Tips for New/Current Students in College/University
Definitely try them!
As a second year university student, there are things that I wish I knew when I first started last year. It is what you expect, but you don't realize the effects it can have on you. With all this newfound freedom, you don't really know what to do with it, and how to use it. Let's face it—the first year is when you start to learn the ropes.
You get to make all the decisions with your education, as you are paying for it. However, as coursework piles up, textbooks become expensive, and you start to stress out, you would think that there isn't anything you can do about it.
In today's society, there are websites and apps that can be used to help you maintain balance and can keep your workload organized to make things a lot easier in your first year. Here are a couple of apps and websites that I have tried and worked for me:
Do you get distracted easily? Do you check your social media websites and get lost in your feeds? If you answered yes, then you should try SelfControl. It is a free app for Macbooks and it is perfect for those who get distracted from their work. The app blocks the websites that keep you from doing schoolwork for a specific amount of time. All you do is open SelfControl and enter the website(s) that you want to be blocked, set the timer for how long you want them to be blocked, and then hit start. It is important to know that, if you delete the app, the website(s) will still be blocked until the timer is up.
I downloaded this app on my iPad and iPhone, and it is honestly a lifesaver. As soon as I get course outlines, I add the dates of all my tests, assignments, and homework into this app. You can add your courses to the app and add your homework coordinating to the course. The app will remind you when an assignment is due, which will make it easier to remember.
Quizlet has been another lifesaver for me. Whenever I have tests or exams, I look through Quizlet to see if the site has any sets in relation to the topic that I am studying. Almost every topic that I needed was there, and ever since, I get good grades. Quizlet is also perfect to use for studying when you are away from your physical notes. I highly recommend using Quizlet.
I absolutely love Grammarly. I'm an English major, and this website has been helpful. Just with the free version, it helps me with my spelling errors and sentence structure. I have yet to try the premium, but just the free version makes my writing seem better and my papers get better grades. Big improvement since I've used it.
I haven't been using this app for long, but I find that it is great to use to manage your finances. You just link your bank account, which I know can be dangerous, and they map out your budgeting and where you spend your money. It is helpful for me because I go over my budget too much and I get to set a budget for each category (ie: Restaurants).
While on the topic of money, Flipp is useful to have as a university student. I love using this app because it gives me the flyers for each store that I shop from and tells me about sales and coupons that are available. Buying groceries has been a breeze, and it doesn't put a huge hole in my wallet.
Other Tips for University Students
As they are the only apps/websites that I have used that worked, there are other tips that I have for those who are just starting out. This is something that I wish I had done when I was still in the first year.
Don't skip class.
I know that you now have the choice of missing class, and I will admit that I missed a lot of my classes. However, I highly would suggest anyone to not miss class, unless you can get a doctor's note. You will miss a lot of information that professors give to students who attend the class regularly. If you miss a couple here and there, it isn't much of an issue. Just don't skip multiple classes in a row (even if you can get the notes from someone).
Don't be afraid to ask questions.
Every class that I had, there were participation points that got included in my final mark. Speaking out loud isn't my strong suit, as most times the topic will be already changed, or because I'll think that the professor will think that I'm stupid. Well, get that thought out of your head. Professors are here for a reason. They are here to answer our questions and to help us to make sure we understand material that they teach. There are no stupid questions. If you can't ask in class, send your professor an email or arrange an appointment in his office.
Use office hours wisely.
So, after class, professors have office hours so you can swing by and ask questions or go over something you didn't quite understand. I highly recommend taking advantage of this. This was something that I didn't do, and when I started getting low grades, I saw my professors and they really helped me with work. All you have to do is take the time and stop by their office.
Use other resources to your advantage.
My university offers other resources to every student that needs help with whatever they need, like a writing center to improve your writing, tutoring services for each subject, etc. If your college/university has these resources, take advantage of them, as well. Anything that can help you improve your schoolwork is something that should be taken advantage of.
To hop back on money for this final tip...
Buy books second-hand.
Textbooks can be crazy expensive. My second semester of university, I decided to try buying books second-hand from other students and it was a lot easier and cheaper to do. If you can find books from other students or stores that are half the price of the on-campus bookstore, then go for it. It will save your bank account.
Those are all of the tips that I can think of for now. Hopefully, you try some of these tips and they work well for you, just like they did for me! Good luck with your studies!