped for cash.  Since students constantly have to rebudget, you’ll need these useful tips, or “hacks,” to help you make the most of your money and college experience

Dorm Life

1) If your closet doesn’t have lights, hang Christmas lights on the rim of the door to illuminate your closet. Clip pictures to those lights to avoid taping or tacking them to your wall.
2) Attach dryer sheets to your fan as a cheap air freshener.
3) Find furniture or appliances from fellow students by browsing UCSD groups, like “Free & For Sale,” instead of browsing Craigslist or buying new items.
4) UCSD dorms have adjustable bed frames that allow you to elevate or lower the height of your bed. Increase the height of your bed to give yourself more room to store things underneath your bed.
5) When you go home, buy toiletries in bulk. Store them in a plastic container under your bed. Nobody wants to run out of toothpaste…



1) If you don’t have a beer pong table, use a screwdriver to unscrew your door off of its hinges and lay it on a smaller table or your kitchen counter. The same trick works with a full-length mirror — just beware, things can get messy.
2) Wrap your room-temperature beer in a damp paper towel, and let it sit in the refrigerator for 15 minutes — it’s a quick way to chill beer.
3) If you don’t have a beer bottle opener, fold a dollar bill in half repeatedly until it is difficult to bend. Place the folded bill under the lip of the cap and pop it off. Similarly, if you don’t have a wine bottle opener, stab the cork with scissors and then lift the cork out … or buy one at one of the on-campus markets and save yourselves the trouble.
4) Take a multivitamin before you drink to combat a hangover.
5) Drink milk or other dairy-based drinks, i.e. Vallarta’s horchata, before you go to bed to reduce your hangover. Dairy products coat the lining of your stomach, which make it harder for alcohol to get absorbed into your bloodstream.
6) If you want to get drunk with your friends for cheap, purchase plastic handles, pool your alcohol together and mix it with juice, soda and sugar to make Jungle Juice. The great thing about Jungle Juice is that it doesn’t taste that strong and gets your drunk quickly.


1) Motivate yourself to study to do readings by rewarding yourself with small snacks. For every page you read — and understand — reward yourself with a small piece of candy.
2) Take notes in Times New Roman — Internet lore says that it’s the fastest font to read, but even if it’s a myth, it’s worth a try.
3) Change the settings in your computer to block distractions like Facebook and Instagram during midterms and finals. You can also set your iPhone to “Do Not Disturb” mode to silence all calls, texts and notifications.
4) Talk to yourself while you are studying. According to Psychology Today it is proven to better retain information. To be even more effective, ask yourself questions, and explain it to yourself.
5) Spray an unfamiliar scent, like a new perfume or cologne, while you are studying. When it is time to take your exam, spray the scent again to jog your memory.
6) When you’ve got a midterm coming up, Google “site:edu [subject] exam” to find many different college exams featuring practice problems pertaining to that subject.


1) Reheat that pizza you ordered at 3 a.m. by placing a glass of water into the microwave with it. This will keep the crust from becoming overly tough.
2) If you’re low on dining dollars, buy pasta from the dining halls, and then put in vegetables from the salad bar to make pasta salad.
3) Pour pancake batter into an empty ketchup bottle to make no-mess pancakes.
4) Put a magnetic notepad on your refrigerator to quickly jot down what foods you need to make grocery shopping easier and more cost-efficient.

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