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How to hack your college life

Life happens. Sometimes things don’t work out the way you want, or maybe you’re not ready for what’s about to come along. With this column, we are bringing up a few issues every week college students tend to face and offering you simple life hacks for when Murphy’s Law is looking right at you from the other corner of the ring.
Problem: You’ve got a big presentation coming up, and you’re more than a little worried about it.
Solution: Practice it in advance, and have a plant in the audience. Most professors expect there to be a question-and-answer portion of a student presentation, so give a question to a friend in the class and have a memorized answer. When the question is asked, you’ll look knowledgeable about the topic.
Problem: Whenever you study, you get distracted by just about everything.
Solution: Use an app such as or to temporarily block distracting websites such as Facebook or Tumblr. Then, play non-English or orchestral music to dampen distracting noises without disrupting your concentration with understandable lyrics. And, take a 15-minute break every 50 to 90 minutes for maximum focus.
Problem: You’re apparently at the one restaurant left in America that doesn’t have free Wi-Fi.
Solution: If you have 3G, check on Foursquare for your location, then go to the comment sections. Someone has likely posted the Wi-Fi password before. If you don’t have any Internet access and need a quick answer to triumph in a tabletop debate, you can text Google at 46645.
Problem: You have a paper due tomorrow, and no time to get it checked over by the Writing Center.
Solution: Use an online app such as or They will check your writing for things such as spelling errors, run-on sentences, repetition, passive voice, readability, punctuation and plagiarism.

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