True Statement: College isn’t easy!

So, you want to have every advantage possible when studying, grinding, scraping and clawing your way to a degree. The landscape of free tools, resources, tips and tricks changes from year to year and here, so we put together a solid list of recommendations to help you through your next semester. Some of these college hacks take advantage of on-campus resources, while others are tips for making the most of your off-campus life. If you use these hacks, you’ll definitely have an easier semester.

Here are our 8 College Life Hacks for 2020

1. Find Good Tutors

We can’t emphasize this enough. The very instant that you feel like you might need the slightest bit of help, you should contact the department of the course you are taking and ask them for a list of tutors that can help. First ask if there are free tutors. A lot of departments have grad students whose job it is to off free help to undergrads taking courses in their department. If you can’t find a free tutor, you’ll be amazed at the high quality help you can get for $10-$15/hr. *Don’t wait until you fall behind to get your tutor. If you are taking a course that you struggled during its precursor, just start the semester off knowing you should get a tutor. 

2. Use Your Instructor’s/Professor’s Office Hours 

This can be as useful, if not better than tutoring. Most departments require that the professor/instructor maintain regularly scheduled office hours and you would be amazed few people actually take advantage of that free one-on-one time. Find out what the office hours are early on in the semester and force yourself to visit during office hours at least a couple of times during the semester. Here are a few things you might be able to do during office hours: 

  • Ask questions that you might have about your current standing in class
  • ask for clarification on class policies
  • get additional help on difficult topics from class
  • Get help on papers or other assignments
  • If you don’t need help, simply stop by to say “hi” and get some face time. 

3. Youtube it!

Youtube has changed the game for learning on your own. If there is a difficult topic you are covering in class, I guarantee there is a youtube video that will help you understand it better. Youtube definitely should not be your only resource when trying to research or learn more about a topic – since there is a lot of inaccurate content mixed in with the good content. But you can definitely use youtube to help clarify specific questions you have in math, history, philosophy, psychology and really pretty much any are of study. 

4. Buy/Rent Used Textbooks 

Your main goal should be to NEVER buy a new textbook. When you enroll in a class, immediately try to find out what books will be required. If the course requires a book that has just released a new edition (or a first release), then ask the professor if the previous edition will still work. If you MUST use a new text book, look into a textbook rental service, like Chegg or Amazon. Also, find out if a digital copy of the textbook is available and if it can be used. The earlier you ask these questions, the better chance you’ll have of finding the used version at your local campus bookstore or online. 

5. Go to Department Clubs and Student Org Meet-ups

Many departments have social meet-ups for students that are majoring or intend to major in their area. Many times these department clubs will meet at a local restaurant, at a professor’s house, at a pub or or somewhere on campus. The vibe is usually chill, meant to really just let everyone meet each other and hang out. You likely have similar interests with each other and could develop long-lasting friends from these meet-ups. Sometimes more specific topics will be planned for these meetings and other times you might be able to casually bring up ideas or topics that are particularly interesting or challenging in a course you are currently in. The club members may have feedback or might be able to offer help when needed. 

6. Join an Intramural Team

Whether you played sports before college or if you haven’t really ever played sports, there is likely an intramural sport or game for you. Intramural sports are a great way to challenge yourself to get better at something, while meeting new people! Currently UCO has 7 sports listed on their intramural page: flag football, basketball, volleyball, futsal, table tennis, dodgeball and, even Nerf Wars, ha. You can join a team, start your own team or sign up as a free agent for all these sports. 

7. Use the Wellness Center 

Stay in shape this semester! It will help you feel better and think better. Bad habits start to creep in during college and healthy ones seem to slip away. Be proactive about maintaining your healthy lifestyle and it will pay off! Schedule yourself a couple of days per week in the UCO Wellness Center. Whether you are ready to go full beast mode in the weight room or if you are just needing a little calm cardio to help you relax, the wellness center is a great resource for you. Check out the UCO Wellness Center HERE and see their hours HERE.

8. Find the right place to Live  (as well as the right roommates)

The friendships and memories that you create while you are in college will last a lifetime. So, make sure that you are surrounding yourself with people that you like in a place that is comfortable and conducive to the type of student experience that you want. There are definitely different approaches to student housing – ranging from living in by yourself on campus to living with 6 friends in a bustling shared house off-campus, you’ll need to find the right vibe for you. Since UCO freshman are not required to live on campus, you’ll have housing choices right out of the gate. So, consider these questions:

  • Do you want roommates or do you want to live alone?
  • Do you prefer a quiet, study-friendly environment or are you looking for a more frenetic social environment?
  • Do you want to live on campus or off campus?
  • How close do you need to live to campus?
  • What kind of lease terms work for you and what can you afford to pay?
  • Do you have friends that you want to live with already or are you wanting to meet and live with new people?

Those are a few questions that can help point you in the right direction for your housing search. Nothing is better than having a harmonious living situation at college, but nothing can ruin a semester like having the wrong roommates or living in the wrong spot. So, start thinking about your living plans now!

We hope at least one of these 8 College Life Hacks will make a big difference for you this upcoming semester. 

At Central Plaza Student Housing, we are dedicated to helping all of our residents get the most out of their college experiences. We want you to be successful in class and successful in your personal life. If you have any questions about student life or student housing, don’t hesitate to reach out to our staff and either we will chat with you about whatever it is that you have questions about or we will help you find another student/mentor to talk with you. Consider number 8 on this list – ‘’Finding the Right Housing” – if you are already a Central Plaza tenant, you might already love your living situation, but if not, let us know and we’ll help you find a room and roommates that you love! If you are considering moving to Central Plaza Student Housing, give us a call today and we’ll talk to you about leasing options, pricing, roommates and all the great perks of be a Central Plaza Student Housing tenant.