Okay, let’s get real. College is hard, y’all. And that’s being said from a girl who has a 4.0. It requires autonomy, organization, independence, hard work… and adulting. Not everyone finds it easy to go through these four years (or more!) of our lives.
But just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s not doable. Yes, you’ll have to work hard. But trust me, it’ll all be worth it once you’ll be holding your diploma. One of the things that can make the whole college thing easier is using the right resources. Not sure where to start? I made the ultimate list of resources every college student needs just for you!
If there is only one thing you need to survive your years in college, it’s a planner. You need it to stay organized and on top of everything. I cannot even begin to tell you how lost I would be without my planner. There are many different types of planners out there, so make sure you find your perfect fit!
Maybe you’re not much of a traditional pen and paper pal and you would prefer a digital version? Google Calendar is your friend. I personally prefer physical planners, but I love Google Cal! You can choose different colors for your classes and activities, and you can even have multiple calendars! A digital planner is great because you can always have it with you no matter where you go!
You need a spell-checker, point blank period. Whether it is to correct your papers or your emails, Grammarly is a great tool to have. Want to know the best part? It’s free! You can pay for more features, but the free version works just fine in my opinion. Even if you’re a good writer, a spell-checker can come in really handy! Especially when you’re finishing that paper at 2 AM and you’re just too tired to see your mistakes. #justsaying
Google Drive is the one tool you need to master group projects. I’ve tried many things over the years, and Google Drive is definitely my favorite way to do group projects. It makes it easy for everyone to edit and comment on the work, and you can even work altogether at once without necessarily being in the same room! You can see other people’s edits live and I think that’s pretty cool. Google Drive also has a great storage capacity if you need extra space to store your work.
You probably know by now that I love to make lists. I need to have my to-do list on hand, otherwise I get totally lost and confused. While I am more of a traditional paper girl, this app is amazing when it comes to making lists! It’s really easy to use and is perfect for the on-the-go girl.
Quizlet is an amazing tool to help you study! You can create your own flashcards online, and study while playing games! It’s great for people who get bored quite easily with studying (don’t we all though?) and need something interactive to motivate them. And it’s totally free!
The writing center
Struggling with your essays? Need someone to take a look at your writing? Your writing center can be a great resource to check out! People who work there are normally skilled writers who can help you improve your writing and hand in better papers! It never hurts to have a fresh set of eyes take a look at your work.
If there’s one thing you need to master by the end of your college years, it’s how to write an essay. But the foundation of a good essay is the research. That’s where databases come in. They give you access to thousand of articles that can be great sources to include in your paper. If you want some reliable sources, make sure your articles are peer reviewed. You’ll normally have access to research databases through your university’s website, but a great one that you can also use is Google Scholar.
I think I’ve mentioned before how important it is to always cite your sources. Not only does that show that you did your research, but you could also be in big trouble for plagiarism if you don’t! While some universities and faculties have their own style guide, Purdue Online Write Lab has a great website that explains everything you need to know about MLA and APA. You’ll learn how to cite your sources no matter what the medium is, and they’ll work you through creating a Works Cited list at the end of your paper. It’s a must if your college uses MLA!
Momentum Chrome extension
I downloaded this extension because it looked so pretty, but now I cannot live without it. The Momentum extension is a great tool for increasing your productivity. You can add your to-do list and your goal for the day, and it displays every time you open a new window in Chrome. It also doesn’t hurt that it always show a pretty background as well. 😉
Your college’s website
Your college’s website can be a goldmine of information! It’s often overlooked, but it can give you info on internships, classes, dorm life, studying abroad, and more!
Who better to help you go through college than other people who are going through it too? Quite honestly, the community of college bloggers out there is an amazing resource to check out. We have blogs covering all kind of topics related to college life: sorority, academics, finances, dorm life, health, and more! Make sure you check out my favorite college bloggers!
A library card
If you’re not already a member of your local library, change that ASAP. Most universities include illimited access to their libraries within your tuition fees, but being a member of both cannot hurt. It’s normally not really expensive (or free!), and is a goldmine of information. Not only can you find books on subjects that are relevant to your field, but you’ll also be able to find specialized journals and magazines, with sometimes impressive archives! I might be biased because I work in a library, but they are also a quiet and peaceful place that make the perfect study spot.
This might feel weird to say, but your professors are your most precious college resource… so use them! If you need further information about a topic covered in class or if you need more explanations, ask them! Your professors are paid to provide you with an adequate education and should try their best to make themselves available to answer your questions, so don’t be afraid to reach out to them. Sometimes, all they want is for someone to talk to them. 😉 Try to build relationships with them as much as you can. Who knows when you’ll need a letter of recommendation or a little career push?
The career center
I know a lot of us don’t think about what comes after college until senior year, but it doesn’t hurt to visit your career center before that. They can not only help you build a killer resumé (even if you don’t have any experience!) and prep for interviews, but they can also be incredibly helpful when it comes to finding internships and other positions in your field!
What are some resources you cannot live without as a college student?