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I am convinced that there is a place for everyone on TikTok. With so many users, there is bound to be a niche of videos that call to you. Because the videos are so addicting, I find myself spending a bit (or a lot) more time on the app than I should. I convince myself, however, that this wasted time is actually okay because every once in a while, I come across some educational or helpful content. Here is a list of hacks that TikTok has given me that I get to now share with you. And these are actual changes I have adapted into my life, so these hacks are the best of the crop.

Chicken Tender Tendons

Instead of digging through a chicken tender with a knife to find the tendon and remove it, we can just use a fork. Place the tip of the tendon between two tines of a fork. While still holding on to the top of the tendon (using a napkin can help with grip), push the fork down through the chicken. This trick significantly reduces prep time at dinner!

Notion

If I am being honest, Notion deserves its own article, but for now it will hold a special place on this list. #notsponsored but Notion is the best planner that you’ve ever had and then multiplied by 100. It’s an application that allows users to design their own organizational systems using databases, links, calendars, and so much more. Personally, it has changed the game for my schoolwork. I have individual pages set for all of my classes that include their syllabi, office hour links, TA email addresses, and a list of all assignments and exams for the semester. Each course page is linked to one master calendar that gives me a visual checklist of what is due each day of the week. Never again will I miss an assignment or be caught off guard with an in-class quiz that I forgot about. And the best part is: it can be used for more than just coursework! It’s a tool for any project in your life. Notion is undoubtedly worth the time to learn how to use. I recommend watching YouTube videos and finding a pre-made template to download that suits your needs and matches your style. 

@cozybythemoon

the highly requested notion tour <33 ive got my template linked in my bio mwah! 🌿 #notion #notionsetup #notiontour #notion #notiontemplate #study

♬ original sound – Evelyn
Grilled Sandwiches

Do you ever grill a sandwich and maybe fill it with a few too many ingredients? The sandwich is looking a little thick and you are unsure how it is going to survive the spatula flip? Well, instead of bringing the spatula to the pan, bring the pan to the spatula. What I mean by this is to lift the sandwich off the pan with a spatula, then, instead of flipping the sandwich over, lift the pan and turn it upside down. While the sandwich is still right-side-up on the spatula, set the cooking surface of the pan onto the uncooked top of the sandwich. Flip the pan back over while holding the sandwich in place with the spatula. 

Softened Butter

So many recipes call for softened or room-temperature butter, but who really remembers to set out a stick of butter a few hours before they are ready to bake? We then put it in the microwave and hope we set it for the perfect amount of time: not too long so that it all melts and not too short so that it is still cool. Inevitably, either the bottom of the stick starts to melt or we prematurely take it out, and is a disaster to beat in with the other ingredients. To avoid this catastrophe, place a bowl or cup filled with water in the microwave for a minute or two. When the time is up, pour out the water and place the empty glass over the top of the stick and let it sit for 15 minutes. The butter will warm but never to the point of melting!

Ctrl + Shift + t

It’s up for debate, but this may be the most useful hack on this list. It is so incredibly frustrating to accidentally close out of a tab that you didn’t want to. Instead of having to go back into your search history, just ctrl+shift+t it, and the tab will pop back open!

@trevorlong

Keyboard shortcuts : reopen browser tab you recently closed! Cmd:shift:T / ctrl:shift:T #techtok #techtip #tiktokpartner #learnontiktok #help #support

♬ original sound – Trevor Long

So maybe TikTok is a massive waste of my time, but if it weren’t for the app I’d still be trying to get the tendons out of my chicken. I hope some of these hacks find their way into your life and make it just a little bit easier!

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Jillian Hughes

U Mass Amherst '23

Jillian is a junior at Umass Amherst majoring in biology and public health. She currently serves as the UMass chapter's treasurer. Her favorite things are traveling, chocolate chip cookies, and listening to podcasts on long walks.
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