10+ College Resources You Need for Success
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College is very different from high school, and finding the right college resources to help you along the way is key. Luckily for you, I’ve found some of the best college resources out there and I wanted to pass them on to you.
I beg you all to please, please, PLEASE take advantage of these resources! They are your best friends while you’re in college and will make your life so much easier.
I may have added some distractions at the bottom, but it’s only because we need to take a break from the studying every once in a while to relax. Also, some of them have student discounts that I didn’t figure out until a little while ago, so I’m informing you early on. 🙂
Also, sorry not sorry for my excessive use of gifs. I love them, especially when they’re from my favorite movies / TV shows.
Homework Help & Studying
Homework and studying can be a real buzz kill. Especially when you have no idea what you’re even doing.
Fortunately, there are some kickass websites out there to help you out, no matter what it is you’re struggling with. First up is Chegg, my favorite.
Oh, Chegg, how I love thee. If it weren’t for Chegg, I probably would have failed a class or two. Yeah, it’s that good.
I learned about Chegg my freshman year of college and have used it ever since. It’s been my main source of homework help and it’s something I hope never goes away.
Chegg offers several different resources all in one location. You can rent or buy textbooks, find homework solutions (my favorite!), ask a study question and someone will answer it (hopefully), and even find an online tutor. The prices for renting textbooks are very reasonable (Chegg can save you hundreds a semester on books), you get free returns, and they also throw in a little gift after checkout.
And the homework solutions! They’re amaaaazing. Pretty much any time I search for solutions to a homework problem, Chegg is at the top of the search. The problem is pretty much always the same one I’m looking for and the solutions are done step-by-step so I don’t miss anything.
The only downside to Chegg is having to pay for a membership, but nothing this helpful and resourceful is given away for free. It’s $14.95/month or $99.95/year. I know it’s a decent amount of money, but if you think about how often you’ll use it (which is like always) and how much money, time, and stress it will save you, it’s totally worth it. I promise.
All in all, Chegg is truly a lifesaver. So if you haven’t signed up for Chegg already, you should do it. Like right now. You’ll thank me later. 🙂
Wolfram|Alpha is a “computational knowledge engine.” So basically it’s your go-to for anything. You can see below some of the many, many uses it has.
I’ve mainly used it for math problems that I couldn’t figure out. It’s as easy as copying and pasting the problem into the Wolfram|Alpha search bar and hitting the compute button.
In addition, they have a boatload of Web Apps that you can use (accessible through the Wolfram|Alpha website). You can get help with anything from algebra to personal finance to genomics to personal fitness and much, much more. This website has it all.
So if you’re stuck with something and nothing else seems to help, try Wolfram|Alpha. It just might save the day (and prevent you from having a mental breakdown).
For those of you unfamiliar with Khan Academy, you’re in for a treat. Khan Academy provides free online courses, lessons, and practice on pretty much any subject. Yes you read that right, everything on their website is 100% FREE.
Khan Academy covers the following topics: math by subject, math by grade, science & engineering, computing, arts & humanities, economics & finance, test prep, college, careers, & more.
I’ve mainly used it for figuring out how to do specific problems, mainly for my Intro to Circuits class and Statics. The teachers are excellent at explaining the concepts and showing step-by-step instructions for solving problems.
And like I mentioned before, it’s absolutely free. So if you’re having trouble with concepts or homework problems, or just want to learn something new, the Khan Academy has you covered. 🙂
I mainly used Quizlet in my high school German classes. This is another free site which provides learning tools and flashcards for all your studying needs.
The online flashcards are great because you can use them anywhere. So if you’re in the bathroom, you can go through some flashcards instead of scrolling Facebook or Instagram (don’t give me that look, we all use our phones in the bathroom). Another awesome thing about the online flashcards is that you can easily fix a mistake and it will still look nice (no words crossed out, no misspelling of words, etc.).
Perhaps the best tool that Quizlet has to offer is their new diagram feature. I feel like this is particularly useful for nursing / medical students or biology students. You can create a diagram, let’s say of a cell structure, and math the terms of each component with it’s definition. If you click on that link for the cell structure you’ll see what I’m talking about. It basically helps you remember where things are located, while also helping you remember what exactly it is.
Quizlet also has a bunch of other ways to help you remember things, such as fill in the blanks, type what you hear, match words with their definitions, plus many more.
So basically, use Quizlet if you’ve got some definitions and structures with several different components you need to memorize.
Stack Exchange is a free Q&A community. You can ask questions and have them answered (hopefully) and search for already answered questions.
I personally have not used this website, but it has been useful for other people, and it just may be useful for you, too.
I’ve had several Apple devices but never knew this existed until recently. iTunes U contains massive amounts of educational audio and video files from universities, public media organizations, and museums. So basically, it’s like taking an online class but at your own pace. The majority are even free to download.
This can be a great resource if you need help with understanding a certain subject better. Or it can even be helpful for learning how to write better essays. If you haven’t browsed iTunes U yet, it’s worth looking at. You can find some pretty interesting and useful courses on there.
If you really can’t afford Chegg, Yahoo Answers can be a decent alternative. However, half of the time Yahoo Answers does not have what I’m looking for, making my life much more difficult.
Nonetheless, Yahoo Answers is great. People submit questions, other people answer. Sometimes the answers are detailed, sometimes you wonder who let that person use a computer because the answer’s so unhelpful. But still, you can find some good help on here, so don’t forget to use it if all else fails.
Tip: Most of the time, I don’t go directly to these websites if I have questions. I type my question into Google (or copy & paste it) and click on whatever matches the closest. As stated before, it’s usually Chegg that’s got my back. But you can still go directly to the websites and search what you’re looking for. 🙂
So as we’ve all definitely been reminded of when doing research: Wikipedia is NOT a valid source.
Sometimes it’s best if we don’t listen to Michael Scott, and that’s where these resources come into play.
JSTOR is a digital library containing academic journals and books, along with primary sources. There are thousands upon thousands of professional sources on so many different subjects for all your research and paper writing needs. Simply search for your topic, browse the documents for the best one(s), and download them. Easy as pie.
Similar to JSTOR, Google Scholar is a collection of literature from scholars. It’s relevant, accurate information. And it’s powered by Google, so it’s super easy to navigate.
College can be so frustrating. I didn’t do much to prepare for it before I started, but once I became a full-time college student, I learned real quick that the best planning comes with how you choose your schedule. I’ve gotten some pretty horrid professors, and every time I think:
I’m sorry, there’s an Office reaction gif to almost anything.
But honestly, you win some, you lose some when it comes to professors. In order to get as many good ones as you can, I highly suggest Rate My Professors as your guide.
Rate My Professors
So many people have told me I’ve gotten lucky with professors, and I owe it mainly to Rate My Professors. If it wasn’t for Rate My Professors, I probably would have had a mental breakdown every semester.
You can find a professor directly, find a school and find the professor, or rate a professor. The ratings of professors are based on other student’s ratings they submitted. Pretty much all of the time, at least in my case, the ratings have been accurate.
Needless to say, when you’re picking out your schedule, go to Rate My Professors and see what your options are. Trust me, it could be the difference between passing and failing a class.
I would be lost without my planner, literally. It has saved my butt so many times. Whenever I have ANYTHING I need to do, I write it down in there so I don’t forget. I make it a habit to check it throughout the day to make sure I’m not forgetting anything. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a planner to keep track of your assignments and just day to day life.
There isn’t a specific planner I have used that works best, so any planner will do. Just make sure it’s large enough to fit all your tasks onto.
College Board isn’t really for college students as much as it is for high school students. It’s still a great resource and I’m sure at least one high school student is reading this.
College Board has a bunch of information and tools to get your ready for the SAT, AP exams, and figuring out your college plan. If any of that pertains to you, check it out. It’s got some great information.
My freshman year, my financial aid adviser told me how a student brought in a huge binder full of scholarships she had won. Needless to say, her full tuition was covered.
If you’re struggling with paying for college, try some of the sites below. It’s totally worth applying if it means you don’t have to live paycheck to paycheck or eat ramen for the rest of your life. Or so you don’t end up with overwhelming amounts of debt and do what the good ol’ Michael Scott did:
To aid in your quest for scholarships, Unigo’s got you covered. There are currently 3.6 million scholarships worth over $14 billion listed on their website. There are scholarships for pretty much anything on there and most of them are pretty quick and easy to apply for.
College Scholarships.org is another website with a great collection of scholarships. You can search by many different factors, such as gender, ethnicity, award amount, etc.
Similar to the other sites, Scholarships.com provides you with lots of scholarships. You can also search this website based on your major, grade level, state, plus more.
FYI – there are scholarships for high school students of all grade levels, something I wish I knew when I was still in high school. So if you know any high school students, let them know!
It’s always nice to have a little extra cash laying around. Some of these sites have cashback features while other’s are just discounts you get for being a student. Either way, they can help you treat yo self.
Ebates is a great cashback site. You get free cashback for shopping popular retailers through the Ebates website. So you’re basically getting paid to shop. Whaddup.
But for real, you start at the Ebates website, browse retailers that are partnered with Ebates and view the cashback rate, and click on the link to go shopping. Once you’ve completed your purchase, Ebates automatically determines if what you purchased qualifies for cashback and credits your account.
You can also get cashback when shopping at qualifying stores (in the actual store), as long as you use your linked credit or debit card (debit must be ran as credit). Once you have enough cashback in your account, you can redeem it by check or PayPal, no fees attached.
Signup today and get a free $10 signup bonus!
Swagbucks is an awesome site that also provides cashback, and is free to signup for. My first day using it, I earned 140 Swagbucks (SB). I didn’t even purchase anything.
In order to earn SB, you can shop at your favorite retailers, watch entertaining videos, take surveys, participate in polls, and discover new deals. All while on the Swagbucks website, of course. One of the deals I saw was for a BOGO at a company. The cashback for buying a BOGO free item from that particular retailer was 3500 SB or $35. Yes, $35. If it’s something that I needed or could have bought as a gift for someone, I could have gotten the products half off (because BOGO) AND gotten myself $35. Absolutely bonkers, I know.
So if you haven’t already, signup for Swagbucks! You can also get a free $5 signup bonus using my Swagbucks link. 🙂
If you buy groceries or really anything, ibotta can help you earn some of that money back with rebates. All you have to do is download the ibotta app, create a free account, and search for rebates on products you normally purchase. It’s essentially like digital coupons, except better, because the rebates have some good value to them (like $3 back for buying some dish soap). In order to get refunded, you simply scan your receipt in the app to see if any of your purchases qualify. Then you get your cashback via PayPal, Venmo, or gift cards.
For more information on Ebates, Swagbucks, and ibotta, check out:
Student Rate is a website with a collection of the latest student discounts available. They have discounts, coupons, deals, and promo codes, all for us to take advantage of. So before you buy something, check on the Student Rate site to see if you can get it cheaper!
UNiDAYS is used by many popular brands, such as Apple and Microsoft. If you go to the Apple website and search their student deals, they say you need to be verified as a student, and do so through UNiDAYS. All you have to do is create a UNiDAYS account, using your .edu email address, so they can verify you are a college student. Once verified, you can get some pretty awesome student discounts on awesome products.
Venmo is like PayPal (it’s actually owned by PayPal), except there are no fees. It allows you to easily transfer money between people. So if your friend bought you dinner because you left your wallet at home, you can quickly Venmo him (or her) the $10 you owe ’em. I personally use Venmo and I really like it.
Everybody listens to music, and if you don’t, you should start. There are so many instances when we use music for entertainment, whether it’s in the car, in your dorm room, at a party, while you’re cooking and cleaning, or just hanging out with friends. Oh, and don’t forget when you study (classical music is good for studying).
The below music streaming services all have student discount prices – what a steal!
Spotify is probably the best music streaming service if you’re looking for some killer playlists and a wide variety of artists. I have found some awesome songs using Spotify that I probably never would have found anywhere else. The best part is – you can get Spotify Premium for $4.99/month with a valid student ID (.edu email).
What’s even better: Spotify and Hulu teamed up to bring students an even better deal. You can get Spotify Premium AND Hulu (with commercials) for only $4.99/month!
When I saw this, I immediately signed up for a free Hulu trial to see if I’d like it better than Netflix. So far, it’s pretty decent and has sooo many great shows and movies.
You can signup for a FREE 3 month trial of Apple Music today. After those 3 months, it’s only $4.99/month for students.
I signed up for the free trial a while back and really enjoyed it. There’s a HUGE selection of artists and bands to listen to. If you’re not a fan of Spotify or just want that free 3 month trial, you can signup using this Apple Music link.
Amazon Prime Music
Many people don’t know that Amazon Prime members get access to Amazon Prime Music (on top of many other perks) for free. If you already have an Amazon Prime membership and don’t want to forfeit more money to listen to music, then this is a great option. And there are no ads! I’ve used it for over a year and it’s great.
For those of you who do not have an Amazon Prime membership and are on the fence, you can get a FREE 6 month Amazon Prime Membership.
Amazon Music Unlimited
In addition to Amazon Prime Music, there is Amazon Music Unlimited. You can get 6 months for $6 (so $1/month) when you sign up. After that, Amazon Music Unlimited is only $4.99/month, just like Spotify and Apple Music.
Amazon Prime Music has a huge selection of bands and artists, no ads, and you can download the music for offline streaming. You can signup for Amazon Music Unlimited here.
We all need some distractions. You can’t spend your whole time writing essays and studying for exams. Breaks are proven to be good for the mind, and these mindless distractions can help you relax. Here are some good ones that don’t cost much, if anything. If I had a choice to go out or stay in and watch Netflix, I’d choose Netflix every time.
As mentioned earlier, Hulu and Spotify have teamed up to bring us something truly spectacular. You can get Hulu (with limited commercials) AND Spotify Premium for ONLY $4.99/month! That’s $7.99 in savings, and it’s only available to students.
I have always used Netflix but recently started my free 1 month trial with Hulu to see if it’s worth switching. So far, so good. The only downside is that The Office isn’t on Hulu. *insert crying emoji*
However, it’s still a great place to find things to watch, and if I can save $5 AND get Spotify, it just might be worth the switch. Michael Scott, please forgive me.
My Netflix addiction really started in college. I’ve spent hours upon hours binge watching TV shows (and loving every second of it). This is the place I first watched The Office, Parks and Rec, Dexter, Gilmore Girls, How I Met Your Mother, The Walking Dead, and many more. If you aren’t keen on Hulu, give Netflix a try. Just make sure you don’t spend too much time with it!
If you don’t want to pay for cable (which you really shouldn’t be paying for), check out Pluto TV. I found it a few months back on accident and I’m so glad I did.
What is Pluto TV, you ask?
Pluto TV is a 100% FREE online television service. I repeat. Pluto TV is 100% FREE. The reason it’s free is because they show ads. But so does cable television that people pay $50+ for. Yet, Pluto TV offers a similar service for free.
They provide over 100 of our favorite TV stations, movies, and internet videos. You can pause and rewind shows and movies, just like with cable.
So if you don’t have cable, don’t ever signup for it. If you do have cable, get rid of it. Switch to Pluto TV and/or Hulu or Netflix. You’ll save tons of money.
I hope this list of college resources helps you out! Let me know in the comments if there are any other useful sites I should add to the list. 🙂