‘College Hacks’: hacked to pieces

As college students, we are always trying to simplify our lives. We look for life hacks and shortcuts everywhere we can. One place you do not have to look is in webmaster Keith Bradford’s new book “College Hacks.”

Bradford compiled a 10-chapter book, complete with illustrations, about things every college student needs to know. Some of these college hacks are incredibly useful, others – not so much.

Some of these college life hacks are out of date, even though the book just came out on Aug. 1. If you are anything other than a freshman incapable of figuring out how to open an Internet browser, you can save yourself $14.99.

Bradford separates each chapter by theme. Such themes include: “Dorm Room Survival,” “Party Hacks” and “Technology.”

Within each of these chapters, there are a few nuggets worth repeating. In “Dorm Room Survival,” the most valuable life hack is to buy a plunger before you need a plunger. That is absolutely sound advice that you may not think about.  

But on the converse, this chapter also stated that to turn off a roommate’s annoying alarm clock on his or her phone, you can call the phone, and the alarm will shut off. This is outdated. Newer phones will return to the alarm mode after the call has ended.

A few more duds: “Put pancake mix in an empty ketchup bottle for a clean, no mess experience.”

Bradford, you grossly overestimate the difficulty of funneling pancake batter into a ketchup bottle.

College students don’t exactly have funnels hiding in their dorm rooms, not to mention that ketchup smell never really leaves the ketchup bottle. Enjoy your ketchup-scented pancakes.

Similarly, “Put your sweatshirt on backward and use the hood as your own personal popcorn bowl.” We all love to have hair in our popcorn and butter in our hoodies.

“If you talk into the microphone instead of typing in Snapchat, you can send longer messages to your friends.”

Well, this would be a college hack if there weren’t already a feature on a cell phone to send verbal messages without a time limit.

Perhaps the greatest college hack in the book is an illustration titled: “Tape thumbtacks to your snooze button, and you will never be late for your 8 a.m. class again.”

Just like it sounds, the illustration is of an alarm clock with thumbtacks taped to it. Everyone knows it is better to possibly give yourself nerve damage than to be late for class.

The real college hacks that you should know are as follows:

  1. Google everything. We live in the age of information. If you have experienced slight inconvenience, a quick Google search can easily pull up how to solve it, a blog to make you laugh about it, and probably a YouTube video of a cat experiencing the same issue.
  1. Get enough sleep. So much of your college stress can be relieved by catching a few extra Z’s. Do not be afraid to take naps or go to sleep early. This college hack will help you retain better time management skills that are necessary in the real world.
  1. There are no real shortcuts in college. You will have to write the paper, and you will have to take a class that you dread. Accept responsibility for the things you cannot change, and execute them with grace. Dealing with problems head-on is the only way to solve them, and these skills will help you get ahead in the long run.

That being said, look to Bradford’s book for a quick laugh, but little more. The real college hacks are learned through experience.


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