Being a student is stressful enough as it is, and though many tell us that we should be grateful for our “few hours” and free time, the actuality is that the time is not as free as one might think. I find myself constantly busy with something, whether it’s pre-reading, post-lecture note taking, extra-curriculars, internship, or just making sure I don’t completely feel like I’m falling apart. Therefore, with the start of a new term, and the “New Year, New Me” vibes still being somewhat relevant, I figured I’d list the things that help make student life a little bit easier…
The Google Calendar App
I have an iPhone, and I know that Apple has an installed Calendar app, which I do use for a different part of my life (Yes, I separate my calendars because I’m an organisation junky) but the Google Calendar is my go-to organiser for everything University related. The best thing about this calendar is that you can colour-code it, and so lay different parts of your life out in different ways. For example, my University timetable shows in purple, visits to other people’s uni’s/visits to mine show in light blue, Essay deadlines and exams are in red, workout classes are in dark green, and sponsored post deadlines/blog events are in teal (to name a few).
One of the best things about this system is that you can also set custom reminders before events, so I tend to set reminders for essay deadlines 2 weeks prior to the essay, just so I know that I should be getting a move on. I also set reminders 2 days before each gym class I want to go to so that I remember to book them. It’s really allowed me to organise everything I do at University in one place, with cute colours so it seems less daunting, and I strongly recommend if you want one place to organise everything. Find the app by searching ‘Google Calendar’ on the app store!
This app is absolutely brilliant, like seriously I love this. It’s accompanied by a website, in which you can make an account and design flashcards, which you can also access from your phone. You can test yourself on the flashcards that you’ve made and get progress scores for how many you’ve answered correctly. I tend to update my flashcards at the end of the day following any lectures/seminars I’ve had on topics that I’m being examined on, and then start testing myself on them around a month before exams get started to see what I remember.
I like the fact that I can do the main designing and question/answer inputting from my laptop and then it will all be there when I open my phone, as it means I can test myself anywhere. It’s obviously not my only form of revision, but it’s a great first and last step, and makes revision seem a lot less serious (Which everybody needs when they’re stressing). You can find the website here, and just download the app of the same name.
This is particularly handy if you’re house/flat sharing as it takes care of money monitoring so easily. Essentially, you set up an account for your house and then each of you enters whenever you make a communal purchase (For example, soap, toilet paper, bin bags… the list goes on) and it splits it evenly between you all. Each house/flat member has their own little dashboard on their phone telling them who they own money to/who they’re owed money for, how much, and what it was for. Financially, it makes things so much easier as sometimes you don’t realise how much all the little purchases you make that you never get paid back for add up to, and sometimes you innocently forget to pay things. This puts everything in one place and sorts out the house finances for you, all you have to do is pay. To find it, just search ‘Acasa’ on the app store.
Trint kindly reached out to work on this post with me and wanted to see if I’d test out their lecture Transcription service which has proven popular in the US and is making a move over to the UK! Honestly, the idea of it is pretty great: you record your lectures, upload them to Trint and they produce a transcript – writing out your lectures and putting them on paper for you. I tested the service out, uploading my own audio file to see how useful the service really was, and honestly I can definitely see the appeal. I’d say that in my first use it was around 75% accurate… There were obviously the odd word or two that were misinterpreted but that can’t really be helped as we all speak differently. Also, it allows you to easily edit the words that are wrong, and even follow along with the audio as you read.
Once you’re content with your interpretation you can export the document as a Word Document/your preferred method and bam, your notes are done. I love this concept as I struggle with being able to listen, and actually take in what lecturers are saying during the lecture as I’m too preoccupied with taking notes, so this would give me that option. The one thing I did note was that it takes quite long to transcribe – each 15/20 minutes takes an hour to transcribe, but this is something you could let happen in the background while you’re doing something else like making flashcards, or more likely going on Youtube/Netflix/Twitter. You can find the service here
Like I said, being a student can be tricky at times, but these are the best things I’ve found to make it just a little bit easier.
Thank you again to Trint for sponsoring this post! Let me know in the comments what your best student hacks are!
Lots of love,
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*This post was sponsored by Trint. However, I only take on sponsorships that I believe in and always provide honest reviews and opinions. This sponsorship does not affect the integrity of this post.