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Monday, August 21, 2017

The Ultimate List of Online Resources for College



Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links - but don't worry! All the opinions are still my own :)

Hello, beautiful! Today's post is all about bringing you the (mostly free!) tools you need to achieve your goals in this upcoming semester.

Whether you're a busy senior babe or a wee little freshman, I promise you will benefit from the printables, web sites and apps listed below. During my careful research, I took care to compile something for everyone, from adorable DIY dorm decorations to practical budgeting tools to help you stay on track.


Overall, this post is about getting your life under control and reclaiming your power in the upcoming semester. If you've been to school before, you know how it feels to be stressed, overwhelmed and all-around hovering on the edge of craziness - which is why I created this list for YOU: so you'll never have to feel that way again!

Instead, you can waltz into Fall 2017 (or any semester, really) feeling confident, sure of yourself and in-charge of your responsibilities. That's right, I mean you! So, let's do this thing, shall we? :)



Freebies by Eliza Ellis

Never buy another to-do list, planner or calendar again with Eliza Ellis' pretty yet practical printables! Get them for free on her website, print and enjoy :)

Printables by the Organized Student

On the Organized Student's tumblr page (NOT a studyblr, as she stresses), you'll find everything from study planners to study motivation, with a focus on staying organized as a student. 

Productivity Planner by Chloe Burroughs

Prepare for your next year at university with this printable reminder of the six best ways to prep for college. Thanks, Chloe Burroughs, for the freebie! 

Cornell Notes Template by College Compass

Learn how to take Cornell-style notes to maximize your learning potential - plus, get a free template to use in your classes care of College Compass. 

College Budget by College Life Made Easy

Don't just swoop in for your free budget worksheet: be sure to read College Life Made Easy's comprehensive list of money mistakes college students often make (so you can avoid them, of course). 

Roommate Contract by Her Campus

Her Campus' roommate contract is pretty, thorough and simple to understand. Great for solving conflicts in the heat of the moment, or resolving differences before they happen!




SUPPLIES

Bed, Bath & Beyond

Take advantage of your 10% student discount when shopping for dorm decor at Bed, Bath and Beyond! 

IKEA

IKEA has affordable, well-made decor that can be used as-is or easily upcycled with a simple hack or two - oh, and don't forget to stop for Swedish meatballs while you're in.

Urban Outfitters

Urban is your one-stop shop for all the trendiest items on the market, which can be a double-edged sword. My advice? Don't buy long-haul purchases here, like your bedding or your desk, but invest in cute little trinkets to make your dorm room feel like home.

Etsy

Ensure you have the most unique look on the floor by buying hand-crafted tapestries, mugs and more from the crafters on Etsy.

Redbubble

Every college girl seems to have a crush on Redbubble's laptop stickers, but did you know they also have mugs, wall decor, pillow cases and more? Plus, they almost always have a sale running when I stop by!

Dormco

Dormco has literally everything you could possibly need for college - plus, their shipping is as little as $2.95! 

Dormify

At Dormify, you can decorate your dorm the lazy way by choosing from their pre-made sets - or exceed expectations by curating your own. Not to mention, you can get 15% off your first purchase just for providing your e-mail.


DIYS

Shower Organization by the Chic Site

If you're living in an apartment or suite this year, you'll need to organize and take care of your very own bathroom. Start with this DIY shower organization hack from the Chic Site by buying your shampoo in bulk and filling your own dollar-store containers.

DIY Marble Pencil Holder by Crafts on Fire

This desk DIY is as simple as wrapping a piece of contact paper around an old tin can, yet looks like something you might buy at Urban. Get the directions from Crafts on Fire now!

Succulent & Supply Holder Bookends by I Spy DIY

These DIY bookends are the ultimate multitaskers: they perform quadruple-duty as supply holders, succulent planters, corkboards and, of course, bookends. Talk about a bang for your buck ;)

Cord Labels by the Chic Site 

I have got to say that these washi tape cord labels are simple, but ingenious! Last year, my cables always got so tangled up over my bed - so I wish I would have seen this hack sooner. 

Washi Tape Tea Light Candles by Pop Sugar

Not all dorm rooms allow candles, but if yours does, then definitely invest in a cheap 100-pack of yummy scented tea lights and a roll of gorgeous washi tape! This DIY is simple AF, but looks way more fancy than it is.

DIY Hanging Laundry Hamper by Making Nice in the Midwest

Did you know you can DIY your own hanging laundry hamper with a pillowcase, an embroidery hoop and a simple hook & screws combo? What are you waiting for? Get DIY-ing ASAP!

DIY Dorm Decor by Sierra Furtado

I initially clicked onto this video for the adorable SMILE letters in the background, but soon discovered that Sierra featured a bunch of other cute room decorations, too! Watch this for all the DIY room inspo you'll ever need...it's official.

DIY Marble and Gold Vanity Tray by Blonde Boss Babe

This lovely marble vanity tray matches my classy aesthetic (ha! Right...) to a T - plus, it's super cheap and easy to make with just a few simple components from the hardware store. Check it out!

Felt Letter Board by Jolly & Happy

Jolly & Happy's felt letter board is perfect for leaving those pressing passive-aggressive messages for your roommates, or motivating yourself to study with an inspirational quote. The best part? It's super cheap and easy to make!




Must-Have School Supplies for Every College Freshman by Kayla Blogs

Even if you're not a freshman anymore, this school supply list from Kayla Blogs is complete and pretty accurate to what I actually used last year! So, don't cave for all the unnecessary items and stick to this list of essentials instead. 

Fivestar

Fivestar notebooks are my personal favorite for back-to-college: they're study, affordable and really give you your bang for your buck! Plus, you can get a 15% off coupon just for visiting the site - what's not to love? :) 

Papermate

Papermate's basic stick pens have been my go-to since middle school - but they also have so many others that are perfect for creating study guides and taking color-coded notes, like their new gel pens and more! Be sure to check them out.

At-a-Glance

At-a-Glance's planners are a classic back-to-school essential, and you can find one for just about any style you can imagine. I'm currently using a pink faux-leather one from Target that's perfect for my every need! 

Mochi Things

Mochi Things sells unique, kawaii stationery, planners and other organizational products that everyone will love. Shop their back-to-school sale for 20% off everything until September 4th! 

Rifle Paper Co.

I love, love, love Rifle Paper Co's refined yet adorable aesthetic when it comes to planners, notebooks and more! Though they're on the pricier side, I think their products are worth investing in for items you're going to be using for the long-haul. 

ban.do

Everyone and their mother knows ban.do for their sassy pop-art designs. This fall, I'm absolutely adoring their joyful, poppy line of stationery for back-to-school season! Click above to shop :) 




WEBSITES

Fastweb is an amazing place to find scholarships for college, whether you're an incoming freshman or a graduating senior. They'll also help you find scholarships for specific goals, like research or study abroad! All in all, it's a great place to keep bookmarked and head back to roughly once or twice a month to see what almost-free money you might be missing out on.

Chegg 

Chegg is pretty much a college girl's paradise, as far as I'm concerned. They offer you a place to sell and buy used textbooks, search for scholarships and internships and even receive 30 minutes of free online tutoring. Definitely take advantage of everything Chegg has to offer!

Scholarships.com

Exactly what it sounds like: your one-stop-shop for finding all the scholarships a girl could dream of. Enter just a little bit of info to refine your search, and get to applying ASAP ;)

Book Scouter

If you're looking to sell your used textbooks for the best price possible, then Book Scouter should be your first stop each and every time! Book Scouter automatically compares the best prices for buybacks around the web and directs you to the stores with the best bang for your buck. (But be careful to read the fine print, because many buyback sites have a minimum value or number of books before they'll accept your order.) 

Khan Academy

As the website says, "You can learn anything. For free. Forever." At Khan Academy, you can easily search for tutorials and videos on just about any subject you might be struggling in (or simply need to study for!). It's the perfect resource for any gal who's worried about a particular class, or wants more extra help than her professor can provide.

Quizlet

Quizlet is my personal favorite online study resource because it not only allows you to make and study flashcards (or study your friends' sets), but also automatically generates practice tests and even fun games to help you remember those tricky vocab words! You definitely need an account on this website - and be sure to download the app for more help on-the-go.

You Need a Budget (YNAB)

Need a budget? This site's got you covered! YNAB will help you learn to manage your money more simply with its online budgeting tools - you can get a 30-day free trial, or splurge for the monthly subscription if you love it. Additionally, their live online workshops to answer your common money questions are always free, so definitely check them out if you have any financial dilemmas whatsoever! 

Eat Love

I recently discovered Eat Love from reading Shape magazine and instantly became hooked! Eat Love is an online meal planner that helps you save money and eat more healthfully for just $14.00 per month. Its recipes are all nutritionist-approved and cater to just about any diet you can imagine, from gluten-free to no-added-sugar to vegan, or any combination of the above.



BLOGS

Her Campus

Her Campus is the ultimate blog/lifestyle site for college women just trying to navigate everyday life. Additionally, if you're super into communications (like I am, obvs!), many colleges have Her Campus chapters where you can apply to become a writer, PR person or even an event-planner! 

Students Toolbox

My blogging buddy Sabrina runs the amazing Students Toolbox, a study blog and infinite cache of resources for the studious college (or even high school) student. If you stop by to visit, definitely sign up for her email list so you can take advantage of all the awesome freebies she has to offer! 

Jessica Slaughter

I feel like Jessica Slaughter's blog is pretty popular, but in case you haven't heard of her yet, she's an amazing college/millennial lifestyle blogger who shares tons of useful tips on acing your college career! You must follow her (especially on Twitter) if you haven't already :)

The Young Hopeful

Hope Young runs The Young Hopeful (ha, get it?), an A+++ collaborative website and blog for "thriving, not just surviving, in college." In addition to checking out their posts, you can also submit your own original work to Hope by clicking here! 

As Life Grows

Samantha at As Life Grows was one of my biggest inspirations when I first started blogging - and, funnily enough, she's now one of my closest blogger friends online! Her blog is all about succeeding academically and socially in college. Also, she posts a lot about her long-distance relationship with her boyfriend, so if you're going the distance like I am when I'm at school, you should definitely follow her for some much-needed inspiration! 

Samanthability

Samantha at Samanthability (another cute word play!) just graduated, but her blog has an amazing store of college resources - plus, it's obviously perfect to follow along with if you're a soon-to-be senior or recent grad! 

The Happy Arkansan

Amanda Cross, another one of my online blogging buds, is the blogger behind The Happy Arkansan, an amazing resource for navigating college, grad school and life as a recent grad! Her post on being the only black student in her class is a powerful must-read.

The Swirl

I love The Swirl and all of its flawless resources for college girls! (And its name, which is a reference to one of me, Gabby & Hannah's favorite shows of all time...go to their about page to find out which show!) 




SCHOOL & PRODUCTIVITY

Wunderlist

My favorite to-do list app! (And trust me, I've tried a lot of 'em.) I love that Wunderlist allows you to make multiple lists - for example, I have blog to-dos, regular to-dos, cleaning to-dos, books I want to read...the lists go on. And on. And on. Additionally, the app automatically gives you reminders for things like that dentist appointment or your BFF's birthday without you having to do anything but type in the date! Click the link above to get it for your iPhone and your Mac 100% free.

Tide

Tide uses the Pomodoro method to keep you productive and on-track, whether you're studying, doing work for your extracurriculars or blogging in your free time. During your work time, it plays music or soothing sounds of your choice, then gives you a short break every hour or so for you to rest and recharge. 

Duolingo

If you're taking a language this semester, then Duolingo is a must-have! It's the perfect place for you to study and refresh your memory on almost any language. Plus, they recently added a super cool feature that allows you to have real-time conversations with chat bots to test your communication skills!

Py

Like Duolingo, Py is a mobile learning app - only for coding and other in-demand tech skills! I recommend this app not just for computer science majors, but literally for anybody who wants to improve their resume by adding a special skill or two.


HEALTHY LIFESTYLE


Sleep Cycle

Late to wake up for those early 8:00 AM classes? Never again with Sleep Cycle! Sleep Cycle is a unique alarm that uses your phone's microphone to analyze your sleep patterns. Then, it wakes you up during your lightest sleep phase within a 30-minute window of your wake-up time - how cool is that? (Science, man.)

Inlivo

If you've ever wondered if you're eating right while away from home, Inlivo has all the answers you're looking for. It's a food and exercise tracking app, but I personally love it because it's not hyper-focused on calories - instead, it looks at the whole picture, congratulating you for your healthy choices and analyzing places where you might be nutritionally deficient. Plus, most of its features are 100% free to use!

Charity Miles

Use your workout to benefit a charity of your choice - that's right, even as a broke college girl! Charity Miles doesn't ask you to commit any money: it just asks you to run, jog or walk as many miles as you can. Then, their sponsors do the rest to benefit your chosen cause!

Simple Habit

Simple Habit is my all-time favorite meditation app that I've found. I personally have a subscription to Simple Habit just because I use it every single morning, but their free features are just as good! My favorite part? Their "on-the-go" meditation feature, which allows you to choose a meditation based on what you're up to - whether that's commuting to class or freaking out over your final.

Grateful

You've probably heard you should keep a gratitude journal to be a happier, healthier person, but it can be difficult to stay disciplined in keeping up that habit. That's where Grateful comes in! Grateful is a super minimalist app where you can log things you're grateful for as they happen, allowing you to build up a feed of words and photos describing the things that make you happiest.


MONEY & PERSONAL FINANCE


Mint

If you need an easy way to build a budget and keep track of your spending, Mint is it. Mint automatically categorizes your spending and sends you a notification whenever your impulse shopping is totally out of control. The best part? It's 100% free to use! 

Credit Karma

Been charging that card a little too much lately? Easily check the damages for free with the Credit Karma app. Simple, speedy and effective!

Stash

Stash is literally the easiest way to get started with investing as a complete beginner. Every two weeks, I set up an automatic payment of $5.00 into my Stash account and choose which of their funds I want to invest in. Then, Stash does all the hard work for me of building up my investments and earning me those dividends! It's the perfect "set it and forget it" app for investing.

Groupon

Your mom (or maybe even your grandma) was probably the first person to tell you about Groupon, but let me be the first to tell you that it's not just for grown-ups! Groupon is the perfect app for college girls to get discounts on fun things to do, like workout classes, manicures or even going to a trampoline park or escape room with your friends. 

Poshmark

Poshmark is one of my favorite ways to earn a quick buck online (besides blogging, of course - but I'd be lying if I said that monetizing my blog was "quick"!). All you have to do is take a pic of your old clothes you want to sell, list the items in your Poshmark closet and wait for someone to buy them. Then, Poshmark sends you a pre-paid shipping label and all you have to do is drop it in the mail! 





The Ultimate List of College Student Discounts by Jessica Slaughter

I already mentioned Jessica Slaughter's blog on my big list of favorite college bloggers, but I had to mention her once more because of this awesome list of student discounts she put together! This is honestly the most complete list I've ever read of student discounts - however, don't be afraid to stray from the list and ask "Do you have a student discount?" anywhere you may go :)

Target REDCard

IDK if you're a big Target shopper, but if you're anything like me, Target is the place where you will probably breathe your last dying breath. So, why not save 5% when you're at it? That's exactly what you can do with Target's REDCard, a store rewards credit card (or debit card - I would choose debit if I were you) just for saving money at good ol' Tarjay.

Amazon Prime Student

Amazon's student Prime membership is honestly such a godsend! Amazon Prime has saved me on so many occasions, whether it was last-minute birthday shopping or buying my discounted Kindle on Prime Day - and with a student membership, you can get all the benefits of Prime for just $50.00 a year. Click the link above to sign up ASAP!

Spotify Premium

Every college girl needs a Spotify account for those late-night library sessions (or getting ready to go out with girlfriends!), but those ads can quickly get annoying when you're just trying to skip a bad song! Thankfully, Spotify offers its a premium membership to students at just $4.99 per month if you're someone who relies on music like the air you breathe.

Unidays

Unidays is such a simple way to get tons of student discounts for online shopping clustered in one place. All you need to do is verify your student account at your college or university and you'll be on your way to saving in no time :) 

Retail-Me-Not

Finally, we can't end a talk about money without mentioning couponing. Couponing can save you tons of money, but you don't want to be the crazy coupon lady who shows up with 1,000 clippings in hand. So, what do you do? Check out Retail-Me-Not, an awesome app for scoping out manufacturers' coupons and more! 



What's your favorite online resource for college? LMK @haleymarieblog or in the comments below!



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