Being a student is more difficult and stressful than ever, and of course, even more expensive. With the high price, that needs to be paid back over the course of your whole working lifetime, you need to make sure you’re getting value for money out of your degree. While the stereotype for students is that they simply lie in bed until Countdown and then make their way to the pub, in these days, a wasted day costs a substantial amount of money, and every one needs to be used.

Today we’re presenting a few pro-tips for students to ensure they’re getting the most out of their studies, financially, socially and academically!

Staving Pennies

The cost of education, and keeping yourself fed and clothed, only seems to go up as you study. It’s vital to find ways to make your loan or grant go further to make sure you’re not living off nothing but rice in the last weeks of term!

Many local businesses will offer discounts to students – as an individual you may well be worried about making ends meet, but en masse you represent a tempting economic block!

Have a look at freshers fairs and see what your NUS card can get you discounts on. You may be surprised. Even student storage comes with a discount for when you need to pack your books away over the summer.

Pay Attention

You’ll have a lot you need to concentrate on as a student, but your attention span can only be stretched so far! The reason TED talks are a maximum of 18 minutes long is that scientists have discovered this is the best length of time for maintaining people’s attention. Any longer and it begins to wander.

Unfortunately, you’re not going to go to a single lecture or be set a single essay that you can complete inside 18 minutes. The good news is that you can stretch and strengthen your attention, like a muscle. The ‘Pomodoro technique’ is a great way to get things done: set a timer for 25 minutes and focus entirely on work for that time, then follow it with a 5 minute break to refresh your attention.

If you find it difficult to remain productive, begin with a slightly shorter time, and gradually lengthen it up and past 25 minutes to strengthen your attention span and ensure you have the mental power to get your essays done.

Saying No

University can be exhausting, all consuming experience, with students dealing with anxiety, depression and substance abuse problems as well as essay deadlines.

Learning to say no, to take the time for some rest and self-care when you need to is vital. Don’t feel you need to do everything: identify which invitations are going to turn into an unforgettably fun evening and which will merely give you an identikit hangover.