1. Walking is the best-and usually quickest-mode of transportation. Plus, walking to class and/or work or other activities will save time otherwise spent at the gym.
2. If the dining hall isn’t serving something that suits your fancy, then be creative. Bananas and yogurt, a side of veggies and potatoes, or soup and some crackers can all make passable meals in a pinch. Most dining halls allow for some creativity.
3. If you’re really sick, bypass the health center. Nearby walk-in clinics are much more reliable and will get you in and out (and cared for) quicker. If transportation is an issue, then the health center will certainly do, but some are notorious for handing out incorrect diagnoses. Be smart about your condition and the level of care you need. This is one area you don’t want to skimp.
4. Most likely, you pay quite a bit for tuition, so take advantage of what you can: the gym, climbing wall, concerts, forums, library, copy centers, resources, city buses, etc. 98% of what you need is usually on campus, so try there first before spending more money (except for medical help…).
5. Now’s your chance to waste your time under the guise of education. Take surfboard shaping classes, kickboxing, nature hiking, or some esoteric course that interests you, all for credit.
6. If you can, study abroad. Having a perfectly good reason to spend three months in another country is a no-brainer.
7. Work on-campus. Trying to nail down a part-time job can be tricky in college, and many students get stuck with odd hours, leaving little time for homework and socialization. University organizations tend to be more relaxed about hours and will let you off the hook for academic holidays and breaks. Pay is usually equivalent to what you’d earn at a comparable job, and you don’t have to worry about transportation.
8. Explore. Some students go their entire college careers without discovering hidden corners, buildings, and features of their schools. Many universities have gardens, sitting spots tucked away, art pieces, or walking trails for students to enjoy. Don’t just powerwalk to and from class with your head down! Take a warm afternoon to stroll the campus at your leisure, and you may be surprised at what you’ll find.
9. Don’t pay for a tutor. Most universities have extensive resources for students at no cost (or very minimal costs). There are plenty of options, from faculty tutors to grad students and even peers that are willing to take a few hours each week to help you understand a tricky physics concept. Even better, visit your professor’s office hours first. You pay them to teach you, so take advantage of their wisdom both in and out of class.
10. Get to know your professors. Not in a creepy way, but be open to the opportunities they may grant you. Your teachers are in their positions for a reason, and usually have extensive networks of colleagues they can connect you with in the future. Being able to have a solid rapport with a past professor and call them up can land you a job, a grant, a recommendation letter, or an incredible opportunity even after you’ve graduated.