Image via CreateHER

I was looking back at some of my blog posts from Senior year and couldn’t help but laugh. During that time, I fell into a rabbit hole of college blogs that suggested I needed this thing and that thing. When I went dorm shopping for the first time, I bought a lot of stuff I didn’t need. As far as organization, I did way too much too. After a while, it all got overwhelming. Now that I’m almost done with college, I’ve got a pretty good handle on what’s needed to make it a practical experience. In this post, I’m sharing all of the things that made college a little easier.


Chegg

I got to try Chegg for free through my student loan service (it was the least they could do lol) and I loved it. It helped me get through endless Chemistry and Physics practice problems. It has textbook solutions too. I used the eReader when I rented my Bio textbook from Chegg, and I really enjoyed the highlight and notes feature. When it comes to HW assignments, we all come across those questions that we just can’t figure out. With Chegg, you can post the question and leave it to the experts to help you work through it. Of course, there’s the issue of integrity, so use this service at your own discretion. They do have a cap on how many questions you can post per month (max=20). However, if you use the search tool first, you may come across a question that’s similar to yours, which you can use for reference. A Chegg subscription starts at about $15 and you can upgrade as well.

An Organization System

This could be a planner, an app, a calendar, or all of the above. I use a combination of iCal, a physical calendar, and To-Do lists. If you’re looking for something practical, I suggest starting with the Class Tracker— it really doesn’t get any more practical than this. I couldn’t imagine navigating college without having something in place that will help me stay on top of everything. Personally, I think that not having an organization system is a recipe for disaster.

Check out a few of my older posts to help with this:

What To Do With Your Syllabus

How I Used my ClassTracker

Be Focused App (or something like it)

I wrote about the Be focused app in this post and honestly, it really comes in handy when motivation is low. I say that because normally when I feel like I don’t need an extra push to get my work done, I forget I even have the app. However, we all have experienced the mid-semester slump where we need something to help get us through. The Be Focused app is based on the Pomodoro technique which really helps me get through assignments one step at a time.

Alternative:

–The Flora App |  same idea except for each work period you’re growing your own little garden. If you leave the app while the work timer is still running, you “kill” your tree.

Venmo

A Godsend. Venmo comes in handy whenever I go out with friends and I have to reimburse somebody, or for paying club dues.

Alternatives:

Cashapp

Paypal

Spotify for Students

I used to swear by Apple Music, mostly because of the looks and the mini-concert sessions they had. Then, I ended up running across somebody’s tweet that mentioned Spotify giving students access to Hulu and Showtime. I hope the good sis ended up getting some kind of reward because I switched immediately. I was already paying for Hulu and I was using free trials (directly through the site & Amazon Prime) to access The Chi on Showtime. It only made sense to switch over. I enjoy the daily mixes that Spotify curates for me too. Also, I do enjoy the fact that if I select one song, more songs by that artist or similar artists will continue to play. Spotify is only $5 for students, so go ahead and try if you haven’t already.

Unidays

No college student should be doing any (online) shopping without checking to see if there’s a discount on Unidays. I saved a grip of money using Unidays for cyber Monday and was kicking myself for forgetting that it even existed. Use your student email and take advantage!

Honorable Mention

Some kind of stress reliever

This could be journaling, going to the gym, or some kind of hobby. College is a lot of fun, but it can be incredibly stressful. I really feel like everybody needs something that they love to do that doesn’t scream work.

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