The Best 8 Websites for Students

Being part of a generation that grew up with the internet is incredible. I feel very spoiled that the navigating the internet seems to be part of my DNA. Over the years I have found many websites, app, and plug-ins that have made it easier to organize my life. I wanted to share the 8 best websites for students – in my opinion. I use majority of these apps on a daily basis to make my school life a bit easier.

Before we get started if you couldn’t tell by the title of this list this school themed. I have other apps I use to organize my life outside of school- which I might make a full new post for in the future. So stay tuned for that. (ps. clicking the titles of the sections will bring you to the website in another browser) 

Google Scholar-

When writing a paper it can be easy to grab random links from Google without fact checking them, then base your paper off of those. Instead of doing that, type in Google Scholar and you will be taken to a search engine that is full of reputable articles and cases that you can access anytime. You can also read articles, build libraries, and set up alerts for the field you are interested in. Another great thing about Google Scholar is that they will list the cited work in the article that you are using, it’s a great way to be linked to other articles in the same subject that you are researching. As well as a great way to keep up on different studies that are happening in the field that you are interested in.

Prezi-

There is nothing worse than sitting through 10 of the exact same boring powerpoint presentations on the last few days of classes. Not only is this boring to your peers, but your profs most likely have seen the same theme 1000+ times. I was super skeptical about Prezi at first because it seemed so confusing. After watching 4 or 5 YouTube videos on Prezi I felt confident and was able to make a great animated presentation to bring to my term project. A nice trick that I have found with Prezi is the integration of YouTube clips, these clips can make it easy to cover up parts of your presentation that seem confusing with a few second video explaining what you are trying to explain. Honestly watch a few and you will see the extreme difference from Prezi vs. Powerpoint. Here are two links of Youtube Videos all about Prezi:

https://youtu.be/M0k3giXi8eM

https://youtu.be/8XCvSu7DD9M

Amazon Student Prime-

I am an Amazon junkie. I would buy everything online if I could, but I am also very impatient. I like to order something and receive it immediately. Last year someone told me all about Amazon prime, and it sounded great but I was not thrilled about paying so much for it. Anywho sometime went by, and I was ordering my textbooks from Amazon when I received an email asking if I wanted to try Amazon Student Prime. I decided to read more about and it seemed amazing→  You to get to do a six month trial of the service for free which is super rad. You get access to some cool things like Twitch Unlimited, Two-day shipping, Early access to their ‘Lightning Deals’, and Early access to a bunch of other items. I would recommend signing up, the week or month your semester starts, therefore you can use it for textbooks for that semester and the next semester. I just started my subscription, but I am keeping track of my orders and such to see if it is something that I will be interested in purchasing them for a year, or canceling when my free trial is done.

Snopes-

Snopes is a fact-checking website. If something seems too good to be true, or a bit fishy I turn to Snopes to debunk it first. This website has come in handy for a few papers that I have written over the years. Recently I was sitting through a sociology presentation and the guy had brought up a few different references, the two that stuck out to me was about ‘Children being poisoned by Halloween candy’ and ‘ baby on board signs being there for emergency personnel to make sure they find the infants’. I have heard of the Halloween candy thing, but while I was sitting through his boring powerpoint presentation I decided to look up exactly how many children had been poisoned in the last 10 years… try it out… You’ll be shocked… here’s the linkI now always check things on Snopes. ALWAYS. Snopes also recently changed their layout a bit, and man is it now the easiest website to use!!

 

SelfControl/ColdTurkey/Stay Focused

These apps allow you to create a “Black List” of websites which means it will block these websites for a set amount of time. It blocks them from any user, profile, and browser. I find this to be the most useful while I’m in class, in study sessions, and in the library. I am super easily distracted so I use this constantly.

SelfControl is only for iOs, Cold Turkey is for android, and Stay Focused is a Chrome extension. I would recommend going to the play store or app store and looking through the apps that are like these and see if one sticks out to you. I see a lot of different students using different control apps for one reason or another, so personal preference is key to this.

Quizlet-

I didn’t know about Quizlet for an embarrassing amount of time. It’s basically a website full of learning tools like flashcards, quizzes, lessons, diagrams etc. in like EVERY subject. All the content is user added (so checking some of the data with your textbook or notes is still a good idea) and some even added by profs. I find that Quizlet is great if there is a concept that you are just not understanding. You can go check out multiple users inputted data and find the concept explained in a way that you understand. I would recommend making a user ID just so you can save things and maybe upload your own notes if you have the time. A user ID also allows you to take the tests that are on there and track your progress on them.

The University of Reddit-

The University of Reddit is super new to me, but basically, it’s a subreddit where teachers and students can go to share knowledge. So basically you can sign up for a class and learn all about that subject. It doesn’t count for uni credits or anything- but there is an award system. You’re probably thinking WTF is that point of that, what a waste of my valuable time? Well, I was too, but after not getting into a class one semester I signed up for pretty much the same class through the University of Reddit, and followed along with the schedule and had a lot of fun learning about the subject. When it was time for me to enroll for the class at my uni the following year, I found the class a LOT more bearable because I knew a lot of the concepts and didn’t have to study as hard. Not to mention I got an A+ and was top mark in my class 😉  Even if you are not in that situation its great to sign up for one of these and just learn something new!!

 

Mint-

Mint is a budgeting app/website that I am again a bit new to. I have been using it for about 3 weeks and so far so good. It’s an easy way to track your spending and help you save. There are alerts that will let you know when you are close to hitting your spending limits, and also little notifications that will alert you about other ways to save. You can also pay bills through it- I have not set that up yet but seems cool. I think having some kind of budgeting while in school is crucial to success.

 

 

  • All of these websites are free to use –> you may have to create an account on some of them, but totally free to the user. hope you enjoyed this post and found at least one useful website, leave a comment if you have any websites that you rely on to get yours through university xo.

5 Student Hacks

I’m a sucker for a good list of hacks, what I can’t stand is a list of 15+ hacks in which only like one of them is useful to the reader. So when I come across a good hack for a topic i stash it in a journal until I have at least 5 that I can compile and share. SInce its a few weeks into the uni semester ( at my school anyways<) I thought this might be the perfect time for some of these since papers are due and midterms might be coming up for some people.  So without further ado here is a list of 5 things that I have found super helpful- except for the last one… cause as you will read I actually haven’t done that one.

1a. Slide for That
If you find that you are having a hard time reading 50+ pages of text to try and understand a concept try typing your SUBJECT + “filetype:ppt” into google instead. This will bring up free lecture slides online.

Screenshot 2017-09-27 at 8.45.40 AM

 

1b. Online Textbooks?
Not going to lie, I have only had success with this around 50% of the time. You can google the name of your class textbook + “filetype:pdf” and it might come up. This can save you some money, or if the full textbook isn’t online but some chapters are it can save you lugging around a huge book.

Screenshot 2017-09-27 at 8.49.15 AM

 

2. Citations
Citations are a b*tch, let’s just come out and say it. I am one of those people who will do a bunch of research and just copy and paste links into a blank doc, then when I am done I will go back and cite my paper off those links. I found out the hard way that that sometimes does not work. So I had to take get help with citations a few semesters ago, and one kind loving soul told me about these to help:

CiteThisForMe: this site allows for many different types of citations, as well as offers an add-on for your browser + word add-on + PLAGIARISM checker!!!

CitationMachine : this site allows you to make your own citations by simply plugging in the information you used. Example: If you used an article online you plug in the web address and it takes all the relevant information and makes your citation… It’s magic.

 

3. Scholar
Google Scholar saved my sanity! It’s the easiest database to use EVER. What is is you ask? Its google but when you search for it, it only brings up published papers and articles that you can actually use in your papers. As well as when you click on one of the links that come up you can get the citations from it + find related articles + quote it. AMAZING.

 

4. Focus Child
Sometimes it’s hard to sit at a computer for a few hours and really buckle down on homework when you would rather be scouring the internet for cute kitten photos. Thankfully there are many in-browser add-ons you can get to allow you to actually stay focused:

Chrome: StayFocused
Firefox: LeechBlock
Safari: Mindful Browsing.

 

5. Pocket Points

Ok, so this one is new to me. It’s an app that allows you to earn points for major retailers by keeping your phone locked during class time? If you are in University in the USA this is readily available to you already if you are one of the listed schools. Unfortunately, my school isn’t there but I have submitted it to take part.

 

Screenshot 2017-09-27 at 9.07.32 AM

(photo:https://pocketpoints.com/how)

There are tons of different hack lists out there, but these are some hacks that I used almost daily. So I hope that they are helpful to someone out there. Also, if anyone has had success with Pocket Points, please let me know about your experience with it!
xo.

Course Selection & Major Realizations

sC7Lw1505238442Being a General Studies student has opened my eyes to so many different educational experiences and paths that one can take. To get a sense of where I am coming from I have been in university now off and on for around 5 years in 4 different cities. To some, this seems like I am wasting my time and money, but for me, this is what I need to do to get myself on the path that is right for me. In the time I have been in university I have been in many different courses ranging all over the educational spectrum. I didn’t always know what I wanted to do with my life and that ok. Since I have taken such a wide range of courses I have had the pleasure of meeting so many different types of people, I thought this blog could be about what courses one can take based on the type of person they see themselves as, or who they strive to be. This blog is almost fully taken from a project I did last year about freshman picking their courses while enrolled in General Studies ( major reference: thecollegejuice.com).

Earth Enthusiast🌎

⠂Environmental Science
⠂Marine Biology
⠂Animal Science
⠂Ecology
⠂Geography
⠂Natural Resources and Conservation
⠂Bioenvironmental Engineering
⠂Environmental and Business Economics
⠂Agriculutre
⠂Geology

 

Analytical Thinkers💡

⠂Antropology
⠂Classical Humanities
⠂Sociology
⠂History
⠂Women and Gender Studies
⠂Foreign Language
⠂History
⠂English
⠂Media Studies
⠂Education
⠂Philosphy

 

 

Health and Fitness💪

⠂Kinesiology
⠂Nutrition
⠂Nursing
⠂Biology
⠂Public Health
⠂Exercise Science
⠂Sports Nutrition
⠂Psychology
⠂Genetics
⠂Holistic Psychology
⠂Physical Therapy
⠂Anatomy

 

 

 

Creative Geniuses 🎨

⠂Music
⠂Film
⠂Computer Science
⠂Engineering
⠂Theater
⠂Dance
⠂Journalism
⠂Marketing
⠂Communications
⠂Visual Arts
⠂Foreign Language
⠂Creative Writing
⠂Landscape Architecture

Business Gurus👔

⠂Business (duh)
⠂Entrepreneurship
⠂Finance
⠂Managment
⠂Supply Chain Management
⠂International Business
⠂Agribusiness
⠂Information Technology
⠂Economics

 

Policy Pushers✍️

⠂Criminology
⠂Political Science
⠂Philosophy
⠂Environmental Policy
⠂Urban Planning
⠂Public Policy Analysis
⠂Criminal Justice
⠂Labour Studies & Employment Relations
⠂Human Resource Management
⠂Public Administration
⠂Education Policy Analysis


Depending on what school you go to will factor in if these majors, minors, or courses are available to you. This is just a list that I find easy to read to establish what courses you could be interested in. This is by no means a list of the courses you need to take to get a degree, it’s just my observation on what certain types of people take. If anyone wants to read the report I did I am more than happy to email it out. Anyways, I currently attend the University of the Fraser Valley. I am enrolled in the General Studies Bachelor program with an Aviation theme and a double minor in Business and Geography. It took me a long time to narrow down what I wanted to do, I didn’t even think twice about adding on another minor until I took a random Geography class as an elective one semester. It opened the flood gate to all the things I loved about how countries work, and why. The nice thing about university is you can always take 100 level courses to see if it’s something that interests you. I like to describe 100 level courses as buffets. You get to see first hand what the field is about. I have my major and minors figured out but I am currently taking Sociology 100 just to be curious. There is never any harm in learning.

xo.