The Best Tips and Tricks to Make the Most of University Life

college student hanging out with friends outside

Your Christian college experience is full of new adventures, a solid spiritual grounding, and the chance to explore a meaningful life path. You may also feel overwhelmed with so many responsibilities and options. Fortunately, implementing a few of the best student life hacks, tips, and tricks can make it easier to enjoy your time in college.

Life Hacks for Students to Make Your University Days Easier

Christian Life Tips and Tricks

Being a Christian student at a Christian university doesn’t automatically ensure a strong walk in your faith. Seeking fellowship and wisdom to strengthen your relationship with the Lord is important. These tips will help you stay intentional in seeking God and growing in your faith through the demands and challenges of your college years.

  • Get plugged into a local church. While developing Christian community on the DBU campus is valuable, it is also vitally important to your spiritual life that you get connected to a local church in your first year. The local church, biblically, is the primary place God has designed for you to gather for corporate worship and praise, to strengthen your faith with others, and to serve fellow believers with your spiritual gifts. DBU has a strong partnership with many local churches in the DFW area that DBU students have joined throughout the DFW area that are a light to their communities and on mission to reach the world for Christ.
  • Join or start a prayer group. DBU's Prayer Ministry provides prayer intercession for our entire community, but it can be meaningful to be a part of a smaller prayer group on campus with whom you can connect on a deeper level. By surrounding yourself with trusted and supportive friends, you can weather the obstacles that come into your path with a greater sense of peace.
  • Seek a mentor. We all need mentors in our lives who are further down life’s path to support and encourage us, to offer biblical wisdom, and to keep us accountable to walking in faith. DBU’s Center for Mentoring connects students with faculty and staff who will walk with you through your college journey, guide you in seeking God’s will, and help prepare you for navigating life after college.
  • Set weekly intentions based on your personal Bible study. Growing in spiritual community with others is necessary, but moments of personal solitude with God in prayer and Bible study are equally important. Go beyond your weekly Chapel attendance and commit to a goal for your spiritual life every week. Keep a prayer journal and follow a Bible reading plan. The Dwell App and YouVersion Bible App are great tools for this. Writing out your intentions and goals will help you stay disciplined if things get hectic and remind you to stay committed to making time to grow in your personal relationship with God.

Money Saving Hacks

As a college student, you may be managing your own funds for the first time. These money-saving life hacks for students can make it easier to stretch every dollar until the next payday.

  • Get a part-time job that offers perks. If you’ll be working in college, look for a job that offers benefits beyond the paycheck. Working in food service or retail can really pay off if you get a discount on things you’d buy regardless.
  • Live on campus. Minimize your commute time daily by living on campus. You may even be close enough to nap between classes. Talk about the ultimate life hack for students. DBU Housing has on-campus options for every stage of your college career.
  • Study at the library to save on energy costs. Between your computer, phone, and lights, the energy costs of studying late every day can add up. Take advantage of the library’s electricity that you’ve already paid for with student fees!
  • Grocery shop with a cashback app. Even if you have a meal plan on campus, you’ll be making grocery store runs for essential snacks. Download a cashback app to scan receipts and get rewards.
  • Choose on-campus dining based on weekly specials. DBU Dining options are plentiful, and many have weekly specials. Make a list at the beginning of the year, then plan your meals accordingly.
  • Create a budget. College is a great time for you to start learning how to budget if you have not already started. We recently shared Budgeting Tips for College Students, which provides students with a step-by-step guide for getting started with budgeting.
  • Participate in on-campus events and activities. Most Student Life events and International Student Events are free, including on-campus Athletic events. Another great opportunity is signing up for an intramural sport.

Academic Life Tips

Some of the best life hacks for students apply to how you approach studying and classes. Master these, and you’ll have a successful time in school.

  • Use a time management app or focus timer. You’ll juggle many competing priorities in college, so don’t rely on your multitasking to make it through. Use a time management app or set a focus timer on your devices to ensure you devote plenty of attention to studying. One popular time-blocking method suggests 25-minute intervals for optimal efficiency.
  • Use textbook reference lists to find more sources. If you’re struggling to find research material or additional reading, start with a textbook reference section! You can even pop into the university bookstore to browse any textbooks you didn’t purchase.
  • Schedule your first class for the same time every semester. Sleeping in as late as possible might be tempting, but setting a consistent routine will make it easier to stay focused and awake.
  • Add blocked time for studying into your schedule. Planning ahead gives you the opportunity to create uninterrupted time for studying. When you know on which days you have already designated time for studying and you also have the location picked out, you increase your chances of following through with studying. Grab a friend to join you and to hold each other accountable.
  • Create a plan for finals week. Learn how to plan for final exams and projects from DBU graduates who shared their tips for persevering through finals and finishing strong in their academic journey.

Daily Life Hacks for Students

Taking control of your daily habits and using school resources are the student life hacks that will help make your days run smoothly.

  • Buy extra-long power cords, and carry an extra. The location and availability of outlets on college campuses are always a gamble. Having extra-long cords will come in handy.
  • Write daily goals on post-its near the door. Having simple, brightly-colored daily reminders of your priorities is the easiest way to stay on track. Put these notes right by the door so you can grab the day’s plan on your way out.
  • Add the Student Life page to your phone home screen as a widget. You can easily add widgets to your home screen to access webpages quickly. Add DBU Student Life so you never miss an event announcement or chance to connect with others on campus.
  • Save important campus numbers under "DBU _____" on your phone. It will be much easier to find a number when you need it, and you’ll quickly see that it’s a campus phone if you receive an incoming call.
  • Take advantage of free exercise options. You might feel like walking between classes all day is enough of a workout, but the daily stresses of university life mean taking care of your health is more important than ever. Use the Fitness Center, go on a run outside, or join an intramural sports team.
  • Find a hobby. Having a hobby in college helps with many things, including stress relief, personal growth, and improved physical and mental health.
  • Include rest in your routine. College is exciting, but you also want to avoid burnout. As Christians, we are called to Sabbath. It's good to find ways to slow down and trust that the Lord will provide. Rest is good for your physical, spiritual, and mental health.

Planning ahead and finding clever hacks is vital to make your time at DBU more successful. This is just one way to make the most of the path before you. 

"Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, - Colossians 3:23 (ESV)

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