As a college student, you’re constantly watching that small, dwindling number in your bank account drop digits faster than you running to get the fresh pizza before the whole campus takes over the caf. It’s the start of a new semester, and let’s face it…fancy living just isn’t at your disposal – and by fancy, I mean having the luxury to shower without shoes on. As hard as it is being a college student on a strict budget, there are plenty of life hacks out there that make your busy days a little bit easier to manage. I’ve surveyed a handful of college students currently living the dorm life, and as a result of my research, I gathered a list of 8 ways to make your days in your little cinderblock jail cell less stressful.
1. Dryer sheets are your friends. No, they’re not only good for keeping your new blouse from sticking to your tank top. If your dorms are anything like mine, the heat/ac isn’t always the epitome of freshness, maintenance workers don’t seem to have fixing it as their top priority (or a priority at all, for that matter), and scented candles are simply prohibited. Have no fear, dryer sheets are near! Grab one of those suckers and tape ‘em to your vents. The minute that musty air goes through them – viola! Your room now deceivingly smells like a field of lavender.
2. Save your water bottles! Water bottles make the perfect portioning tools for products you don’t necessarily want to carry from place to place. When your mini-fridge is lacking space for the homemade leftovers your mom sent back with you that you absolutely need to save, pour the rest of your almost-empty orange juice out of its oversized carton and into a small water bottle to preserve space. When you need to save some money on basic fridge necessities, take those water bottles to your cafeteria when you go to get lunch or dinner, and fill them with milk, juice, etc. They make great vodka holders to keep in dorm rooms, too – looks just like water! *wink wink*
3. Rinse out that coffee pot. Late night at the library and in need of your midnight ramen fix? Don’t wait forever to boil a bowl of water in your microwave. Take your coffee pot (this works better with a Keurig) and simply run water through without the actual coffee or Keurig cup. As fast as you’d get a hot cup of coffee, you’ll get a hot cup of water!
4. Make things colder, faster. We’ve all been to the point where you want something to drink and you realize you didn’t restock your fridge. Everything is warm and sitting under your lofted bed, and you’re too impatient to wait a few hours for it to get cold. Go grab a paper towel, run it under cold water, wrap it around the bottle/can/etc., and put it in the fridge. Minutes later, it’ll be cold enough to drink.
5. Makeshift speakers. If you’re having some people over before a night out, but your phone speakers just don’t cut it, grab a bowl or the red solo cups I know you have somewhere in your room, and plop your phone right in. The sound intensifies immediately, and you don’t have to rummage around your room to find an empty outlet you probably don’t have anyway.
6. Save your empty tissue boxes/ toilet paper rolls. If you’re in need of extra desk organization, empty tissue boxes are great for keeping your minuscule items stored and out of the way. Cut the top of your tissue box off, and organize all your clutter. This is great for girls to organize makeup and toiletries, and all the other stuff you don’t want lying around for everyone to see. Toilet paper rolls make for great pen/pencil holders, too! The chaos in your life will thank you, I promise.
7. Put your clear nail polish to use! Your closet may be filled with clothes that, somewhere in your intoxicated stupors and late night excursions, may have been damaged along the way. I’m well aware that the average college student doesn’t have a sewing kit at their disposal at all times, so now we can finally make use of our clear nail polish. Locate that little hole under the arm of your sweater or the missing bead on your collar and coat it with the polish. Make sure it dries the way you would want to wear it; e.g- don’t just coat an open hole in your sweater, coat it after you close it up and blow dry it on a cool setting to quicken up the process. Note: this doesn’t work for larger scale destructions…Then you’re sh*t out of luck.
8. Make use of your extra wire hangers. There is a good portion of individuals who prefer to spend their valuable time lazing in bed rather than hanging up their clothes. I mean, we all know they’ll just end up on their floor again the next time we’re searching our closet for something to wear. Instead of subjecting those hangers to a lonely life in the back of a closet, put them to work! Wire hangers make great paper towel holders for easy access and convenience. With a strong scissor, cut the bottom part of the hanger towards the middle. Then you can slide each end of the paper towel roll onto either side of the wire hanger.
There’s a world of opportunity out there to conveniently use things in ways in which they definitely weren’t intended. Bookmark this list for all your penny-pinching friends. Be cheap and be merry, my friends.
Featured Image from Anna Gutermuth.