By Megan Valente
I like to compare my collegiate career to a boxing match. I voluntarily stepped into the ring with a crowd cheering me on, repeatedly got punched in the face, bled a little bit, tallied up a few wins, and then forgot what I was doing from getting punched in the head so much.
However, of all of the opponents we face in our own personal ring, the heavyweight champion seems to be who we least expect it to be, our own technology. Technology is the college student’s ultimate frenemy. You think it’s on your side and then WHAM, out of nowhere you have a black eye and a late paper because you fell three hours deep into scrolling through your Facebook news feed.
As if we don’t have enough to work through already, the last thing that should be getting in our way is that which is supposed to be helping us. Let us reclaim our technology, hours logged into scrolling, and ultimately our lives. Here is how you can make your tech work for you as a student, like it was originally supposed to.
I swear my life to Google Drive up and down. Computers crash all the time and you really don’t want to lose an all-nighter’s worth of work because your roommate spilled their cheap coffee on your keyboard. Google Drive automatically saves your work as you go and everything is online, so you can access it from any computer in the world at any time! Even your phone!
SelfControl allows you to set websites off limits for a certain period of time. Remember that hour that you promised to dedicate to your paper? Well this gives you no online excuses. It cannot, however, stop you from repeatedly going to the refrigerator and stress eating cheese. That’s your own (my own) problem.
EasyBib is THE ultimate lifesaver. For papers that seem to need an excessive amount of sources, you can just fill out the form and create an instant bibliography. One less thing to stress over!
I love TED talks probably more than I should, but how can I resist? It’s a huge wealth of knowledge all in one place with engaging speakers on every topic you can imagine. Ted talks make for great references and they make you sound super smart in class, “Well, this speaker I was listening to yesterday…” *drops knowledge bomb*
I used to spend an entire paycheck or two on books that don’t even arrive on time. Amazon Student always has the best deals and even has free Prime for 6 months with a student email address. I even like it more than Chegg, which says a lot because they send me a free Red Bull with my books, and I really like Red Bull.
Making a quizlet is such an easy way to study for an exam. You can custom make your own note cards and even use others/share with friends. Who said class couldn’t be a team effort?
It is frighteningly easy to gain weight in college. I’m talking “oh my gosh, when did my pizza binge eat begin?! Yesterday? Last week? Oh no, last month???” Fitbit helps you reach your goals by tracking your activity through a little bracelet. You can compete with friends and make a whole game of it. “Hold on, let me take a lap around the room. Gotta get those steps in!”
Now you know all of the moves for the ring, just put them into action. With your tech back on your side, you’ll be sure to avoid a few punches to the gut and maybe even win that big belt that champions get. See you in the winner’s circle!
Megan Valente is a lifestyle blogger and barista and is currently attending Montclair State University. Follow her on Twitter at @TheDayILived.