CTX Blog
Student-Stories, Tips-and-Tricks

Thrive in Your Freshman Year with These 10 Hacks

August 04, 2017
Freshman Hacks


Make at least one friend in each one of your classes

Whether you oversleep, get sick, take a personal day or get too distracted by Luther on the way to make it on time, you want a friend who has your best interest at heart that can share their notes and verbally fill you in on anything you missed.

Plus, you can use that friend to make you look very smart during presentations! Have the friend ask you an intelligent question that you already know the answer to after you finish presenting and you are sure to get your professor’s attention.

Listen to recorded lectures at 1.5 X speed

You’ve already heard the lecture once, but playing it back while studying, (especially at a faster pace), can really help drill the information into your brain.

Set your phone lock screen to a photo of your class schedule during your first week

We’re guessing your phone is already in your hand while you are walking. No need to dig into your backpack or search through your emails to figure out where your next class is.

Discreetly scanning your lock screen can make you look like you’ve been a Tornado for years.

Befriend a professor and stay in touch

Go to their office hours, email them, keep them up-to-date with your life and get on their good side. You will want to have a faculty letter of recommendation on file when you are applying for jobs later.

Get on the inside

Ask a professor in your major if they need help with their research. If they do, you will have relevant field experience to add to your resume.

Your coffee maker serves many purposes

No stove? No problem. Master the art of boiling water in a coffee maker. Never go without noodles again.

Differentiate your keys

If all your keys are silver, it can be a pain testing out several of them before you finally get a fit. Use nail polish to mark the keys according to the color code you assign them.

Chew gum and improve memory

Are you worried about forgetting information that you have binged in a study session?

Study while chewing a particular flavor of gum! When you take the exam, chew the same flavor. The power of taste will trigger short bursts of recognition.

Listen to your essays and term papers out loud

After writing a paper, copy and paste it into Google Translate and listen to the audio to hear the mistakes and awkward phrasings.

Learn the art of napping

A 10-20 minute nap is shown to boost alertness and offers a burst of energy. They don’t call it a power nap for nothing! 30-45 minutes should not be taken because they leave you feeling groggy.

60-minute naps help improve your memory skills, particularly important when studying for an exam. 90-minute naps, the easiest to wake up from, improve emotional and procedural memory and creativity.