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10 Tools & Resources Every Freshmen Needs to Know

10 Tools & Resources Every Freshmen Needs to Know

You will be heading off to college in just a few short weeks, and you need to know that you are going to have the best year possible. This means that you need to find ways to keep organized, get motivated, and learn the best tools and shortcuts that will help you to get great grades and have an awesome college experience. So, check out these 10 sites that every freshmen needs to know.

1. Habitica

habitica

    This is a great productivity tool that helps you to build good study and other habits. It used to be HabitRPG, and this site will help you get into good habits and learn how to avoid getting into bad habits.

    2. Wolfram Alpha

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    wolfram

      Here is a site that can calculate just about any math problem and give you data on loads of things (include all of the data you need for Pokemon). You will find step-by-step instructions for math problems. There is a fee to get these solutions, but if you want to get the best marks, it is definitely worth it.

      3. Coggle

      coggle

        One of the best ways to take notes is to use mind mapping, and there are tools that can help. This tool is one of the best, and it lives right in your browser so you can access it at any given time.

        4. StudentRate

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        student rate

          You likely don’t have a huge spending budget, so this site can help you get the best deals on everything you need. Find the best prices and discounts on clothing, textbooks, electronic devices, travel, and more. Save money and find the things you want and need without having to visit any stores until you are ready to buy something.

          5. LookSharp

          looksharp

            There is going to come a time when you have to go out and get a job. While this is not always as easy as it looks, there are ways to make the process go as smoothly as possible. This site lets you find internships and entry-level jobs that meet your interests, skills, education, etc.

            6. Written Kitten

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            kitten

              Writing is going to be a lot easier with this tool. You can set a target word count, and you will see a new picture of a cat when you hit that count (200 words or more to see the cat). You will never be below the required word count again with Written Kitten.

              7. Prezi

              prezi

                Public speaking can be particularly nerve wracking, but this tool can help. It will give you amazing graphics and layouts that are professional. Your professors will be so impressed with your presentations that they won’t notice that you are reading directly from your notes.

                8. Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk

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                lifehack

                  If you have a friend who loves drinking and driving be sure to read this post on how to help them. The article contains useful tips and information (some suggested by DWI lawyer from Scheiner Law) on how to prevent an accident.

                  9. Keep Me Out

                  keep me out

                    It isn’t always easy to avoid social media when you are trying to study and do homework. It is so tempting to just go in and check messages, and then end up spending hours playing games and chatting. This site will help you to avoid this by keeping you from being able to access your favorite websites for certain periods of time that you set.

                    10. Alarmy

                    alarmy

                      Do you have trouble getting to classes on time and end up missing important lectures? This can be avoided when you use this tool. It is also a great app for those who just can’t resist hitting that snooze button a few times before actually crawling out of bed, no matter how late they are.

                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via pixabay.com

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                      Last Updated on February 11, 2021

                      Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

                      Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

                      How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

                      Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

                      The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

                      Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

                      Perceptual Barrier

                      The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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                      The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

                      The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

                      Attitudinal Barrier

                      Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

                      The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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                      The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

                      Language Barrier

                      This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

                      The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

                      The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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                      Emotional Barrier

                      Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

                      The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

                      The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

                      Cultural Barrier

                      Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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                      The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

                      The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

                      Gender Barrier

                      Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

                      The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

                      The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

                      And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

                      Reference

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