Today we have fellow student and blogger, Caitlin Mussen taking over our blog to show you the best apps to make “Uni From Home'” just that little bit easier.
No one could imagine the circumstances we are in today, everyone’s daily routines have been switched up and changed around. With everyone experiencing such high levels of anxiety, students need a little bit less – especially those in final year (don’t mention graduation, small in the grand scheme of things… but I will cry).
So these are the 9 apps in my uni folder (uni days is on the next page because well… perks?) and I’m gonna take you through how I use and why I love them.
1. My University App
This is just handy to keep up with alerts, track information and see what’s happening in relation to university life. My favourite thing about it (was) is the digital library pass because I’m likely to leave my student card at home. If your university has an app I would 100% recommend downloading it, to keep up with changes being made at the minute.
2. Canvas Student
Canvas is a great platform for lecturers to share information and class materials with students. Since we started using this in September, I’ve found the app really easy to navigate and it’s just super convenient.
3. Microsoft Teams
This one is kind of a lifesaver for me at the minute, being a final year student with projects due, it is a bit stressful when you can’t meet your lecturers face to face – but you can call them on Teams. I was literally in a meeting with my lecturer and another student, from the comfort of my home with cuppa earlier. Teams is also a great way to share documents and info with your classmates and really pull together for resources.
4. Microsoft Word
I mean… essays. But looking at a computer screen all day in my bedroom doesn’t really stem productivity – the library was my study space, not home. So, it’s nice to be able to take my essays on a smaller screen out in the garden or just in the living room, while your family watch a movie, so you can be there and be working without the clicking.
I SWEAR BY THIS APP!
Okay I’ll admit it – my concentration isn’t great and I get distracted easily… plus there is a whole pandemic going on which is a crazy, anxious and worrying time for everyone. Plus, with a lot of people social distancing, there are a lot of posts being shared and tagged and group calls going on.
Forest is an app that essentially stops you from using your phone – and helps you focus on your work. For every time-block you set and complete, it grows a tree in your garden – break the timer and the tree dies in your garden – and we just can’t have that. You also collect coins to buy different trees. So eh, there’s some motivation if you need it.
It can also be used to block out meditation times, exercising or cooking – anything you want to do to unwind from the world of social media. Unlike the other apps in this post which are free, this one costs £1.99, but I personally think it’s worth the cost for the productivity that stems from it.
6. Class Timetable
I used to keep track of my uni timetable in this app but I’ve now adapted it to my home schedule. So I essentially block out different sections of time for what subject and assignment I’m working on to keep myself motivated. A personalised timetable, this works for me because it sets my mind to be productive in that block – time constraints work for me.
My planner is my life and if I’m honest I will always prefer a written planner than a digital, but I keep a list of all my assignments here (for those rare moments my planner isn’t on hand) and with so much uncertainty, I find it useful that it can all be kept neat and tidy digitally. I also fill in study goals or when I aim to have draft essays done, so it gives me an extra push. This is useful if you tend to leave things to the last minute – you’ll be working towards each draft stage (even if it is the night before) and that way when it comes to the official deadline, you have material prepared and it lightens the load.
If you still have assessments of other exam alternatives for the end of the year I would recommend this app. You can use your own course material to tailor study cards to you. I use it as an end of material tester to see what I know and what I don’t with buzzwords.
I hope my lecturers NEVER see this. As a final year student I probably shouldn’t be recommending the app I’ve used since GCSE, but it’s an oldie and reliable. Sometimes I go on to this just to check quotes I might not have considered or see if I missed a theme I can pick up. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in scholars that you miss some of the basics. Rather than relying on this I kind of use it as a virtual classmate, just as someone would suggest in a lecture and I would listen to their point, I check on these suggestions too.
These are unprecedented times and everyone is struggling – getting your degree might be the last thing on your mind or it might be your biggest worry, but remember that taking a breather is just as important if not more important than the work you need to do. Physical and mental health come first.
Personally, I’m still striving to get the most out of my degree to get into my masters and studying keeps a sense of normalcy in my life. Plus, on lockdown it passes my time too and these are the apps that keep me going along.
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