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13 Useful Websites That Every College Student Should Not Miss

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13 Useful Websites That Every College Student Should Not Miss

We’ve all been there. A seemingly endless number of lessons, textbook readings, homework assignments, essays, research papers, and those dreaded final exams. Most times, you have the willpower, and possibly, the motivation to get it all done and make a decent grade. But you lack that one tool that could help you find the information you need to give your assignment that extra punch. Well, worry no more. Your school semester can get off to a great start with these helpful free resources.

1. Roger Hub

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    When it comes to final exam time, you’ll want to know what you need to get in order to have a certain grade point average. Roger Hub is your answer. Whether your professor uses points, weighting, or percentages, you can figure out what your final grade will be beforehand.

    2. Bibme

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      Professors seem to always want writing assignments in certain formats and different citations and bibliographies for certain types of papers. If you’re taking multiple classes at once, it can be difficult to keep up with which format goes where. Whatever format it is, BibMe helps to put your sources in the right format.

      3. Grammarly

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        It’s annoying when you have a great paper, but your grammar is sub par. Improve your writing — spelling, grammar, sentence structure, and tense usage — with Grammarly. With their app, you can check your paper from your browser or from Microsoft Word. Be confident when you submit your work that it is error-free.

        4. Tutor.com

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          Need a tutor? Tutor.com offers 24/7 tutoring in over 40 different subjects. Get a tutor — day or night — in math, science, computer science, social studies, and English subjects. Additionally, tutors are available to help SAT test prep and advanced courses. Tutors go through an extended interview process and are fully equipped to help students in specific subjects. (Personal note: I passed college algebra with the help of one of their amazing tutors.)

          5. InternMatch

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            Ten million students launched their careers on InternMatch. You could too. InternMatch allows you to find internships and entry-level jobs that match up with your interests, location, skill set, and availability. One thing I would suggest adding to this site however is a listing for remote or online jobs.

            6. Rate My Professor

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              This is a college professor rating and review website. All ratings and reviews are done by students so feel free to praise your good ones and critique your bad ones. Additionally, you can find out about future professors you may have before you even get to their class.

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              7. Quizlet

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                Quizlet is a flashcard/study guide website. Anyone can create flashcards for any subject, but generally, you will find flashcards for nearly every subject you’ll ever take. (Personal note: I passed a class with the help of their flashcards.) You can also take practice tests and play games to make learning more interactive and be able to retain more of what you learn.

                8. Student Rate

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                  This site literally gives you discounts and cash back deals on everything from clothes to dorm room supplies to travel to food just for being a student.

                  9. Khan Academy

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                    This is an excellent, free resource through which you can learn about many different subjects including: math, history, computer programming, economics, physics, chemistry, biology, and finance, among many others. Khan produces short lectures in the form of YouTube videos. This site helps you to understand tough subjects that you may not understand as well in a traditional classroom setting.

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                    10. Wolfram-Alpha

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                      Thought Google knew the answer to everything? Think again. Wolfram Alpha is a practical know-it-all engine. Essentially, it will answer your homework assignment questions for you or guide you to resources to get your questions answered. If you ask me, it’s a lifesaver.

                      11. Mint

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                        Want to keep up with your spending but don’t have a whole lot of time to sort things out? Well, there’s an app for that. Mint is an Intuit based program that helps you track your spending, make budgets, track your transactions, and even check your credit.

                        12. TED.com

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                          Ted.com is one of the most awesome sites around. Whether you’re looking for ideas for a paper, need some inspiration, or are simply constructive procrastinating, there are many valuable lessons to learn from world-class, intelligent, and successful people.

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                          13. Google Scholar

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                            Google Scholar is the best thing since, well, Google. It indexes scholarly, peer-reviewed, scholarly sources across a variety of formats and disciplines that you can use in your papers and research. It’s estimated to contain over 160 million documents so you’re bound to find what you need.

                            Bonus

                            #20 is a bonus, but, oh, so needed. Students come up with the darndest recipes.

                            StudentRecipes.com

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                              This site offers over 5000 recipes created by students for students. If you’re a foodie and a student, then you’ll love this site.

                              Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory/StokPic via stokpic.com

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                              Daniella Whyte

                              Psychology Researcher

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                              Last Updated on October 21, 2021

                              How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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                              How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

                              Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

                              Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

                              The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

                              Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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                              Program Your Own Algorithms

                              Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

                              Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

                              By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

                              How to Form a Ritual

                              I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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                              Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

                              1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
                              2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
                              3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
                              4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

                              Ways to Use a Ritual

                              Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

                              1. Waking Up

                              Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

                              2. Web Usage

                              How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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                              3. Reading

                              How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

                              4. Friendliness

                              Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

                              5. Working

                              One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

                              6. Going to the gym

                              If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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                              7. Exercise

                              Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

                              8. Sleeping

                              Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

                              8. Weekly Reviews

                              The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

                              Final Thoughts

                              We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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                              Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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