Top Websites for College Students

July 24, 2015 in Alive Campus, Tech

College students will always find ways to avoid studying for as long as possible and find others way to entertain themselves. With laptops and tablets becoming the dominant ways of taking notes, it’s impossible to not want to browse the Web during class or simply when you’re bored. There are certain websites that most college students have visited for entertainment or information at some point. Here are just a few that I think all college students should know about:

Reddit: This informational and entertaining website if perfect for those who enjoy keeping up to date on the latest news or interesting stories. There are always some exciting pieces of entertainment to click on, whether that’s someone taking a cool photo or simply an interesting story about their cat. Whatever it is, Reddit can certainly become addicting!

Buzzfeed: I personally enjoy taking the Buzzfeed quizzes because they’re scarily accurate sometimes! It’s a great source of entertainment to pass time late at night when you can’t fall asleep, or during class when your professor can’t stop talking about Shakespeare.

YouTube: It’s basically become the biggest site for college students to learn life skills. If you have no idea how to do laundry your first year of college, or if you simply do not know how to fry an egg, that’s what YouTube is for. If you ask almost anyone how he or she learned to do something on his or her own, at least 50 percent of the time, the answer is YouTube.

StudyBlue: This is an efficient and portable way to take notes and eventually use them down the road, either for a big midterm or final. With so many students utilizing computers and tablets during class, it’s probably the better option as opposed to keeping all notes on paper, which is also easy to lose sometimes.

Quizlet: I have used Quizlet multiple times, especially for online classes when the questions on the test were very specific to certain key terms. This site can be a lifesaver if you need to study last minute and have no time to make yourself a study guide. The best part? It’s free!

RateMyProfesor: It’s becoming more common for students to check in on the rating of their professors before signing up for a class. We’ve all experienced that one class where the professor simply did not want to assist the students in earning high grades. Checking in on RateMyProfessor is a great way to read firsthand reviews on the class as a whole and if the professor will be of your liking. Remember that just the instructor of the class can make or break your grade.

Alive Campus: This site is perfect for students who want to receive firsthand advice about college. It basically provides personal perspectives and real information about specific colleges, as well as college in general. The best part is that all of the articles all written by students who are currently in college, so all of the information provide is accurate to firsthand experiences as opposed to just a general outlook.

With all of these sites to keep in mind, it’s time to open up the tablet and start browsing once again.

Rate My Professor is ideal for students who want prior knowledge of their professors.

Rate My Professor is ideal for students who want prior knowledge of their professors.

“Essential” Websites in College

December 6, 2014 in Alive Campus, Reviews

You have three papers due and you have to be at work in a half hour. You think to yourself, “I’m going to just toss on some music while I get ready to leave.”  You’re probably going to blackout and all of a sudden be on StumbleUpon or Tumblr and most likely late for work. It’s the classic Internet Hypnosis that college students are known for. Being so used to jumping right into social media and our other favorite websites, we tend to ignore how distracting it can be, especially during crunch time for work, as we head into finals week. So while you’re looking for something to distract you from your landfill of assignments you need to complete, here are some of my top visited websites.

The very first site I visit every time I open my web browser, which is so funny because it’s actually my least favorite website. I really don’t need some kid I graduated from high school with telling me about his opinions on Ferguson, and I definitely don’t need to see who’s in a relationship, and who’s relationship is on the fritz.

I think Twitter is the best form of social media, so this is pretty biased. I visit Twitter countless times a day and sometimes will Tweet upwards of 4 times per day. Now that they added the mute feature, where you can essentially eliminate someone’s voice from your timeline, the site is even better.

Much like Facebook, I hate this website so much and I’m constantly conflicted as to why I visit it. It is the most overly-politically correct website out there, posting what I would consider “non-articles,” such as “12 Times Nick Jonas’ Arms Made you Question your Entire Life.” Its success comes from its shareable content that appeals to very broad masses, not from interesting content.

Barstool Sports
An ever-controversial website, I find this to be one of the funniest blogs out there. I typically only read the Boston branch because I’m incredibly biased, but their hyperbolic means of retelling stories is always so enjoyable. Their writing-style is essentially the opposite of Buzzfeed, which is refreshing. They’re not writing to gain followers or please anyone, but instead, for pure comedy purposes.

Is it sad that I even have to include this? Break up with your girlfriend/boyfriend, become an orphan, drop out of college, do whatever, because all you really end up needing in life is Netflix. It’s the most revolutionary thing to ever happen in our world’s history ever (not even an exaggeration). Most of the biggest cult shows are on Netflix in all their glory, ready for you to forget responsibility and binge watch the entire thing so you can discuss with your friends how amazing Jessica Lange is in every scene of American Horror Story

Is it ironic that I don’t have that many top websites because I spend all my free time watching Netflix? Whatever, I’m not going to read too much into it. Listen, no one likes doing homework, and no one likes being stressed. So forget everything, let yourself become distracted, and whatever happens, happens. What’s the worst that can happen? You fail out of school? You can always become a stripper – just so long as you make enough money to keep your Netflix account up and running.

Buzzfeed Giving Life Advice: Good or Trash?

August 15, 2014 in Alive Campus, Reviews, Tech

Buzzfeed, the content megaprovider

The Internet is polluted – not just with ads, pop-ups, and porn, but with self-entitled authors of articles for websites that believe they know you well enough to help you better your life. 33 Tips to Trick your Man into Loving You, 42 Reasons you need to go to the Gym Today, 10 Life Hacks for Ultimate Wins (what the hell does that even mean?) It’s all the same. It’s some author, ahem, excuse me, “journalist,” who is being paid to push out bullshit content so the website gets more hits, and they in turn, make more money. It’s ideally the same principle Marvel Studios has been using for to reign supreme over the box office every time they release a new movie. They know it’s a money vehicle, so who cares about the quality of the movie? Someone will buy a ticket.

The good about Buzzfeed:
Buzzfeed is force to be reckoned with; fan, enemy, or unaffected, it is an undeniable fact. I am just as bad as the next person, rolling my eyes at how dumb the articles are, yet continuing to read. Why do we do it? It’s easy and it’s mindless. After a hard workday or an 8-page thesis paper, do you want to read a hard-hitting article on the pro’s and con’s on the Pet and Women Safety Act of 2014? No, you want to look at pictures of food or cute pets until you decide it’s time to heat up that Hot Pocket for dinner. The worst part about Buzzfeed’s success is that it has happened because we (where “we” is mostly college-aged kids) let it happen.

“Journalism” at it’s finest

The bad about Buzzfeed
Buzzfeed is a content website, first and foremost. The website definitely has an agena – no way around that, but they want to provide the content, mostly. The bigger reaction they can get from an audience, whether it is positive or negative, is the goal. Just last week, Buzzfeed published 3 different stories regarding a CBS Today interview with Seth Meyers. Three. Why wouldn’t all 3 topics be included in one article? Because a Seth Meyers fan will click on all three, and they’ll get more site hits. When Beyoncé dropped her surprise album back in December, they dedicated a whole post to the “Internet’s Reactions” to her album. The content was completely lifted from social media users. Yes, the users were credited, but the staff didn’t have to do any work to create the post.

In their famous countdown-based life posts, they are guilty of generalizing their audience. Implying that all college students look for the same experience while at school. Just follow these 30 steps, and your college career will be perfect. Except for the million different routes you can take that their “life posts” don’t account for. This causes a large uprise in the comments section, sharing on social media that causes more hits, and more money in the content monster’s pocket.

I’m not saying you should abandon Buzzfeed. I’m not going to. It’s entertaining. But when something is entertaining, that doesn’t mean it is of high quality. It is mindless, it is trash, and it a monster website that isn’t going anywhere any time soon. I hope they enjoyed their free publicity!

Top 5 Time-Wasters In College

July 17, 2014 in Academics, Campus Life


Wasting Time

Wasting Time

During your freshman year of college, you’ll start to realize how precious time is. More than anything, you’ll come to realize that you never seem to have quite enough of it. Ever feel like you have no time? These just might be the top five reasons why:

  1. Netflix. It’s unbelievable how much time college students waste on Netflix. Netflix has just about every movie, the good and the so-bad-it’s-laughable. Almost every time someone I knew had “free time” (read: they had homework to do but just didn’t want to do it), they decided to spend that time on Netflix, catching up on a series or watching movies like LOL or Sharktopus. But, soon enough, you find that you’ve wasted much more time than you intended to. Please, step away from the Netflix and get some work done. It’ll be good for you.
  2. Games. Cue the 2048/Flappy Bird/ etc. frenzies that have captivated many people over the past year and have accounted for an approximate 70% reduction in productivity. We all know the games I’m talking about. Luckily, I was able to avoid the frenzy, but some of us weren’t so lucky. I know tons of people who turned to attempting to beat 2048 instead of doing work. Those same people had so much homework to do because of it and didn’t have time to do anything fun later on. Don’t be those people.
  3. Buzzfeed. Buzzfeed quizzes and articles are the absolute best and, individually, they don’t take that long to complete or look through. But once you get sucked into Buzzfeed, there’s no coming back out. All it takes is that initial quiz to get you started. After that, it’s game over. All you wanted to do was find out how lazy you were, now, after eight quizzes, you realize that you are super lazy, you’re a rusty hook, you’re soul mate’s name will be Matt, and the sandwich that best represents you is a meatball sub. No, I’m not talking from experience…. The point is, Buzzfeed is really entertaining, but it’s so easy to lose track of time on.
  4. Youtube. It starts with the one funny video, but then you have to watch another one. And then you might as well watch every video ever made by your favorite Youtube stars. And don’t get me started on the related videos on the side that are just as enticing. Youtube is home to videos as short as a few seconds to as long as several hours, and everywhere in between. I’ve been known to watch funny animal videos with times that average around five minutes each. When you watch five or more of those, the time really starts to add up.
  5. Facebook. Facebook really is a bottomless pit. It can be useful when it comes to delivering news you want to hear about. It’s a great way to keep in touch with old friends, let your friends know what you’re up to, or find out what your friends are up to. But it’s also where a lot of people’s time seems to go. People are constantly checking Facebook for notifications, friend requests, etc.

Well, there you have it! If you didn’t know where all of your time was going before, hopefully this article has shed some light on the ugly truth.

We All Waste Time When We Should Be Working

We All Waste Time When We Should Be Working