4 HS Senior Year Resources For The Stressed Fam Out There

4 HS Senior Year Resources For The Stressed Fam Out There

To my fellow overwhelmed seniors: here are some apps that will help you survive senior year.

You’re a senior this year. Maybe you’re excited about graduation. Maybe you’re suffering from early-onset senioritis. Or maybe you’re like me, and you just feel so overwhelmed that you don’t want to do anything. Whatever it is you’re feeling, it doesn’t change the fact that senior year is happening. What you can control, though, is how you get through your senior year. This is likely the most important year of your life so far. If you’ve flubbed the past three years, well... maybe try a little bit harder this year. After all, for most of us, the next step is college.

If you’re struggling, you’re in luck! Here are some websites and apps that will hopefully help you out now or in the near future, focusing on key ideas to keep you grounded senior year. Get ready for lots of pictures.

1. Procrastination is a problem.

First and foremost is an issue that plagues the average high schooler: procrastination. Procrastination has always been an issue for me. You can probably relate. Over the past three years, however, I’ve built a little collection of things that help me get (and stay) on track.

Here are four that have helped me stay on top of things!

Cold Turkey Writer

Cold Turkey Writer is a simple computer application that only allows you to do one thing: write. You can set it to how many words you want to write, or how long you want to work, and that's it. It’ll give you a blank document to write on. A progress bar at the top of the screen will tell you how far through your goal you’ve made it. Though the application doesn’t really have any sort of formatting, it’s great for getting something down that you can work off of later.


Forest is a cute little productivity mobile app that rewards you with coins and a cute little garden. Do you hate the thought of murdering that cute little tree up there? If so, this app is for you!

Every time you open an app that’s not on your whitelist in the middle of a timed session, you kill a tree, and you’re left with the dried husk of what used to be an adorable plant. You are free to open apps on your whitelist without endangering your tree, so it’s a good way of categorizing your important applications and the distracting ones. Plus, you get to create a cute little forest!


Habitica is definitely my favorite app on this list. Available as a mobile app, a website and Chrome extension, this program is a fun way of “gamifying” your to-do list and earning virtual rewards for getting things done.

And here we see ZombieMerlin (me!) with her pet cactus in the upper left.

Anyways, every time you check off a task, either something on your To-Do list or a daily task, you earn coins that you can use to buy quests, armor and other rewards. You can hatch adorable pets with hatching potions, chat in the tavern, take on challenges and go on quests with your party. Habitica is honestly one of my favorite things ever, and I hope it can help you out as much as it has me.


StayFocusd is a Chrome extension that helps you do exactly what it says: stay focused. You let it know what websites you find distracting, and it’ll count down on a timer whenever you’re on one of them. I personally allow myself 30 minutes of distracting time a day. After that, whenever I try to go on a time-wasting site, I’ll get this redirected to a screen that asks, "Shouldn't you be working?"

Again. Pretty simple, but it works wonders for getting me on track (even if it gets pretty annoying sometimes).

2. School those tests!

Most people can probably agree that testing is pretty annoying and stressful, especially when you don’t know the material. The internet, however, is a vast and wonderful place, so here are four sites to help you out.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy has saved me more times than I can count. The 93 I got in Pre-Calculus last year can definitely attest to that. It covers pretty much any school subject you can think of and then some. Whether you’re looking to understand the quadratic formula or study the intricacies of a circuit, Khan Academy has got your back. You can also hook up your CollegeBoard account to study for the SAT, learn to code in a fun and easy way and watch lessons from Pixar employees about how they create movies.

Plus, whenever you get frustrated in math, you can do what I do and tackle some kindergarten and first-grade math, and then cackle at how smart you are. It does wonders for the self-esteem.

AP Worldipedia

APWorldipedia is for the brave few willing to put themselves through the torture that is AP World History (no offense, Mrs. Leonard). This guy goes through almost all the key concepts in excruciating detail. He’s probably a big reason for the five I got on this AP exam. (Again, no offense Mrs. Leonard.)


Symbolab is an amazing calculator for solving that one homework problem you can't figure out. You'll be hard pressed to find another calculator that can help you solve matrices and chemistry equations. Not only does it give you the answer, but it also has a step-by-step breakdown of how the calculator arrived at the solution.

ACTUp and SATUp are great apps to help you review for those annoying standardized tests. You can take practice tests, hammer down on your weak areas and work steadily towards the score that you’re aiming for.

Pro tip: Try to take the SAT or ACT as soon as you can, if you haven't already. It'll save you a ton of headache later in the year. To my underclassmen reading this: take one as soon as you feel ready! I took an ACT in the spring of my sophomore year, and I'd be lying if I didn't say it's made my life a whole lot easier.

3. The Dreaded “C” Word

College. There, I said it. A good majority of us don’t like thinking about it, but for most it’s inevitable. The pressure to get into a good college, to get scholarships, to fill your resumé up with activities so you can impress college admissions officers... I feel you. I really do. That’s why I’m sharing these links with you.

College Info Geek

College Info Geek, AKA Thomas Frank is my favorite guy who I’ve never met. His entire website, blogs, podcasts and all is dedicated to making you a better student. I’ve been subscribed to him for years, and I still haven’t explored his entire website, but he’s worth looking at. Maybe you want to build a personal website. Maybe you need help staying motivated. Maybe you’re just looking for some good ol’ mental fodder.

Also, just look at that face. Look at it. He's adorable.

College Essay Guy

College Essay Guy is another great site. As his name may suggest, his specialty is college admissions essays. Any question you have about college essays, he's the man for you.

Unigo Scholarships

Unigo and the CollegeBoard’s Big Future Scholarship Search

are great places to find scholarships. I like Unigo for its weird scholarships, like the Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship or the Chick and Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Scholarship Contest, but it also has plenty of other scholarship categories such as merit-based, athletic and minority. The CollegeBoard’s scholarships tend to be a little more what you’d expect from a scholarship database, but I highly recommend looking into it.

4. Take a second and breathe...

With all the stress of school and extracurriculars and college, sometimes you get so overwhelmed that you nearly drive yourself to the point of breaking. That’s when you need a mental health day.

I’ve had more than my fair share of stress-related breakdowns, all because I’m a workaholic who has a tendency to forget to stop and take care of myself. Don’t do that. Not only is it awful for your body, but it also takes away from the experience of high school.

High school is supposed to be fun! I’ve often heard it described as “the best four years of your life,” and even though I’m not out of high school yet, I think I agree. Don’t get so caught up in academics that you forget to be a teenager. Take a break for two minutes. Hang out with your friends. Go to random websites. Go to a party or two. Marathon "Supernatural." Whatever it is that you do to relax, do it. As long as you make it an exception and not a rule, it’s perfectly fine.

With that, I leave you with my final link. If you ever feel overwhelmed, hop on over to that post. You’re stronger than you think.

Cover Image Credit: Claire Lin

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6 Tips On Eating Healthy At The Dining Hall

It's not as hard as it seems.

I'm pretty sure every dining hall on every college campus serves pizza every hour of every day. As soon as you walk through the doors, the smell of pizza smacks you in the face. But somewhere behind all of the pizza and macaroni and cheese, there are some hidden healthy options. It's extremely hard to eat healthy in college, especially if you are still on a meal plan.

1. Take Advantage Of The Ice Machine

If your dorm looks anything like mine, the water from the water fountains is warm and there is not an ice maker to be found. Bring a water bottle with you every time you go to the dining hall to refill it with lots of ice and water!

2. Check The Vegan Section

This might not sound appetizing to many since the word "vegan" is enough to make people turn the other way. However, you may be surprised with what this section has to offer!

3. Skip The Dessert

It is always so tempting to grab a cupcake or cookie as you're walking past the dessert section but I promise you'll feel better if you don't! Grab an apple or banana on your way out instead. This might not sound appetizing at the moment but your body will thank you.

4. Load Up On Veggies!

I would recommend getting a salad every time you go to the dining hall! No matter what you get for your entree, pairing it with a fresh salad is never a bad idea. Take advantage of the raw veggies and try to make them a part of your meal every chance you get!

5. Try The Breakfast

Whether you're going to the dining hall the morning after going out with your friends or you're trying to grab a bite before your 10 a.m., always try to start your day as healthy as you can. The eggs might not always look appetizing but try making a special request for egg whites or however you would like your eggs and they will be made fresh for you!

6. Don't Get Sucked In By The Fountain Drink Machine

This goes back to number one. Always, always, always drink water when you go to the dining hall! It is extremely tempting to drink some pop/soda with your lunch but drinking water is 100 times better for you and you will notice that. Go crazy with your water consumption while you're at the dining hall and your body will thank you!!!

In order to eat healthy at the dining hall, you have to try. Healthy options aren't going to be available for you right as you walk in the door. But if you look around, the healthy options are there! It might be hard to transition but there's nothing better you could do for your body than filling it with nutritious foods!!!

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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You Know You Go To Rowan When You Can Relate To These 20 Things

7. Parking does NOT exist.

Rowan University: the place I get to call my second home. It really is a great place to be but, like all places, it has some flaws we all notice. Some of these things are bothersome and annoying. Attention Rowan students: this one is for you. When you relate to these 20 things, you know you're a Rowan student/alumni for sure.

1. It's never sunny, ever.

There is only a very rare time when the sun is out in Glassboro, let's be honest here. Any other time, it's raining/hailing/storming/snowing.

2. The SCCA hosts the best events on campus.

As an employee and member of the SCCA, I can tell you this is 100% true. Weekends are never boring for anyone here at Rowan.

3. Noah Weinstein greets you at least once every single day.

He's the best and he can make your day! Can we make Noah the mascot of Rowan and retire the Prof? What is a Prof, anyway?

4. The campus food tastes crappy and leaves your stomach in knots.

Stomach bug? Rowan plague? No, it's probably just the cafeteria food. It'll pass. Be strong, young ones.

5. It's also windy... VERY WINDY.

Forget about doing your hair. It's going to get whirled around in the Rowan wind tunnel. Also, in the winter, the wind is almost impossible to cope with. You will legit freeze your butt off and your face will hurt.

6. The fire alarms are neverending.

When I lived in an apartment last year, the fire alarm went off every day at odd hours. Ever since I've lived in an actual house, the fire alarm rarely goes off. So it depends on your fate, sorry. You're either lucky or you're not.

7. Parking does NOT exist.

Talking about you, commuters. Even in the biggest lot on campus, you can never find a spot. Instead of making space for parking, we build buildings!

8. You hear Bunce clocktower sing every day, so you always know what time it is.

I don't know how I'd survive, really.

9. Pizza Hut, Domino's Pizza, and Cookie Munchers save you, even at the oddest hour.

I crave warm giant cookies at 2 A.M. Yes, I have a problem. Why does pizza taste better when the sun goes down? These places understand us; they get it. They're our heroes.

10. Landmark is your party destination.

The party people go there to hang at the bar every weekend... I just love their burgers. Define "party".

11. Trains... all the time.

There is a railroad that runs alongside the outskirts of Rowan's campus, and a train steams by every once in a while. Loud and shaky, so Spongebob describes you right now. PLUS it holds up the already busy traffic.

12. Classes are never canceled unless it's the zombie apocalypse.

A foot of snow? That's nothing. The sky is falling? We still have class.

13. Why is everything so expensive?

How is a tiny container of mac 'n cheese nearly $7? Why is a tiny box of cereal close to $6? Why is that okay? If you do not have a meal plan, STAY AWAY from on-campus anything, unless you have Rowan Bucks.

14. Traffic, traffic, TRAFFIC!

The best time to get anywhere is before 8 A.M. and after 8 P.M. I hate to break it to you. 322 is full of standstills and angry drivers; you don't win in this situation.

15. The WiFi crashes every day.

Be prepared to use some of your cellular data because Rowan's internet is never reliable. Don't expect to get work done, either. Remember the blackout last year?

16. You survive off of your Rowan Bucks.

Only if you have a meal plan! Take advantage of your Rowan Bucks because they go quicker than you think!

17. The laundry rooms are SO far away from your dorm/apartment.

No need to go to the gym because you have to walk a thousand miles to get to a washer and dryer. Not to mention that your 2 months worth of laundry is a hundred pounds.

18. Every building is a sauna, whether it's hot or cold outside.

The heat is on ALL YEAR, I swear. There is no such thing as air conditioning.

19. 322 does NOT scare you.

Nah, you can play hopscotch in the crosswalks and still not get hit by a car.

20. You pay WAY too much for housing when the housing is less than decently kept.

I can't tell you the exact amount of work orders my roommates and I have submitted for our house. It's painful.


Cover Image Credit: Alyssa Paluch

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