Skip To Content

    23 University Tricks You'd Wish You'd Known Sooner

    Trust me, literally any help is appreciated.

    We recently asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us their best university hacks. Here are some of the best responses...

    Universal Pictures

    1. The money-saver:

    "Don't buy/rent your textbooks the moment you get your syllabus. Wait for the first class and the professor will tell you which books you actually need. You’ll save a lot of money." —lanab4f5182062

    2. The free food fair:

    "Participate in giveaways and student fairs (major department fairs, club fairs, student housing fairs) for free food." —ursulat4828a891b

    3. The handy lock screen:

    "For the first week of classes, screenshot your class schedule and put it as your lock screen. When you’re running across campus and feel lost, it's 10 times easier to look at your phone than pull out a printed schedule!"—catew41f342aab

    4. The speed reader:

    "When you're reading research papers: read the abstract, the last few paragraphs of the introduction, and then skip to the results/discussion section. Unless absolutely necessary, don’t waste time with the methodology." —anjelicab3

    NBC

    5. The old books:

    "Buy previous editions of textbooks. They usually only update a few things each time, and the chapter order may switch, but you’ll only spend a few dollars on each book."—kates40dbf9a3a

    6. The borrowed cutlery:

    "There's no need to buy your own dishware or silverware - just 'borrow' some from the dining hall."—saskiavanr

    7. The meal prep:

    "Batch cook really nice meals at home in advance, then freeze them. Then simply take one out of the freezer and put it in the fridge 24 hours before you want to eat it and reheat it in the microwave. A proper home cooked meal in under five minutes with minimal washing up when you’re stressed with work is simply the best!!"—emilyg4048e2ea9

    8. The coffee noodles:

    "You can make ramen in a coffee pot. Just add water to the back end of it and let it brew. Also, if you add an egg, some butter, hot sauce, and a flavouring agent (like onion or garlic), you get amazing ramen!"—sami4ededfc91

    TBS

    9. The lost ID:

    "'Lose' your student ID the last semester. When you get a new one, the expiration date will be a few years later and that will come in handy when buying things. Stores, movies, tickets, and more always have student discounts."—danielle13

    10. The pre-class judgement:

    "The site ratemyprofessor.com is the best way to see if your professor does extra credit, is boring, or if you need to buy the book for the class."—taylors4f37a8f18

    11. The cleanest dishes:

    "If you're too lazy to wash your own dirty dishes, buy the cheapest cling wrap from Coles or Woolies and cover your plate with the cling wrap before you put food on it. After you eat, you just have to throw the plastic wrap away! No more dirty dishes!"—nicholasnurp

    12. The font changer:

    "When you need to stretch the length of a paper, increase the size of all the periods. For a paper typed in 12-point font, increasing the periods to size 14-16 adds a good bit of length without being distinguishable."—hroberts08

    Community Channel

    13. The takeaway meal:

    "If you have a buffet-style cafeteria, bring a container or Ziploc bags to take cereal or other foods to go." —gabriellaneyman

    14. The gamer's navigator:

    "If you get lost on campus, Pokémon Go sometimes has the buildings labelled, and since it tracks your movement in real time, you can find the building when you’re near it."—gbear108

    15. The online book:

    "If your textbook has a CD or online version, buy that instead. It’s cheaper, and you can use the search function to find key terms." —daraleighs

    16. The free toilet paper:

    "Stealing toilet paper (you know the really huge rolls) from the library! I viewed it as the equivalent of taking shampoo from a hotel. It’s included in the price of tuition right?!"—laurenb4f8610fb2

    NBC

    17. The kettle craft:

    "You can make Kraft mac and cheese in an electric kettle if you aren’t allowed to have microwaves in your dorm."—isabellel4048f9f32

    18. The coin changer:

    "Most dorms have vending machines. If you find you’re in the middle of doing laundry and run out of quarters, just go to the vending machine with your nickels and dimes. Put your change into the machine and then hit the 'return money' button and you’ll get back quarters. This is also really useful if you need to use a parking meter that only takes quarters."—raggedbudgetracing

    19. The seasoned professional:

    "Keep hot sauce and various spices in your dorm to dress up ramen, mac and cheese, meal plan food, etc. It makes everything taste so much better and everything feels like it’s actually a good, wholesome meal."—gabriellefesta21

    20. The trash and treasure:

    "If you're looking to get some things for free, when students move out of the dorms they tend to leave a lot of things behind. At the end of the semester there are piles of things up for grabs, like TVs, fridges, and kitchen appliances."—77abyl77

    NBC

    21. The comfortable hydration:

    "It might sound stupid and common... but just bring a water bottle with you to school. There are water fountains and refill stations in most buildings. Also, a good pair of shoes if you are living on campus and walking everywhere. Your feet will thank you." —Lesley Randall, Facebook

    22. The file attacher:

    "When submitting assignments (and resumes) via email, get in the habit of saying 'Attached is my ___' instead of 'Here is my___'. If you forget to add the attachment, Gmail will warn you." —Alex Merry Asal, Facebook

    23. And the finals week coping mechanism:

    "Waterproof mascara and an extra puffy coat. The mascara can handle your tears, and if you press that coat sleeve against your face hard enough, it'll muffle your screams of defeat on days three to five of finals week."—jsspurem

    ABC

    Submissions have been lightly edited for length/clarity.

    Want to be featured in similar BuzzFeed posts? Follow the BuzzFeed Community on Facebook and Twitter!

    BuzzFeed Daily

    Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form