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15 Best College Student Hacks

November 09, 2020
aerial view of CTX campus

Every student at Concordia University Texas embarks on a life-changing adventure. Whether you want to earn a bachelor's degree, master's degree or doctoral degree, there are college student hacks that can help you enjoy greater success.

That's why we've collected a list of 15 college student hacks to help you with your life-changing adventure at Concordia.

But first thing's first. What exactly is a hack?

College Hacks

The word "hack" is slang for any method or strategy used to make daily activities more efficient. You've likely heard of life hacks, such as putting a wooden spoon across a boiling pot of water to keep it from boiling over or using a can opener to open plastic packages.

College hacks include advice and tips to help you become a better student and study more efficiently.

1. Get help immediately.

If you're struggling to understand something, get help immediately. If you don't clarify something immediately, it could impact your ability to understand concepts further into the course.

Learning is like the game of Jenga.

Just like Jenga, where you begin with the blocks on the bottom and build upward, the first things you learn in a class are foundational. You expand your understanding only by building on this foundational knowledge.

If you have a faulty block at the base of the Jenga tower or try to remove a block from the bottom, the whole structure will collapse. In the same way, if you don't grasp foundational concepts, it could hinder your ability to develop a deeper understanding of a subject.

Concordia's Academic Support Center provides every CTX student (on campus and online) with comprehensive educational support.

2. Take breaks regularly.

Studying for hours on end can be tedious and counterproductive. Various studies have found that students who take breaks in between studying retain more information than students who study without breaks.

This isn't, however, a good excuse to neglect work. Don't let procrastination replace relaxation.

There are many ways to take small breaks while studying, some of which include the following:

  • Take a walk outside.
  • Take a short nap (no more than 20 minutes).
  • Call a family member or friend.

 

3. Take a portable charger to campus.

If you attend class on campus, keep a portable charger in your bag in case your phone runs low on battery.

Also, if you use a laptop, make sure to take its charger with you. If your laptop isn't charged, you can't take notes. If you often forget your charger, carry a pen and journal with you just in case.

4. Get to know your professors.

Because of Concordia's small class sizes, every student has the opportunity to get to know their professors. The professors at Concordia make themselves easily accessible via email, phone and office hours.

The better a professor knows you, the better they can support you.

5. Sign up for classes the day registration opens.

The day that registration opens for your class (freshman, sophomore, junior or senior), register for classes immediately to secure your seat in the classes you want to take on the days you want to take them.

If you wait too long, you will have to choose from the classes that aren't yet full, which can negatively impact your degree plan.

6. Check for prerequisites.

Before you register for classes, check if the courses you plan to take require prerequisites. If they do, make sure you have completed them. Otherwise, you won't be able to enroll in the course, and you will have to find another course to take.

View the Concordia Academic Catalog.

7. Keep your course schedule handy.

During the first week of classes during each semester, keep a copy of your course schedule where you can easily access it. You can save it on your phone or print out a hard copy.

Even if it's your senior year, all students have gone to the wrong classroom or forgotten which day and time class meets. If it's five minutes before class starts and you have your course schedule handy, you can quickly find the right room without having to fumble through emails or log in to MyInfo.

8. Use the classroom diagrams to find your way.

It can be frustrating when trying to find a new classroom, especially if you're unfamiliar with the campus. Concordia provides classroom diagrams of Building B, Cedel Hall, Building D and the CTX Library to help you find where you need to go.

9. Get an internship ASAP.

Part of Concordia's requirements for undergraduate students is to gain real-world experience through internships, student jobs or other hands-on experiences. Complete an internship as soon as possible. In addition to enhancing your resume, you will get a first-hand look at the field in which you're interested.

Once you get a better idea of the role and industry, you can make a better-informed decision about whether you're majoring in the right area and are on the right career path.

10. Read your written assignments aloud.

One of the most effective ways to see if your written assignment flows well is to read it aloud. You can record yourself reading the work and then play it back, or you can use Google Translate. Simply enter the text in one of the boxes, and click the listen key in the bottom left corner of the text box.

11. Prioritize sleep.

Sufficient sleep is essential for your overall health, in addition to your mental acuity. A lack of sleep impacts your entire day and hinders you from getting the most out of classes.

If needed, set a recurring alarm on your phone to remind you to go to sleep. Establish a routine, and do your best to stick to it.

12. Work ahead.

If you get an opportunity to work ahead, take it! Professors often post rubrics and requirements for all assignments on Blackboard at the beginning of courses.

13. Search for audiobooks.

Many courses' required reading can be found in audio form. Search for an audiobook version that you can download so that you can listen as you follow along in the book. You can even speed up the narration.

Reading and hearing the book at the same time may help you absorb the information more effectively.

14. Build a portfolio of your work.

The projects you complete in college can be used as examples of your work when applying to jobs.

Keep electronic copies of your best coursework together in a file that you can later use for a portfolio of work during your job search.

15. Get involved in campus life.

One of the things that makes Concordia unique is the strength of friendships formed between students. Student Activities hosts a variety of events throughout the year, which makes it easy for you to meet fellow students and get plugged into a group.

These college student hacks will help you become an efficient and prepared student.

Are you ready to begin your life-changing adventure at Concordia University Texas? Apply today!