After high-school, many start their journey to the university. This is an exciting time for many, but can also be overwhelming for some. After being a student for a while at Sonans, I figured I should share some of my tips with you that can help you save money, get healthier and make your life easier while studying.
1 – Part time job
Getting a part-time job does not only give you extra cash but can also give you other benefits. For example, if you work at a bakery you may be able to bring home with you some leftover bread. Or if you’re working at a clothing store, you’ll probably get a discount when buying your clothes from there. Choosing your part-time job a little bit strategic can give you more money to spend on other things once the paycheck comes.
2 – Cheap foods
Some of the cheapest foods in the world are plants so if you wish to save money you can substitute some of the meat products. Buy a package of dried beans, chickpeas or lentils and boil everything in the package at once. Next, portion them up and freeze them into containers or some airtight plastic bags. You can then switch out the meat in, for instance, tacos, burgers, patès, loafs, pizzas, lasagnas, and more. Just be creative. The possibilities are endless.
Also, buy in bulks when you can and try and make as much of your food yourself. I always say: you can pay for your meal with either money or time. When you choose to prep your meals yourself, you’ll save a lot of money.
3 – Easy and quick meal preps
One thing I often do is to make a lot of food at once when I make dinner. That way there is always leftovers which I can use for lunch at school the day after. I also make sure to prepare the food before I go to bed. Then I can just grab and go once the morning comes.
Another easy thing you can do is bringing food and beverages with you that only needs warm water added, like noodles, dry coffee, oatmeal, etc. If your school doesn’t have either a microwave or hot water, you can bring some with you in a thermos.
4 – Free stuff
If you’re out of pans, utensils, or maybe you even need a fridge(!), you might consider hitting up “Craigslist” or other websites in your country that gives away free stuff. If someone buys a new bed, they will have to get rid of the old one. This can be a hassle for the new bed owner so what many people do is announce things they want to get rid of on a local website. For instance: “Want a free bed? Please pick it up at this address”. In Norway, we have “finn.no” for this and I’ve personally gotten a lot of cool stuff from there for free 😀
5 – Physical activity
Can’t afford a membership at your local training studio? Don’t worry, mother nature is right outside your door, waiting to be explored. Why not go for a hike, a swim or a run to get that heart pumping? If you have a bicycle use that to get around. Also, do little things everyday like taking the stairs instead of the elevator and walking to your school instead of taking the bus. If it’s too far away to walk, you can get off the bus a stop or two earlier. If you live in a rainy place, like I do, there are tons of YouTube-channels offering free workout videos, ranging from yoga to bodybuilding and everything in between. View cleaning the house and doing the dishes as opportunities to move your body. And lastly, if you have kids, climb trees and play games with them. Be creative and have fun!
6 – Prepare for class
Everyone learns differently but one thing that seems to be working for a lot of people, including me, is to read up on the topic you’re going to go through in class. When you’re prepared it’s easier to keep focused on what the teacher is talking about. Have a plan for what to do the whole week. That way, preparing for your classes will be easier. Also, do a small recap of what you went through last time before your lecture.
7 – I don’t understand
If there is something you don’t understand during the lecture, write it down! Then after the class is done, check what it meant. That way you don’t clutter up your thoughts with all the things you’re supposed to remember and you can focus on learning.
8 – Write a summary
If you have the time, write a summary of what you learned in your own words after class. Many people tend to forget what they learned post-lecture. If you write down your thoughts after the class then go through it before the next one, it might be easier to get the information to stick.
9 – Find your note-taking style
There are so many different ways to learn stuff and figuring out which one works best for you can be a challenge! I’ve noticed that a lot of people take notes during lecture, but that doesn’t always work for me. If I have math I usually take notes, but if I have English-class I usually don’t. I’ve noticed that for me, drawing what we’re talking and listening to the teacher seems to be working. Some people are very visual so if you need to watch a video of what you’re learning, you can hit up the YouTube-channel Crash Course or visit Khan Academy‘s website. They have so many different topics to choose from so just follow your heart’s desire.
10 – Take the weekends off!
It can be tempting to go to school during the Saturdays and Sundays, but if you do homework every single day, you might get burned out. Try and take some days off where you can focus on different things than school. That way when you come back on Monday, you’re revitalized and ready to start the week.