So yay, you’re in college!
Less yay: you have no idea what you’re doing.
I mean, I don’t care what anyone says, adulting is hard. But I believe in you, I believe you can pull this all together. You just need the right tools. Below, we’ve assorted the best apps for studying, money management, time management, health and exercise, job hunting and finding cheap textbooks.
(And yeah, older grown-ups use a lot of these, too.)
1. Your college’s app
First, the basics. If your college has its own app, check it out, because it might give you useful information about dining hall menus or the library catalog or football schedules. If you can find grades, assignments, or readings on it, never ever delete it off your phone. Those kinds of apps save lives.
Say goodbye to cash. You’ll pay for almost nothing in cash. Your meal plan and laundry money and everything else will now be on a card. But when you and some friends decide to ditch the dining hall one day, don’t be that table who asks the waiter to split a check six ways. Transfer your pizza money easily with Venmo.
While you’re busy decoding Chaucer or balancing equations or learning about asset turnover, you’re going to realize that no one is teaching you how to budget. Mint makes it easy (and colorful!) by tracking all transactions that you make from certain accounts and organizing them all into a neat little monthly spending report. You can set limits for yourself, set up bill reminders and discover what kinds of things you spend the most money on.
If you’re a legal adult who knows pretty much nothing about how nutrition works, well, you’re not the first of your kind. But now that you’re stuck with probably unhealthy dining hall food, you should start learning a thing or two. Similar to Mint, this app easily quantifies otherwise confusing dietary recommendations. Add a meal or pick one from their database, and it will break down the nutrition facts for you. At the end of the day, you can know if you got enough of what your body needs with their daily summary. The app also adjusts its recommendations based on height, weight and exercise.
Wholesome is a great app to complement the Calorie Counter, because it gives you a lot more information on different nutrients. You can also learn the best foods and recipes for incorporating them in your diet. Best of all, it’s such a gorgeously colorful app.
6. Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock
If this is any indicator, you’re going to have some late nights in college. But you can lessen your drowsiness by taking advantage of your body’s natural sleep cycles. Enter a latest possible wakeup time, and this alarm clock will find the closest time within the 30 previous minutes that correlates to the end of a cycle. You’ll find yourself waking up more naturally.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that college is stressful, especially your first, very transitionary semester. If you have just a few minutes, though, use the Headspace app for personalized guided meditation. That guy didn’t text you back? Big paper due tomorrow? Generally anxious? They’ve got a meditation for that.
Completing Duolingo is roughly the equivalent of passing the 100-level class of a language. If you want to keep your German skills sharp over the summer, refresh your high school French or get a headstart on Russian 101 grammar, Duolingo is a great tool.
9. Reverso Translator
Another great tool if you’re taking a language class. It’s time you graduated from Google Translate, because Reverso actually gives you vocabulary in real contexts. Now you can really figure out if you mean bonita or bastante (big difference).
To-do lists are to productivity as free food is to college students they always attract. Wunderlist lets you not only create those magic lists, but you can organize sub-lists, make notes on different tasks, and share/collaborate lists with friends. You can even create separate to-do lists for work and home.
This is a great app for everything from simple flashcards to more complicated audio- or image-based flashcards. Even better, you can access a database of public flashcard sets that probably cover whatever you’re studying. Or be the hero yourself and share a set with the rest of your class.
When it comes to books and furniture, Amazon is everything. With the app, you can find whatever you need, track the delivery and check textbook rental due dates wherever you are. It’s also the place to buy that Amazon Prime student subscription for 5 months and 29 days before they charge you.
Here’s textbook buying/renting app #2, because textbooks are so expensive and you should really comparison shop. Seriously, never ever buy books from your school’s bookstore, they’re always overpriced and you have to wait in long lines. A great Chegg-specific feature, however, is their online community of tutors and forums for homework help.
Promise, last book app, but on iBooks, you can get so many books that are nice and lightweight an portable and cheap. Especially check this out if you’re reading older books, since many become public domain and thus free.
15. Google Office apps
I’m sure to your happiness or despair, group projects are still a thing in college. You willbe using Google Sheets, Google Slides, Google Docs and Google Drive (and you will learn the difference). It makes everyone’s lives easier when they’re accessible via your phone, too.
All those people that say connections are everything? They’re right. Start building them in college, start making a network, start having an online presence. Even better, just having LinkedIn and occasionally getting notifications is a good reminder to build up that resume. Speaking of which…
17. Resume Star (iPhone) & My Resume Builder(Android)
Start building a real resume, one that you can hand to an employer without cringing. Either Resume Star or My Resume Builder is a good first step. From there, if you’re still feeling stuck, reach out to your advisor, your school’s counselor, or one of these guides.
18. Circle of Six
Circle of Six gives you a network of trusted contacts to call or text if you’re feeling unsafe at night. There are also numbers for national and safety hotlines at your disposal. According to the app’s description, Joe Biden thinks it’s an amazing invention. As of this year, CoS has a new competitor, Companion, which you can also try out.
19. Smart Voice Recorder & 20. Voice Recorder Free
As long as you don’t put it on the Internet or something, recording lectures is a great idea. Review them for finals, clarify something for your notes, or share lectures with friends. These apps are a great if you want something a little better than Voice Memos, but that’s sufficient as well.
Everyone’s favorite time-saving bibliography tool now has an app! If you haven’t used Easybib, I don’t know what rock you’ve been living under, but start using it right now. Fill one form and it beautifully formats an MLA or APA bibliography with the most up-to-date rules.
22. PC Calc & 23. Calculator++
Perhaps you don’t have hundreds of dollars to blow on a calculator. Or maybe you left yours in the dorm. These apps are handy with trig functions and graphing capabilities alike.
24. Google Calendar
This sounds very basic, but taking advantage of calendar apps can make a huge difference. Get your life together with our guides on using Google calendar to stay organized or reach goals. It’ll be especially effective if you’re a visual learner.
If you’re already studying for the GMAT, and the LSAT, you’re well aware of what a pain it is. Make things easier and slightly gamified with Benchprep. The app gives you access to lessons, study plans, practice questions and exams, flashcards, and analyses of your strong or weak skills.
When it comes to productivity, the two hardest things are without a doubt 1) starting, and 2) distractions. Pomodoro is developed with both of those in mind, because it lures you into doing tasks by very short intervals. You start easy and take breaks when your brain needs it.
Now good luck, and get out there, brave collegians. We salute you.
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