Student culture is regularly hailed as the best and easiest years of a young person’s life with no responsibility and three or more so years of absolute freedom. The reality however can be tricky what with dwindling financial reserves and huge study timetables designed to drive you to the nearest therapist. So, in order to give you some help why not check out some of our student survival tips for 2021….
1. Save your money
Having enough in the bank isn’t the illusive art you may think it is. Wealth isn’t just created from what you earn as much as what you save. Master the art of saving and not only will you be able to feed and clothe yourselves properly but you’ll of master a very valuable life lesson.
So in order to plug up those pesky leaks lets take a few steps back and ask the basic question, ‘why do we spend money we don’t have on things we don’t need?’ Well one answer may lie in how our mind has the uncanny ability to self soothe when we’re feeling low. Emotional spending or ‘retail therapy’ is a term most of you will of heard of and can range from something as simple as a new pair of shoes or jeans, snacks with high sugar and carbohydrate levels for that quick dopamine release to the darker and potentially dangerous, namely excessive alcohol and drugs. Different people respond with different triggers and its important you get familiar with the things that trigger emotional spending. Monitor your bank records and get to grips with emerging patterns. Credit agency Experian have written a great blog on the subject of emotional spending, covering all of the ways you can tackle the issue. Take a look at the full article here.
2. Make your money
As you’re mastering the art of saving money, there’s also some really interesting ways as a Student to make it too ranging from selling unwanted clutter on Ebay to making money from marketing questionnaires and it’s something we’ve already written full blog on. Check it out here….
3. Find your Happy (study) Place
Getting in to the right frame of mind for study can make the difference between a pass and a fail. One key to being in the right frame of mind is the environment you find yourself in. For some its a crowded cafe with lots of background noise. For others it’s the dead silence of a library, and for others it’s the privacy of their own dorm. Be prepared early doors in the semester to find your perfect study zone and stick to it. Also consider study music to really zone you in.
Plug in the words ‘concentration music’ in to Spotify or youtube and you’ll find a myriad of musical genres that can help you focus. Some people find having a ‘study wardrobe’ helps also, and it makes perfect sense. That new tailored jacked might get you in the zone when you’re out on the razz, but settling down for a study session…not so much. Consider having a designated wardrobe for when you study and make sure the items you include are comfortable and chaf free!
4. Second hand books
Oh how we love second hand books! In an age of swipe and pinch, turning the well worn page of an old, dog-eared book with that lovely papery smell can be a real treat. Oh and more importantly they’re cheap! Before you venture in to Borders with the folks, try the local Loros or Oxfam or search for your publication on Google books. For the exact content of something newly published, your second hand purchase will do you just as well.
5. Aps-olutely Vital!
From second hand books we leap back to the 21st century with these really useful apps EVERY student needs to have….
- Whoosnap has been described as the Uber of photography. This cool little app actually pays you to use the images you take on your phone and upload to the platform! It’s that simple. Check it out in the Apple App Store here, or in Google Play.
- Wisedrinking is a great app for helping you drink responsibly. With binge drinking on the rise in student communities it’s really worth a look as it calculates your consumption levels and alerts you to local transport links to help you get back safely at night.
- Popular planning apps like Planner Pig, Timetable (Android) or Class Timetable (IOS) are great for helping you get your student timetable organised. It’s a simple fact that students who plan a week in advance have lower levels of anxiety than those that don’t. Some people like to have every last detail spelt out for them, others like to plan in the big stuff and improvise the rest. Whatever your level of planning make sure you do something at least and you’ll find your week is that bit smoother.
- With all the delightful distractions student life has to offer, getting the right amount of sleep isn’t exactly as simple as you’d think, however it will play a vital part in your success as a student. A lack of sleep has been proven to decrease cognitive functions, increase bad eating habits, play hell with your cardio vascular system and has even been linked to long term health conditions like heart attacks and Alzheimers disease. A good night’s sleep has been proven to make the difference in pass or fail grades within colleges and school systems and this is why we love Alarmy. It’s an app available both for Google play and the App Store and it gives you a variety of different options in which to wake up properly, including taking pictures and solving puzzles. According to the Army website they’re ranked No.1 in 97 countries and have a following of 48 million people so its definitely worth checking out. Also, if you’d like to find out more about the benefits of sleep check out Matt Walker’s Ted lecture ‘sleep is your super power’ here.
- Who of us ever really enjoys writing bibliographies? Not so much? Well check out EasyBib, a great new app to help students when they’ve left everything to the last minute. It collects all the relevant info about a publisher for a book simply by scanning the barcode via the camera on your smart phone! It also helps with the bibliography of other reference mediums such as websites, journals, articles and online videos.
Gone are the days when you’d need to work shifts at a local cafe or bar to make some extra cash on the side as a student. Deliveroo’s scheduling database allows you to work shifts around your own timetable, delivering food all round your local neighbourhood. Hey if you’re always using your bike why not make it pay?! It’s convenient, no upfront costs and it’s great exercise. Check out the application link here.
7. Lastly, why not try creating your own motivational playlists to help keep the day to day wheels turning. Whether it’s getting out of bed, studying or working out, a playlist can really help you get from A-Z. Here’s some classic motivational tunes to get you started:
1.“What a Feeling” Irene Cara. This uplifting classic from the 1980’s won an Oscar for Best Song from the movie FlashDance. Its urgent rhythm sticks in your head like many other songs from this movie!
2. “Dogs Days are Over” , Florence and The Machine. You can obviously save this for that light at the end of the tunnel moment when you finish your last exam, a true crescendo of harmony and beats, anchored by Florence’s soaring voice.
3.” Lose Yourself” Eminem. The perfect motivational song, especially when your’e facing a seemingly impossible task. If Rabbit could take down his formidable foes in that rap battle finale, a ten page paper is nothing you can’t handle.
4. “Viva la Vida” Coldplay. a thrilling and exciting song that during the first verse envelops you with its melody. You basically can’t stand still!
5. “Bohemian Rhapsody” Queen. A piece of rock and roll history. Freddie Mercury’s voice has a nasty attitude to it that piece that has made the history of rock. His constant crescendo is a motivational drive more than valid!
6. “Sound of Sunshine” Michael Franti & Spearhead & Jovanotti. If you’re outside of Italy, check out one of our favorites…it’s a cheerful and lively song that makes you want to dance!
7. “Bad” Michael Jackson. The divine MJ gave us this intense burner that has stood the test of time…his voice conveys attitude, vitality and determination!
8. “Do Not Stop Me Now” Another magnificent anthem by Queen, this an uptempo track that triggers irresistible energy!
8. Planning the day before for the morning after:
No matter how many times you swear ‘I’m never drinking again’ hangovers are going to happen, so be prepared and make sure your ducks are all in a row to aid that morning after nightmare better than you did last time. We’ve written an entire blog on this one topic and you can check it out here. Find out everything you need to know including how and why lighter hued drinks can make a big difference to your mood, what morning after food works best and why fizzy drinks can hit you harder than flats ones.
We regularly post blog articles that span a variety of student based topics so keep an eye out and be sure to like and subscribe to us on Facebook. Take care of yourselves and keep those heads down!