Life hacks for college in Manhattan

(Graphic by Cathrine Eldridge | Collegian Media Group)

Throughout my years at Kansas State, I’ve picked up some Manhattan life hacks that have changed the way I live my college life. Here are my tips to make your time here more meaningful and fun — for seasoned and rookie Wildcats alike.

Buy a film camera or a point-and-shoot. The tangible memories you capture are more precious than the millions on your phone — you won’t regret the purchase.

Say hello to kids on college tours. You could be the reason they choose K-State.

Use ChatGPT to edit — but not to write — your papers and resumes.

Choose a podcast or audiobook and only allow yourself to listen to it on your way to class. You’ll start looking forward to your campus walk.

The secret Taco Lucha menu can be found on Pinterest.

Host your hometown friends for a weekend. They should meet your college friends before your wedding.

Don’t buy the latest trendy water bottle. It’ll be out in a month and you’ll probably dent it.

It is okay to say no. People respect you for having boundaries.

When you meet someone new, put how or where you met them by their name in your phone. This helps you remember which Katie is which.

Get a refillable coffee tumbler at Bluestem Bistro. It’s $20, but if you plan on drinking coffee or tea more than twenty times this year, the purchase will have paid for itself. You’ll get 25% off other drinks as well, which is yet another perk.

Be kind to your parents. They mean well and sometimes have really good advice.

Always do the “Pizza Shuttle Drop” before eating Pizza Shuttle pizza. While in the box, flip your pizza over and drop it from approximately 6 feet in the air. Most of the grease will stick to the top of the box, and you can consume your pizza guilt-free. 

Don’t go home every weekend. Time with your college friends is precious and you can’t get it back.

Mobile app grocery pickup will save you so much time and prevent you from buying things you don’t need at the store.

Every time you’re tempted to get on TikTok, open Canvas first. 

Create a weekly tradition with your friends that isn’t centered around drinking. Trivia Tuesdays, SINGO or Bring Your Own Takeout nights are all great options.

Have your mom write down your favorite recipes. When you’re feeling homesick, you can eat your mom’s food. 

If you need a quiet place to study, try the stacks in Hale, which can be found on floors 1, 2 and 3.

Visit for specials, meal deals and events happening every day in Aggieville.

Get a group of friends together to do a high school dress swap. Everyone gets a new dress to wear to formal events and no one has to pay a cent.

Use your free Lyft passes through K-State and your free counseling sessions through Lafene.

Organize dorm floor dinners. Don’t be afraid to be the initiator.

Reach out to your friends from freshman year, even if you’re in different friend groups now. They saw you in a vulnerable place as you discovered yourself post-high school; what a special bond to share with someone.

Go get the freebies at the K-State basketball games. Plus, you’ll get points toward your tier for the game against the University of Kansas.

Whenever you start a new lease, draw up a contract with your roommates outlining the rules. Everyone must sign it, ensuring each party is clear on expectations.

Develop relationships with your professors. Not only do they want to support you, but they might also be the people writing recommendation letters for you. 

Save your college t-shirts, even if you don’t think you’ll wear them again. You’ll want them when you’re 50.