University life isn’t what it used to be. We use online references, access our marks through ROSS and hand in our work via RUConnected. Gone are the days of analogue tertiary education. Just because university has, in many ways, been translated into a digital realm, doesn’t mean it’s any less difficult to navigate. You’re here to roll with the punches though, and to help you get your digital game strong, here are some essential apps that will make your university life easier.
- My Study Life
Let’s start at the beginning. If you can only get one thing right in your first term of university, nailing down your timetable is the best place to start. Keeping track of your lectures, tutorials and other meetings and deadlines is the most basic necessary skill required, and My Study Life is the app to keep that on track. Carrying your timetable with you and adding commitments and reminders will ensure you never miss a beat.
Now that your timetable is all sorted, you’ll never miss a lecture, unintentionally at least. It’s in these lectures however, that you’ll soon realise your bare minimum task of being present is not enough. Note taking in the analogue age works, and if that’s your preferred method, keep on scribbling. But as we all know, those lecture slides wait for no man; so Evernote is a great productivity app to store your notes, scans, lists and tasks in digital folders. You save trees and stationary costs and have some effective notes to learn from in the process.
Unfortunately, there is no app to take care of those pesky deadlines and tests though. We all know how hard it can be to get into the grind. Rid yourself of procrastination and online distractions with this fantastic app that turns your good work into actual living trees. The longer you keep the app open, and by extension, keep yourself away from other cellular distractions, the more your virtual tree grows and the more points you earn. On the other hand, should your insatiable addiction to social media cause you to falter, your tree will shamefully begin to wither. The more credits you earn, the more your trees grow. And the more your virtual trees grow, the more real trees will be planted around the world by the app’s organisation, Trees for the Future.
Knowing yourself and your most effective methods of studying is going to make university an easier experience. And if studying using repetition, memory and statements then you’ll already be familiar with using physical flashcards. Again, using inconceivable amounts of paper and spending hours writing out words is cut away with this app.
Flashcards aren’t for everyone, or every subject for that matter. If you’re more of a visual learner and love the creativity that mind mapping brings, give this app a try. Use it for study notes that don’t need to be set up on massive A3 pages to find the whole semester’s worth of work on.
Don’t worry, class, if the test didn’t go well, you can make it up in the term essay! For those of us that spend more time puzzling over the bibliography than the assignment itself, EasyBib is here to save your Sunday nights. With book and website smart referencing techniques and all the formats imaginable, your citations will become a mere footnote in your life.
Your academics are now covered. Time to party… Except your bank account balance is refusing to get into this jolling mood with you. You can either wallow in the countless memes dedicated to your student level of brokenness, or simply plan ahead. With Goodbudget, the façade of financial organisation means you can pretend to be something resembling an adult when it comes to your funds. Splitting expenses, allocating funds and avoiding debts can be easily navigated through this simple app.
Seriously though, let’s just take a minute to acknowledge just how truly overwhelming university life can be at times. Sometimes we need to force ourselves to stop, just to remind ourselves we are still breathing. Meditation and calming breathing exercises for virtually every situation are all accessible through Headspace. We especially recommend the sections to help cope with anxiety, depression, stress and even one created for a panic or anxiety attack. *
- Circle of 6
Sure, Grahamstown isn’t a huge city. More like a small city. Or a town. Actually a small town. But the geographical confinements don’t take away from the possibility of crime. Any lingering feelings of unease can be dealt this through this app, which notifies a circle of your 6 closest friends or family members that you are moving or heading to a certain place, with a panic button to notify them and the programmed authorities should something go wrong.
Ok so your timetable is sorted, your bank account balanced and your courses passed. Time to celebrate and kick back with a glass of wine. For those of you who don’t want to answer the question of “Which one?” with “The cheapest one, obviously”, then Vino will help you pick your alcohol of choice.
But stick around, Rhodes will teach you that and so much more soon enough.