20 Websites Every College Student Needs In Their Life

20 Websites Every College Student Needs In Their Life

From budgeting to homework motivation, you need these websites in your life.
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So maybe last semester didn't go exactly as you had planned. You came back from break with fresh motivation and all the best intentions. This was going to be the year, you said. You were going to focus on classes and get that GPA up to something Mom would be proud of. Unfortunately, good intentions only go so far. But no matter how your last semester went, a whole new semester is now upon us, which means you still have a chance to turn this school year around. But don't worry, you won't have to do it alone. Check out these websites with shortcuts, tools, and motivational tricks to help you be on top of your game this year. (Pro tip: most of these websites are also mobile apps!)

1. Mint

Can't figure out where that 50 dollars in your checking account went? There's an app for that! Mint helps you track your spending, make budgets, and even check your credit. It tracks all your transactions, so you won't blow your monthly allowance at Starbucks.

2. Grammarly

If you have trouble remembering where to put commas or which verb tense to use with your noun, then you need Grammarly. It's a free Chrome extension that will catch all of your potentially embarrassing spelling and grammar errors on all of your written work, from papers for professors to emails to colleagues. If you're working on the Internet, it will check your work as you go- if you're working offline, like in Microsoft Word, all you have to do is upload your work on Grammarly's site and it will check it over.

3. The Skimm

We're getting to that point in our lives where we're expected to know what's going on in the world, but it can be overwhelming to try to surf all of the articles on news sites. The Skimm is a free daily email that summarizes all the top news stories for you with a bit of sassy humor. They also have an app called SkimmAhead that will sync important events, like the return of your favorite Netflix show or a presidential speech, with your iPhone calendar (Androids, they're working on yours!).

4. Google Scholar

So much easier than trying to navigate all the confusing databases your school's library provides. It's just like regular Google, but it has credible sources you can use in your papers.

5. Roger Hub

Around final exam time, Roger will be your new best friend. This site can calculate what score you need on your final exam to get the grade you want in the class for whatever scoring system your professors uses. It can even help you figure out what you'll get in the class after your lowest grade is dropped.

6.Keep Me Out

Don't have the willpower to stay off your favorite social media sites while doing your homework? There's a website for that. No really, this site will prevent you from accessing your favorite sites for a length of time that you set.

7. Quizlet

This website saves my life weekly. They even have a mobile app now that I may or may not have on my phone. Quizlet fulfills all of your studying needs -- it has flashcards, quizzes you on terms, offers practice tests, and even has fun games to help you learn the material.

8. Student Rate

This site is your shopping BFF. It literally gives you discounts on everything from clothing to textbooks, just for being a student.

9. Alarmy

You might be able to get away with hitting snooze and skipping your lecture hall, but your future boss isn't going to appreciate you "sleeping past your alarm." If getting out of your bed isn't your thing, then this is the app for you.

10. Rate My Professor

THIS WEBSITE WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE. If you don't already use it, you're not doing college right. This site has all the details on all your future professors so you can dodge the crazies and sign up for the classes that give A's.

11. RealCalc

These days, you need a new calculator for every math class you take. Skip the expensive ones and download this app -- it does it all for you for free.

12. Wolfram-Alpha

This website has saved my ass on a multitude of occasions. It basically answers all of your homework questions for you, or will point you towards helpful resources than can help. It can even help solve your math problems, which is great if you don't remember anything from your high school math classes.

13. Written Kitten

If you ever find yourself lacking motivation to write that term paper, this website will be your savior. You set a word count, and whenever you've typed that many words, you're rewarded with a new picture of a kitten. Who says writing papers can't be fun?

14. Bibme

Seems like professors always want different citations and bibliographies for their assignments, but they never actually show you how to do them. Whether it's APA, MLA, or anything in between, Bibme helps you compile your sources in the proper format.

15. Flipp

#MakeCouponClippingCoolAgain!! But seriously, this app will save you tons of money on your weekly groceries (or on your weekly snack food binges). It keeps track of daily and weekly deals at all of your favorite area stores and will save coupons for you to use based on your shopping list. Flipp even lets you sync shopping lists with other users, so you can coordinate groceries with your roommates.

16. Groupon


In college, every dollar counts! If you and your friends are looking to try out a new restaurant, or if you're looking for some alternative Friday night plans, make sure you check Groupon first. Groupon offers deals on everything from dining out to shopping products based on your location.

17. Glassdoor

Sooner or later, we're actually going to have to leave college and get real, adult jobs. Glassdoor will not only help you find jobs, but it will help you learn a little more about the industry you're heading into so that you can take charge of your career. It will give you information about companies, average salaries for the job or area, and tips on crushing your interview.

18. Amazon Student

With a student email, you get six months of Amazon Prime for free! Which means free two-day shipping, cheap textbook rentals, and discounts on anything from electronics to clothing. You can also earn $5 for each friend you refer, and they'll get $5 credit as well.

19. TED.com

Ted Talks are awesome. You can watch them to procrastinate, to get ideas for your next paper, or even to use as a reference source. They cover a wide range of topics, and explain complicated topics in a way that's easy for anyone to understand.

20. Chegg

Just like Amazon Student, Chegg has rental prices that will definitely beat the prices at your campus bookstore. They'll also give you online access to a digital version of the textbook you order until the real thing comes in. As an added bonus, you can pay a little extra to get the answers to all of the problems in your book!

Cover Image Credit: Damian Zaleski // Unsplash

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12 Dorm Room 'Essentials' That Are Actually A Waste Of Money

If three years of college has taught me anything, it's that I wasted a lot of money and space on things for my dorm room that I never used.

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Now approaching my senior year of college, there are so many things that I have experienced in my three years away that I either look back at and smile just at the thought of or immediately regret. With a younger sister going into her freshman year of college, I hope to teach her as much of those lessons I learned in advance so she doesn't make the same mistakes as me. One of the most important things I learned after moving in and out of dorm rooms and apartments for three years is what should and shouldn't come with you to school. Because, let's be real, as much as we want to pack away our entire lives and fit them in our minuscule dorm room, not everything is necessary.

However, knowledge is power, and I don't want to just save my sister from making those mistakes. That's why I'm here to share the 12 things that aren't necessary for you to bring to school:

1. A Keurig/coffee maker

While living in an apartment and having all the space in a kitchen for a coffee maker and the time to make my own hot drinks, having a Keurig was a godsend. But I'm going to be completely honest, as someone who wanted a Keurig so badly before freshman year...I rarely used it when I lived in the dorms. Between having meal points to buy my own coffee and just never having the time or energy to make it in the morning and then clean the dishes afterward, it just wasn't worth the waste of money and space.

2. A giant television

You may see pictures of dorm rooms and see students with giant televisions along their window or squished onto their desks. But unless you're living in a larger apartment, having a huge flat screen TV has no purpose for a small dorm room. There are TV's usually all over campus, especially in the common rooms that are free for you to use. If you really do feel like you need a TV in your dorm, a smaller one will suffice, because anything larger is going to take up some much-needed room.

3. Any type of hot plate/mini grill, etc.

Besides the fact that these are banned in most dormitories anyways, it's not smart to sneak one of these into your rooms. I can't tell you how many people I know that have accidentally started a fire in the dorm room from using a toaster they snuck in or a special "grilled cheese grill." The dining halls will have everything you could possibly want and need, and most dorm rooms come with a mini fridge and microwave to supplement anything further.

4. Candles

I'll admit, I am guilty of using these my sophomore year of college. Do I regret the millions of times I freaked out because I almost lit my dorm room on fire? Absolutely.

It's not worth it. Your RA will probably catch you, it's not worth the risk of accidentally setting your shoebox-sized dorm on fire, and the smoke detectors in those rooms are so sensitive that you're bound to set them off.

5. A printer

Unless you're living off campus in an apartment, there really is no reason to have a printer in your dorm room. There are tons of printers throughout the different buildings of every university, and most allot a certain amount of sheets for you to do your printing. Printers are big and clunky, hard to store, and the ink is very expensive. Don't consider buying one unless you plan on moving off campus.

6. An iron and ironing board

Take it from someone who absolutely hates wearing wrinkly clothes, the whole iron and ironing board duo was not a smart move my freshman year. It took up way too much room and when I did actually want to iron, it was so annoying to find a spot to do it in my small room.

If you're really obsessive about having non-wrinkled clothes like I am, you can invest in a mini steamer, which is super cheap, stored extremely easily because they're so small, and work just as well as an iron. I ended up swapping out for one of these my sophomore year and loving it so much more.

7. Bean bag chairs/Folding chairs

Any extra seating for a dorm room is honestly unnecessary besides the standard desk chairs that come with the dorm. The floor space is so limited that taking it up with any other large items is going to make it extremely difficult to navigate around your room. Also, when your friends come to hang out, they usually will end up just sitting on your bed or your desk chair anyways.

8. A body pillow

I don't really know what the use of these things are. I had one freshman year, and it laid against my bed the entire year and I never used it. I just found laying on it extremely awkward and uncomfortable and it was just so big that it took up too much room on my already tiny Twin XL bed.

9. A laundry hamper

A stand-up laundry hamper is just going to take up way too much space that you don't have. Instead, invest in some nicely made laundry bags that you can put your dirty laundry in and just easily carry over to the laundry room. A lot of stores even make special bags that differentiate between lights, darks, and delicates so the sorting is already done for you before you do your laundry.

10. A vacuum

While the idea of having a vacuum is nice, and I myself have had one all three years, it just took up way too much room in my dorm and I later found out you could just rent one from the commons whenever you wanted to clean your floor. Most universities do have cleaning supplies for rent, such as brooms, swifters, vacuums, etc., so there's no need trying to fit all of those in your closet.

11. A million throw pillows

While they'll make your bed look cute, making your bed every single morning and remembering where to put the millions of decorative pillows can become very annoying, not to mention finding a place to put them whenever you turn down your bed.

12. Picture frames

While having tons of pictures in your dorm room is nice, and I say the more the merrier, bringing physical picture frames is just a waste because there's not much shelf or desk place to place them. Instead, find a cute wall decoration that holds photos or clips to hang them from your wall. It'll save a ton of space and also cover up those bare, ugly dorm room walls.

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College Can Be Difficult, But Trust Yourself, Girl

Life can throw you curveballs sometimes, and times can get tough, but it is SO important to pick yourself up and trust that you can do anything.

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I'll be honest, this school year was one of the hardest years of my life. There were lots of moments throughout the year that I just wanted to go home and get away from it all. I had to be reminded that I have been raised to try as hard as you possibly can, and I was doing that. It took some determination and time, but I didn't give up.

No matter how bad I felt, I stayed and persevered.

Now that I am home for the summer, I have been reminiscing on the past two semesters of school. At the beginning of the school year, I had a much different idea of how it would go. It was going to be "my year," but somehow while the year was going on, I felt that I had been completely wrong. It's easy to come to quick conclusions when life doesn't exactly go your way. Conclusions like "this year has been the worst year ever" and "I can never get a break" were often popping up in my head. My grades weren't where I wanted them, and I was surprised by a lot of occurrences that I never expected to happen (imagine a wild ride). I found out who my true friends are and who I could rely on, and luckily, my circle only grew. Being extremely extroverted, it was hard for me to get out and just do something. Being in this "rut" took a toll on me. I had to make those hard decisions about doing what was best for me in the long run instead of doing something just for the moment. Trust me when I say, this was NOT easy at all.

Through all the tears and change all around me, I decided to proceed to the finish line because I am NOT a quitter.

I decided that it was time for me to allow myself to fully, undeniably be me. I wanted to start doing the little things I enjoy again like working out, taking pictures, and simply just going out to do anything. I started forcing myself to take any opportunity that came my way, and it helped. One of the things that brought me so much joy was kickboxing – talk about therapeutic, people! Kickboxing at least three times a week helped my mood shift so much, and it was a start to seeing me again. I am so blessed with friends who would come over at, literally, any time of the day. Spending time with them helped me more than they could ever know. We did anything from just hanging out in my living room to splurging on a fun dinner. Through everything that I was doing daily, I was learning how to rely on myself. Looking back now, I have never really had to know what it felt like to rely mainly on myself. I did get so much help from my family and friends, but what good could their help do if I didn't want to help myself first?

Even though I felt like this was one of the worst years of my life, it taught me so much more than I ever expected. Looking back now, I grew so, so much. I learned how to smile when times get tough. I learned that it really is okay to not be okay sometimes, and it will be okay eventually. I learned that it's okay to ask for help because we weren't made to do life alone. Most importantly, I learned how to trust myself. My hope for anyone reading this, you will learn from my experience that the worst seasons get better. I am in such a good place right now because I never gave up, and I will continue to never give up. In a short amount of time, I am seeing how far I have come and how much I grew.

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