5 Apps To Make Next Semester Better

5 Apps To Make Next Semester Better

Use these to focus, study, organize, and more.
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Smartphones have made our lives a lot simpler. We can access the internet, calendars, maps, and more from a device that fits in our pocket. However, we mostly use this device for texting, playing games, and checking all of our social media accounts.

Sometimes we forget that there are tons of great apps out there that can help us learn as well as stay focused and organized. Here are four of my favorites.

1. Forest

Do you ever sit down with the intention of studying, but a notification appears on your screen, then suddenly it's two hours later and you're not quite sure how you ended up on YouTube? If this sounds familiar, you should try "Forest."

Whenever you need to focus, simply open the app and set a timer to plant a virtual tree. The tree will grow while you are studying and if you try to leave the app, then you'll kill the tree. The app then makes you feel pretty awful for doing that.


If that isn't enough of an incentive, the app lets you earn coins based on the amount of time that you stay focused. These coins can be used to plant real trees in India and Zambia, so your productivity is not only helping you, but the planet as well.

2. Quizlet

Any free moment is an opportunity to study when you have a big test coming up, but it's not really convenient to carry around flashcards while you're waiting for your coffee or sitting on the bus. Quizlet solves this problem by allowing you to create study sets of flashcards that can be accessed from your phone or computer.


Quizlet provides different learning tools that allow you to test your memory of the information on the flashcards. You can also use study-sets from other Quizlet users and share your flashcards with classmates.

3. iStudiez Pro

I love Lily Pulitzer planners as much as the next girl, but I'll be the first to admit that they aren't the most practical way to keep yourself organized. iStudiez Pro eliminates the need for a planner that takes up space in your bag.


This easy to use app allows you to keep your class schedule, professors' contact information, grades, and homework all in one place. You can even set reminders for important assignments and tests.

4. Evernote

If you're anything like me, you have tons of random notebooks and word documents filled with notes from various classes. While it's convenient to take notes anywhere, it can make it difficult to find what you need when it comes time to write a paper or study. Evernote solves this problem by allowing you to create notes that sync between all of your devices.

When using Evernote you can stay organized by storing all of your checklists, notes, documents, and more in one place that can be accessed using your iPad, iPhone, or Mac. You can have several different notebooks to keep everything organized and even clip and save notes from the web.

5. Netflix

After all of that studying and work you'll need a break. That's where Netflix comes into play. Do you want to enjoy a guilt-free Netflix binge? Pick a series and only allow yourself to watch episodes when you're at the gym. It's a great way to relax and you won't mind working out if it's the only way that you get to catch up on "Scandal."

These apps have helped me to stay focused, keep organized, study more, and relax. I hope that they can help you do the same.

Cover Image Credit: Kathryn Clancy

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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Sometimes "Out With The Old In With The New" Isn't the Best thing

We can't lose touch of the simpler things in life

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When I think about how much has changed and how much my world has developed since I was little, I get mind boggled realizing how different things are. I work at a restaurant in the city that I grew up in and I see famillies come and go for dinner every night. They all seem the same. The parents will walk in, check in with the hostesses and wait to be seated. If they're asked to wait, the kids sit by their parents sides playing on phones that are probably too young to have. I understand that waiting can get tedious and boring. By the time that they would sit down, I'd imagine that they would put down the devices and engage in some good old fashion conversation. I was wrong. It made me sad to see kids eating dinners with their families with zero interaction. When I was younger, I enjoyed the quality conversations I would have with my family when we got breaks from our all very hectic schedules. It's amazing how much technology has advanced, but sometimes, I believe that we might rely on it too much.

Seems like more and more things are becoming industrialized. Those "mom and pop" shops are closing down due to corporate companies buying the land. I have enough Walmart and Targets in a ten minute radius from me. Sure, places like these carry necessities are important, but when local Nurseries are closed down in order to build a new gas station, it just becomes sad. As things progress more, the more we lose touch of our roots. The places that make home special and different. The moments we have as a kid that don't involve a light on our face. Modernism is a powerful and amazing thing but we need to take a step back and reevaluate what we hold closest to us.

All in all, as we continue to develop, I will continue to advocate for the simpler moments and the simpler times. I don't think my kids will need iPhones right out of elementary school, I'll continue to visit the same hometown shops and give them as much business as possible, I'll always ask if he kids want coloring sheets at the dinner table. Although these small things might not matter in our everyday new world, they matter to me. I will always try to have so much fun that I forget to document things with my phone. The laughter and memories without the technology present. Those are the moments worth remembering.

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