As of April 2015, “the UCLA Higher Education Research Institute found that nationwide first-year-college students’ sense of emotional well-being is at its lowest since 1985.” (FIU News).
The class load alone may seem like more than a full-time workweek. And between studying, writing papers and social growth, there seems little time to keep a proper college life balance. However, with technology advancement comes a more supportive and accessible community than ever before.
There are new tools being created each year that will help any college student keep up with their hectic schedules. The following list breaks down 20 of the best sources into four categories.
Mint – It’s not always easy to maintain a small college budget. Try the Mint app for iOS and Android to securely connect your bank account and view visual analytics as Mint automatically organizes your purchases.
RescueTime - It can be hard in a digital world to remain productive while at your computer. We all have our short attention spans. Use RescueTime to find your ideal work balance. The tool monitors computer usage and offers a detailed report for analyzing.
Unstuck – Unstuck is a useful life coach for any college student. Tell the digital coach what’s ailing you and let it guide you in the right direction. The platform is built on insightful questions and provides emotional support as well as academic intelligence.
SlugBooks- Students can save time and money by using SlugBooks to find their textbooks. The site allows users to buy, rent or even sell textbooks. The prices are reasonable and it may even be a place to acquire extra funds.
F.Lux - Long periods of time spent stimulating your vision can highly affect sleep patterns. And college life happens at any hour. With f.lux your computer screen brightness automatically adjusts to the time of day, giving your eyes a necessary break.
Prezi – This presentation-building tool helps students create better visual displays of information. It offers unique presentation features beyond typical slides and will help students better engage their audience.
NinjaEssays.com – This online writing service is affordable and composed of highly qualified professionals. Students can receive proofreading, editing and structure guidance as well as enter free writing contests, view a free writing guide and a blog full of inspiration.
Help.Plagtracker – You never want to submit work that is not yours. Don’t take any chances and use Plagtracker to verify that your assignments are 100% unique. Students can also find and fix grammar mistakes and basic writing errors.
Google Docs – Google docs is one of the most comprehensive and common ways to save and share your information. Students can create and save spreadsheets, documents and notes and may even submit work to professors or easily share data with others.
Research Methods Knowledge Base – This online textbook focuses on all subjects typically included in research method courses and communicates in an informal and casual style. The comprehensive source covers sampling, design, measurements and more.
Crash Course (by John Green) – This YouTube channel created by the author of “The Fault In Our Stars” produces 10-15 minutes educational videos. The videos are whacky, fun and a refreshing addition to break up your study monotony.
Google Scholar – This Google feature is a search engine for researching academics and students. The customization tools cater to your needs by providing search options in patents and citations, as well as access to metrics and setting alerts.
StudyBlue – This study platform includes flashcards, study guides, quizzes and more. If you purchase the full version you will have access to over 125 million decks of flashcards to aid you in any basic subject.
iTunes U- iTunes U is a free library and essential tool for any college student. Users can access lectures, videos, books and other study material via any mobile device or computer. And now teachers are able to upload test questions and to chat with students.
Focus At Will - This online service uses music to help any student meet their writing and study deadlines. The site will play music in a particular order that will extend the focus time from an average 20 minutes to about 100 minutes.
FocusBooster – This online time management platform tracks user time spent on the computer. Using the pomodoro technique (short concentrated periods of study time, followed by quick breaks) students can better access their potential and maintain focus.
WolframAlphra – This resource is like accessing an entire collection of encyclopedias with one click. The source covers statistics, math, and measurements as well as linguistics, chemistry and more.
Flashcard Machine - Instead of handwriting and purchasing flashcards, create digital ones with Flashcard Machine. This free service saves time and money and allows students to create web-based study cards that may be shared with anyone.
Wunderlist – This list-making and organizational software integrates with all devices and is an efficient tool for all college students. Organize and share your to-do lists and assignments for the week, and add alerts to be sure you never miss a due date.
When college life seems overwhelming remember to breathe. These do not have to be the most stressful years of your life. They can be the most educational, inspiring and fun years. It’s all up to you.
Motivate yourself to try any of the tools listed. Each may drastically enhance your college experience while helping to relieve stress. And each can change the track of your academic career for the better.
Change can be difficult to adjust to perfectly. However, it often leads to new experiences and greater things. Integrate technology into your college life the right way, and watch as the weight on your shoulders is lifted.