How to make the most of your university life as a Broke-Ass Student

broke, broke-ass students, college, student life, students

Hey Broke-Ass Students! We’ve compiled a list of our most effective tips and tricks for you to make the most of your student life. We’ve found that there’s nothing worse than being unprepared for an assessment or exam, so from our own personal experiences we have written this comprehensive list for you.

  1. Get a calendar and a diary

In order to be organised for the semester, you’re going to need to write down all your important dates somewhere where you can see them. Not only will this help you to keep the important dates fresh in your mind, but you’ll also be able to schedule your life around them. We recommend putting the calendar above your desk where you study, and keeping your diary in your bag. The best diary’s for uni are the ones that display the week as opposed to those that have entire pages for a day so you can keep track of what’s going on.

  1. DO YOUR READINGS

This one seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how much they help you organise your ideas and thoughts prior to assignments. If you can’t do an entire week’s worth of readings, write down 10 key points from that week’s work (including lectures). This will help you easily find notes from that week when it comes down to exam time.

  1. Start thinking about your assignments early

Nothing worse than the night before an assignment where you have no idea what to write, as well as no creative ideas. Be prepared and jot down a few ideas two weeks before your assignment is due. This will ensure that you have a clearer flow when it comes to crunch time.

  1. Make the most of your time at uni

Ask questions, go to lectures and join societies. If you find it hard to physically make yourself go to lectures, organise to meet your friends for coffee and lunch. Get a lecture buddy and force each other to go!

  1. Have a good time and enjoy yourself

Uni isn’t forever, and we’re all here for each other during the good times and the bad. Make the most of your free time and relaxed timetable while it lasts. Being social and friendly will ensure you make some great uni friends for life.

-GL

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How to land that coveted job

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1. Before you even begin the search, clean up your social media accounts

Yes, that is right fellow Broke-Ass Students. We strongly suggest you trawl through all your old tweets, Facebook photos and even Google your name a few times to see what comes up. We suggest using the rule ‘What would Grandma think’. Unless Granny is a party animal herself, you can probably untag yourself from those sweaty club photos from last week at 3AM.  The company will look you up, so make sure your pages and accounts are all squeaky clean and professional.

2. Do some thorough research on your company

Not only will this help you write your cover letter and the first interview, but it will help you gain a better understanding of what the company values are – and whether you would be a good fit. It will also help you to answer questions such as ‘why do you want to work for us’. Additionally, you will be able to use your research into how to present yourself. You should look up the company pages, as well as the executives and employees in your desired team. LinkedIn and Twitter are great places to start for this.

3. Make sure your resume and cover letter are error-free

Nothing screams ‘Do not hire me’ more than a resume full of spelling mistakes! Although this seems painfully obvious, recruiters say that nothing will make them throw a resume in the bin faster than one with errors. If you need help, get a friend that is highly attentive to detail and spelling to look over it for you.

4. Reply to all communication promptly

If the recruiter e-mails you saying you have an interview (hooray – congratulations to you!) reply as quickly and efficiently as you can to set up a date. Make sure that you confirm the place and time of the interview a few days prior to the date, just so you don’t get caught out at the wrong place.

5. Be immaculately (and appropriately) presented for the interview!

Make sure that for whichever industry you are applying for, that you are dressed appropriately. Don’t wear a suit to a barista interview (unless it is a specifically tuxedo-only exclusive coffee shop – but we doubt it) and don’t wear a t-shirt and jeans to a paralegal interview. Make sure that your hair is well groomed, that your clothes are ironed and you are wearing your best smile.

6. Ask lots of questions!

Asking questions demonstrates that you are interested in the company. Questions we suggest asking are:

  • What is the company culture like?
  • What is a challenge I may face in this situation, and what is the best way to overcome it?
  • What do you enjoy about working for this company?
  • What are you looking for in the ideal candidate?
  • What does an average day in this position look like?
  • What are the opportunities for growth in the company?
  • Where is the company headed?
  • Are there any weaknesses in my application? How could I overcome these?
  • When should I expect to hear from you?

Don’t forget to ask some industry-specific questions. Remember to thank the interviewer for their time.

6. Follow up

Ensure that you follow up directly after your interview. Remind the interviewer (or HR recruiter) of your main points, and state that you look forward to hearing from them shortly.

7. What’s next?

If you do get the job (Or have a second interview)- CONGRATULATIONS! You have moved past Broke-Ass Student status and are now into the real world!

If you don’t – Don’t feel disappointed, you tried your best. There will be other opportunities. Make sure to e-mail the company, thank them for their time and notify them that you would definitely be open to any future career opportunities with them. You are awesome and an opportunity is sure to arise soon!

-GL

10 Money-Saving Life Hacks Every Broke-Ass Student Should Know

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1. PAY WITH CASH – that thing called “science” has shown that people are more likely to buy something when using a credit or debit card instead of cash. Try taking out a (reasonable) lump sum of cash at the beginning of each week and only using that for the whole week instead of your card.

2. Before you go shopping consult a coupon website – yes we get that even though your broke as shit you do not want to look like a stingy hobo but WHO CARES? The stores put out these coupons for a reason, for YOU the consumer, to go to their store and use them. Our recommendations – Groupon, Scroupon, The Living Social.

3. Spotify – If you don’t have an account get one NOW. Spotify is possibly the greatest digital music service you could ever download. Imagine having a music library that has pretty much every single song you could ever want. You can get the free version on your computer and mobile (but listen to a couple of ads every so often) or you can get the paid version. You can also create collaborative playlists with friends. Did someone say Mexican Dance Party Remix?

4. Buy a coffee machine – Okay so this may seem like a huge amount of money to fork out but think of it as a long term investment, you can buy a semi-decent coffee machine for just $150. Buy a reusable cup and you’ll also be saving the environment while saving your wallet.

5. Eat like a vegetarian at least once a week – Already I can hear some of you saying “pffft as ifff” BUT I promise you that you can have a cheap, tasty-ass meal without meat. Do it twice a week and you’ll notice the difference in your grocery bill. Head to the FOOD section of the blog to find cheap and easy recipes (both vegetarian and non-vegetarian for those who insist on eating meat daily).

6. GUMTREE, GUMTREE, GUMTREE- Whatever you need check Gumtree first. White goods (washers, dryers & fridges) are well priced and usually still in pretty good knick.

7. Use generic prescriptions – So many prescriptions come in generic form now. You can save HEAPS by using them—just check with your doctor first.

8. Learn to say NO – do you really need that extra large jar of Nutella to get you through the week? Enough said.

9. Buy neutral clothing – Wearing black, white, and grey clothes means that you can mix and match easier without having too many different outfits.

10. Daily deals – Research to see where does cheap steaks on Monday, $3 beers on Thursday, 2 for one Tacos on Friday, and student discounts… Well, I guess that’s what we’re here for. Check here regularly fellow Broke-Ass Students.

-KL