Students look to Tik Tok for college life hacks

Microsoft Word takes notes for you and textbooks come free in these useful hacks on one of the world’s most popular apps.

In compliance with L.A. county’s indoor masking mandate, students at the University of Southern California wear face masks while studying at Wallis Annenberg Hall, Los Angeles, CA, on September 9, 2021. (Julia Zara)

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Tik Tok kept everyone entertained with non-traditional eight-count dances, storytimes, and surprising school life hacks.

Now that college campuses are back open, students are excited to whip out these hacks for a successful semester.

“Finding out that the updated [Microsoft] Word Doc has a microphone that can take notes for you when someone is talking has been a game-changer for me,” said Lupe LLerenas, an Annenberg graduate student. “I use it now for everything.”

Through Tik Tok, students have also learned helpful Microsoft Excel hacks.

Dornsife student Natalie Milliken said she recently came across an Excel planning hack that will be very useful this semester. Excel allows one to visually see all the assignment due dates in one space and put them in numerical order.

“It’s definitely hard to put in all your information in the beginning, but the end result sets you up for the whole semester,” Milliken said.

Some students are more traditional and prefer using calendars and planners. New York University master of social work graduate Shanice Bryant said she finds Tik Tok planner organizational tricks tremendously helpful.

“I like to organize my planner by color, it makes it easier to categorize my tasks by importance and priority,” Bryant said. “I also learned that using Google Calendar is easier because I’m able to sync my phone calendar and work calendar together.”

In addition to keeping organized, students have come across actual study methods like the 25/5 technique, also known as the Pomodoro Technique, that Annenberg graduate student Anaja Smith uses. This approach suggests you study hard for 25 minutes, then treat yourself to a 5 minutes break. You can repeat this method in intervals.

“I’ve seen [that this study hack] allows me to be more productive,” Smith said.

Drexel University chemical engineering student ‘23 Mia Pena said she found a hack on Tik Tok that could potentially save her money going into the new school year.

“Using to download free textbooks has been a lifesaver,” Pena said. “I found most of my textbooks on there by looking up the ISBN number on Google and then copying it to the website. I usually click the first link and download the whole book.”


i made a tiktok like this but reddit last semester& it got a decent amount of views so i figured i’d make one for libgen :) #college #collegehacks

♬ Aesthetic Girl - Yusei

Though Tik Tok may have gained popularity during quarantine, it will continue to enhance viewers’ daily schedules with a wide variety of hacks.