College survival tips to help you save money and reduce stress

College may well be one of the first great adventures of your life, but it can also be stressful on multiple levels. Meeting new people, learning new things and taking responsibility for your own life can all feel like a lot to juggle. Fortunately, it’s possible to manage the many stresses of college life so that you can focus on all the positives — including laying the groundwork for a successful professional career after you graduate.

Whether you’re heading off to college for the first time or heading back for your final year, these survival tips can help you save money, reduce stress and enjoy the year to its fullest:

* Before heading to school, make sure your tech is up to date. From keeping in touch with family and friends to accessing lessons and submitting assignments, technology is an integral part of college life. If your devices are outdated, it’s worth it to invest in the fastest, most reliable and flexible new tech that you can afford. Look for devices that are easily portable for when you’re walking around campus, but that also have features that will easily transition from studying to entertainment.

* Save time and money on school supplies — you’ll feel less stressed about shopping when you can skip the lines. Online resources like Amazon Student make it quick, easy and cost-effective to buy all the things you need for success at school. From ramen noodles and laptops to headphones and textbooks, you can get millions of products delivered in two days. Amazon Student also has exclusive deals, unlimited streaming of movies, TV shows, and songs and free unlimited photo storage. When you sign up, you get the first six months free, and after that, you get 50 percent off the price of an Amazon Prime membership.

* Take care of your health. College life is super busy, but it’s important to take time to maintain your physical and mental wellbeing. You’ll be exposed to more germs at school, prone to getting less sleep, may have to rise at the crack of dawn for early morning classes, and could find yourself forgetting to eat a meal or two throughout the day. Slow down a bit. Get a flu shot and get plenty of rest (go to bed early if you have to). Keep a first aid kit with basic over-the-counter meds in your dorm. Stay hydrated and try to eat at least one really healthy meal per day.

* It’s normal to feel homesick sometimes, even if you’re an upper classman. Battle homesickness by texting regularly with your parents, siblings and friends (not while driving, please). Take some special items from home that make you feel warm and safe — the pillow off your bed, your favorite sports memento or favorite family picture, or even a card spritzed with your mom’s favorite perfume. That little bit of home can go a long way toward making you more comfortable at school.

* Streamline your studying. Textbooks are expensive and heavy to carry around. Instead, try renting or buying eTextbooks on Amazon. You get up to 80 percent off print list prices for rentals between 30 to 360 days and up to 60 percent off print list price for purchases. Choosing eTextbooks lets you spend money where you want, take your entire library with you wherever you go, and access your eTextbooks through the free Kindle reading app on any mobile device. With eTextbooks, you have access to tools like multi-color highlighting and search by keyword, digital notes to help stay organized at exam time and flash cards to quickly review terms, concepts and definitions in each chapter. On the other hand, if you prefer to do your studying with a highlighter in hand, Amazon offers cheap new and used print books to rent or buy. When you’re done with your textbooks, you can trade them in and receive a gift card for up to 80 percent off the books’ value.


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