Gearing up for college is scary to say the least. It’s hard to figure out what you actually need and what you will actually use once you get to school. And if you are anything like I am, figuring out what tech and digital resources you need is stressful, overwhelming, and expensive. Most of the things on my list are available at a discount to students, so I highly recommend checking them out and I’ll link where you can go to get the discounts. As a soon-to-be college senior myself, the things I’ve listed have been my go-to resources since I was a freshman myself.
College comes with lots of note taking. Even as a marketing major, the amount of notes I take both in class and from my books is crazy. Personally, how heavy my backpack gets trying to lug around my books, notebooks, and laptop is crazy, so I like to easily organize my typed notes in Evernote. This way I can organize my class, test, and more. Plus, they have an amazing app that allows you to view your notes on the go such as on the bus to class or waiting in line at Starbucks, a 5 star feature for this girl who likes to multi-task and make the most of her time. Click here to check out Evernote’s website.
No, this isn’t a necessity, but I’m not sure what I would have done without a study playlist during long hours in the library prepping for an exam. Music is my favorite thing to turn to when I’m typing out class notes, making notecards, reading for class, and prepping my planner for the upcoming week. I personally use the free version of Spotify that does play ads, but isn’t anything too crazy. If you do choose to opt in for the paid subscription Spotify offers a student discount that is only $4.99 a month. Click here to learn more about the student discount.
Quizlet is my hero, literally. In case you’ve never used them yourself, Quizlet is a virtual flashcard service that allows you to make your own flashcards and then use them either online or on their app. I personally learn best by writing or typing things out and then quizzing myself, so Quizlet is my go-to for everything from macroeconomics to basic gen-ed courses. I’ve shared my flashcards with friends in my classes before and then had them thank me for sharing and say they’ve started using the site as well. So if that isn’t enough convincing to get you to use them, just go and check out their site for yourself. Click here to visit their site.
Amazon Prime Student
How are you a college student if you don’t use the benefit’s Amazon offers through Prime Student? I’ve been using Prime service long before I entered college and couldn’t wait to get my hands on Prime Student. Not only do you get it for free for the first six months, it offers free 2-day shipping and tons of other amazing add-ons and features. I personally enjoy Amazon Prime TV and Movies to binge (I mean watch…) my favorite shows and movies. They also offer you Prime Reading, a digital library that offers thousands of titles that you can download to your device for free. Basically, Amazon Prime Student is amazing and a life saver. I mentioned the free 2-day shipping, right? Check out Amazon Prime Student here.
Since I don’t personally use all Mac products, Google calendar is my iCal. If you’ve read my blog for a while, you know I swear by my paper planners. In fact, I’m not sure I’d live without a way to write out my daily plans and to-dos. It wasn’t until I got to college that I realized I might need something in addition to my paper planner, which is where Google calendar came into play. I use it to track when I have classes, my blog posts, social events, meetings, tests, study groups, and more. I even turn on notifications so I get a reminder sent to my phone for important things like when my rent is due and if I have a blog deadline coming up. I love that it is something I can use on my computer and on my phone when I’m on the go. Plus, it allows me to change times without having to cross things off in my planner, a plus for this paper planner freak.
I can’t believe I have to put this on my list of essentials because I thought everyone would have it on their computers already, but that’s not the case. I can’t tell you the number of people who try to get by with just notepad or Google docs. I promise you, no matter your major you will need more than those programs to get through college. In fact, I use Word to write all of my blog posts. As a student, you are offered a huge discount on a four-year subscription by using a .edu email address. Check out the discounts available to you through Microsoft here.
I first heard of Grammarly and their services when I was working an office job. We used it so that when we e-mailed our residents we would have not only perfect spelling, but perfect grammar. It shocks me how many students don’t know about Grammarly so they can’t utilize it. With a Grammarly account you can copy and paste documents into an online editor and you can install it into your Google Chrome browser to ensure proper grammar on everything from e-mails to social media posts. You can also get a Premium membership that allow you more features such as word suggestions, genre-specific tips, and even more editing help. Check out Grammarly here.
And those are my favorite resources for college students. I personally use all of these resources myself and have used all of them for the majority of my college career (except Grammarly, I wish I had that freshman year!) and even use them for my blog. Do you use any of the resources on this list? Are there any resources that you recommend checking out? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!