10 Life Hacks Every Student Should Know

It’s back to school time again, so we thought we should share a bit of advice and wisdom for all you students out there.  School is a time for fun, sure, but it’s also time to start thinking about and working on your future. So with that in mind, here’s some of our favorite advice that every student should know.

Relax

The pressure you’ll feel is self or community imposed. All the decisions you think are completely life-changing are easily fixable if you keep your head about you and don’t fall for the trap that the major or direction you choose now is what you have to do for the rest of your life. Take your time, you don’t have to figure it all out at once.

Start good habits now

Good habits will absolutely carry through long past graduation day. So start taking your mental and physical health seriously. Work on things like eating better, getting enough sleep, reading more, and putting a productivity workflow into place (check out GTD, Pomodoro Technique, Bullet Journaling). Learn how to find your motivation and use it.

Learn how to be a good conversationalist

This skill is something that will be useful for the rest of your life. Be genuinely interested to learn about other people. Whether you’re making new friends or using your conversation skills for networking, being confident and comfortable making conversation is really important.

Internships

If you’re in college, even as a freshman – start looking into company internships NOW. They will show you what it’s really like to work for a certain type of company or industry. Use these as a try-out for potential careers. You can also talk to your guidance counselors and career centers and ask if they have any specific programs for this.

Learn money management

While it’s not taught in most schools, learning how to budget is huge. Look up personal finance (try Reddit) and how even putting $20 or $100 a month now will give you financial freedom much earlier in life – even if you’re working in a low-wage job. Don’t take on unnecessary debt. It’s easy to get sucked into putting things on a credit card, so don’t do it unless you have the means to pay it off everything month. Also, build credit as early and quickly as possible by getting a credit card and only adding 1 autopay item to it that you automatically pay off each month. If you’re worried about yourself, send it somewhere – parent, friend, etc. – if you’d be tempted to use it for unnecessary spending.

Evaluate your career/life goals

Think hard, do you actually need to be in school right now? Trades pay incredibly well and most don’t require college degrees. Your late teens and early twenties will see lots of changes. Not sure if school is for you? Take a gap year and go explore career opportunities! Education is important but school will always be there for you when the time is right.

Take responsibility for your decisions

You don’t get to blame your parents for your problems anymore. As you come of adult age, it’s time to be responsible for your thoughts and actions. You can’t blame anyone else for what happens to you from here on out. It’s up to you now to make your life as good or bad as you want it. If things aren’t going well in your life, start with numero uno and figure out what’s happening before jumping to blame outside factors. You dictate the way your life goes and you have the opportunity to make it what you want. The world doesn’t care about you enough to cause you to fail.

Evaluate all your friendships

The friendships you make during your school years will often impact your life in negative and positive ways you won’t foresee now. Toxic people can hinder you from being the best version of yourself and we talked about taking responsibility for everything earlier. Now it’s time to let that also dictate who you surround yourself with. As the saying goes, you’re the sum of the 5 people you hang with the most. So surround yourself with only good people.

Learn tact

Saying inappropriate things to people is something that’ll be harder to shake as you get older. Follow the 2-minute rule. Listen for approximately two minutes before interjecting into a conversation. You convey tact, have context of the subject matter, and understand the contributor’s style. Tact is a huge part of those conversationalist skills we mentioned earlier.

Get to know your professors

In your later years, good relationships with professors can lead to recommendations, research, and job opportunities. Don’t think your adjunct professors can’t help you, too. A lot of them actually work in the industry you’re interested in and teach as a side gig. Most faculty members are delighted when students visit them to ask about the readings, the course topic, or just to get to know them. Professors are required to hold office hours for students: your tuition is paying for that kind of contact. So use it!

You’ve entered an exciting and formative time in your life, so make the most of it! As we said, setting yourself up for success in the future starts now.

10 Biggest Style Mistakes Young Men Make

As a stylist, my clients range anywhere from teenagers all the way up to men in their 60s and 70s, and these are 10 mistakes I’ve noticed with my younger clients when I first start working with them. The road to finding your own personal style is a long one but keep these in mind as you’re figuring out your own path!

10. Ill-fitting clothing

Whether you’re on the thin side or are a bigger guy, your clothing should always fit properly. A lot of times many young men try and over-compensate in either direction to make up for what their body type is, but don’t do it.  Big or small, proper fit is always king.

9. Oversized ties and knots

Buying a tie that’s too wide and using massive knots will only serve to make you look like a little kid, so make sure you use a knot that’s proportionally sized for your frame and suit.

8. Trying to be a hypebeast all day, everyday

Focusing solely on brands and labels plastered all over you is only going to send the signal that you’re dressing for the wrong reasons.  Be judicious in your brand choices and know that understated is always going to look good.

7. Dressing well means being uncomfortable

Thinking that you can’t dress well and be comfortable at the same time is something that I get all the time and it drives me crazy! A properly fitting shirt or jeans should always be comfortable and flattering.  Are they going to be as comfortable as baggy sweats and an old t-shirt? No, but ultimately if you want to be taken seriously you should always be cultivating and presenting a thoughtfully stylish appearance to the world, not one focused only on comfort.

6. Buying all statement items

This is a problem for most men looking to dress better, but more often with younger men because I notice they confuse fashion with style. Fashion pieces can be loud and make a statement, but that doesn’t make you stylish. Here or there, sure, it’s fine, but it’s important to always have basic, foundational items that are stylish and versatile as well.

5. Not having a foundational wardrobe

Speaking of the foundational basics, it’s critical to always start with the basics and get the right jeans, t-shirts, button-ups, shoes, and sweaters first. Don’t underestimate the style and power of a sharp, basic wardrobe as the building blocks of great personal style.

4. Dressing exactly like your friends and not trying different things

Going along with following hypebeast trends, I see a lot of men fall prey to dressing just like everyone else in their squad. You’re young, have fun with your clothing and style and embrace your individuality. Figuring out what looks good on you and makes you feel best is an important step in figuring out your personal style.

3. Looking good is expensive

One of my least favorite misconceptions about style is that unless you’re rich, you can’t look good, and that money matters in dressing well. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Looking good on a budget is absolutely doable, no matter how low the budget, and it just takes some knowledge and focusing on well-fitting, basic items.

2. Mixing too many patterns and colors

Just like focusing only on statement pieces, many younger men confuse being loud and wearing excessive patterns with being stylish. But in reality it’s just the opposite. Focus on more subtle details and cohesive pieces to give your outfits the best look.

1. Not caring how you look

This applies not just to clothing, but to grooming and hygiene as well. If you focus on looking relatively clean and well-groomed you’ve beaten a majority of young men out there.  Anyone that makes fun of you for caring about your appearance is a lost cause, so don’t even worry about the haters.

As I said earlier, don’t forget that personal style is a journey and like any journey, it’s bound to have a few bumps along the way, the important part is learning from your mistakes and figuring out what works best just for you.