College can be stressful. There’s so much to do, so much to learn, so many assignments. Reading and papers and presentations — and then there are the pop quizzes and tests and final exams.
It’s tough on your average 18- to 20-something. But for those of us who didn’t hammer out a solid study technique in high school, or are looking for a new way to get study, look no further than your smartphone.
The first thing to do is get organized. I can’t stress this enough. Use the simple calendar that comes on the phone or download another one that suits your needs. Organize tasks by type (reading, writing, homework), by class, or by priority.
If flashcards are your style, download a flashcard app. This will scale back the need for you to carry hundreds of index cards in your backpack and will make studying on the go a lot easier.
The ones on your phone are pretty simple, but there are flashcard apps for iPad that actually work with the iPad flip covers that allow you to show the question and then flip back for the answer. It’s genius in its simplicity.
There are also more complex study apps that will combine notes and even help you coordinate your study sessions. iStudiez Pro ($2.99) and StudyBlue (free) are examples of these more complex apps. They can help you keep track of assignments, integrate notes, and have other features.
There are also apps that help you take notes. They have recording devices that allow you to put all your lectures on tape for reference later.
Note apps will help you organize your notes by class or by date. However, if you’re keeping notes digitally, make sure there are ways to back them up: I’ve been caught by a crashed hard drive and broken equipment, which meant that all my notes for the semester were gone. Trust me: This is not good.
If you’re the type of person who likes study groups, your phone can help with that too. Getting classmates’ information and organizing them into groups is a good way to set up a study group.
You could even download GroupMe, a text-messaging app that works like a chat room. That way, everyone involved can see everyone else’s texts and know when and where to meet up. Learning team skills in college can be great for you later on in the business world.
College can be challenging, with all the studying and organizing. Make sure to schedule in some fun time for yourself: Take up a hobby, join a club, make friends, be spontaneous. College is supposed to fun and enriching. It’s about growing up, finding your identity, and learning a little bit along the way.