University can be kind of stressful, boring, and long. Luckily, some people have found ways to relax, energize, and streamline the whole thing, all from your smartphone! From those people to you, here’s a list of the top apps to help you get through university.
Alarm Clock Plus
Waking up: it’s a necessary evil. And if that’s the case, then waking up for 9 a.m. classes is satanic. Blessed be the alarm clock app—knower of all that is loud and annoying. Alarm Clock Plus specifically has a math setting that won’t let you stop your alarm unless you solve a math problem. Especially useful for those mornings when you want to study and feel like garbage at the same time.
This app is a godsend to anyone trying to memorize lists of things. It has a bunch of cool features built in to help you get past all the organizational crap and go straight to the memorizing. Virtual flash cards are probably my favourite tool. You can use them like normal flash cards or test yourself in batches. The app automatically records your score so you can view your memorization progress throughout the semester. Lists of words and phrases are importable and the same lists can be shared in class-specific groups online.
Remember that time your friend said something really important about her birthday and you forgot? Or that time your mom told you to buy that one brand of chocolate milk she likes and you forgot? Remember that time your professor started saying something about the exam and the air was like warm blankets and you had your arm in the perfect position and you laid your head down for a second and you were still listening and you woke up 20 minutes later and you forgot? Well, you need to pay more attention. But if you didn’t, there’s an app for that. Google Keep is a notetaking app. It lets you make notes and lists, nest them under labels, and set reminders for when you need them so your forgetful brain can take it easy.
It’s like taking a picture of your notes, except making it look like you didn’t. Not that your friends care. This app is useful for notetakers who write by hand and people who hate photography.
An easy-to-use calendar app. It allows you to set events like classes to repeat every week until the end of the semester and colour code your calendar to make it pretty. My favourite feature is the ability to overlay your friends’ calendars onto yours so you can see all the time you can’t spend together.
At the risk of being crucified by every educator and their cat, I will say that Facebook is a valuable albeit fickle learning tool. Hear me out. You meet someone in a class, where’s the first place you go to guarantee you’re friends? Facebook. You’re in a group with a few people and want them to actually work on something, where do you go? Facebook. You’re planning to drink yourself to death after exams with your friends… Where do you organize your funeral? ON FACEBOOK. Facebook is ubiquitous, but like any social innovation, it can be used for good or evil. Use it for educational purposes like planning group meetings and sharing notes. Don’t let Zuckerberg win!
Mississauga Transit App
An essential tool for any UTM commuter. Warning: loses all credibility at the first signs of snowfall.
You might go to U of T. You might tell all of your friends that you go to U of T. You might claim that sweaters with U of T logos are warmer by nature than their dirty York counterparts. But every U of T student has opened a textbook and found a word they didn’t know. So naturally, rather than looking it up, they sat there—reading it—hoping that the wisdom will come to them in a divine revelation. There’s no app for that. Use a dictionary.
It has documentaries! I swear it’s educational! All right, you got me. Netflix is a huge timesink. Use it at your own discretion. But used right, it’s a great destresser from a long workweek. I felt obligated to put it on here since I know all of you use it anyway.