Android Apps for College Students

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The first thing I did when I got my tablet was download apps and games until I had finished all my data. My app obsession still hasn’t faded (nor has my knack for finishing my data long before the end of the month) but I know now what apps are helpful for college. Below I list down some apps I’ve found super-helpful for college.

1) Pinterest – this is where the majority of my data goes. Pinterest is perfect for productivity tips, pictures of hot TV stars and pretty much anything in between. Use it as a stress reliever or to find tips on writing an essay. There’s nothing that isn’t on Pinterest.

2) Evernote- More often than not, I have notes scattered all over the place. Evernote helps me to organise notes according to subject and year. I also use Evernote to help me organise my writing drafts. A definite must for any college student.

3) Any.do- I adore this app so very much. Basically it’s a to-do list app that always displays what you need to do, under your notifications. You can organise items based on categories such as work and personal. You can list everything from errands to meetings. Pure perfection!

4) My Study Life- This app allows you to create your timetable and reminds you 15 mins before your class starts. It also allows you to list your assignments, homework and revision. My Study Life gives you no excuse to not be a perfect student.

5) Amazon Kindle- Whether you’re storing your novels or your textbooks, the Kindle app is great to have since it takes up far less space than an actual book.

Feel free to share your favorite apps below (so that I may try them out myself).

How to Take Lecture Notes

I would like to start by pointing out that everyone is different and everyone has different ways of doing things. You may not agree with my tips but it’s vital that you know what works for you and what doesn’t. Kay, here we go!

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1) Write notes instead of typing them- writing notes helps you to remember them better. Also if you write instead of type there’s less chance of you being distracted by Facebook on your laptop.

2) Record notes so you don’t forget/fall asleep- I love recording my notes. It’s like having a PVR for lectures. You can listen to the recordings whenever you want as well as have a copy of precisely what the lecturer is looking for in essays and projects.

3) Take a rough draft first- Nobody has time for a perfect set of notes especially when you’re in the lecture. Write a rough set of notes that you are able to understand. You can clarify it later and make it look pretty. My notes always start off as a bunch of illegible words and some very neatly written reminders of how I want to sleep. No that’s not a joke.

4) Use colour- when you’re rewriting your notes use colour to make themes stand out. For my Human Resources class I had two different colours for the work that was tested as a question and the work tested as an essay.

5) Make sure that YOU understand- whether your notes are plain or coloured, neat or horrifying the most important thing is that you’re able to understand them. These are your notes and when exam time rolls around you’re the one who needs to be able to understand them.

What is your go-to guide for writing notes?

9 Romance Authors You Have to Read

I have a weakness for romance novels and the authors below have some great reads. Here are my recommendations for romance books in the month of love. Because what else is better than curling up with a romance novel?

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1) Colleen Hoover- Colleen Hoover writes the kind of books that leave you in hysterical tears because you’re so relieved to have a happy ending after so many feels. I recommend “Slammed” and “Ugly Love” as starters.

2) Gina Robinson- Gina Robinson writes New Adult and Adult novels. My favorite is the Reckless series.

3) Meg Cabot- Meg Cabot writes delights such as the Princess Diaries and Mediator series. Be sure to read her latest in the Mediator series, “Proposal” and” Remembrance” for Valentines Day

4) Sarah Dessen- Can you ever go wrong with a Dessen novel? No! I adored “Along for the Ride” and “Just Listen”

5) Rachel Morgan- Rachel Morgan zaps me into the world of her “Trouble” series. These contemporary romance books are an absolute pleasure to read. Get yourself a copy ASAP.

6) Lisa Kleypas- Lisa Kleypas is my firm favorite and I’ve read her books like thrice already. Her latest historical romance, “Cold-Hearted Rake” is perfect to curl up with on Valentines Day.

7) Nora Roberts- Nora Roberts is great at romance, mystery and the supernatural. Her “Circle” trilogy is great to read, reread and then reread again.

8) Jennifer Gracen- Jennifer Gracen is also a firm favorite of mine. I’m especially taken with “More Than You Know”.

9) Eileen Cook- I love Eileen Cook’s works which focus on everything from ghosts and frenemies to love and mysterious car crashes. Try out “The Almost Truth” for a cute v-day read.

November 9 by Colleen Hoover

November 9November 9 by Colleen Hoover
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This story has a sweet idea but falls flat towards the end. It seems like the characters are dragging out their romance simply because November 9 is a special day for them. If you look past that obvious flaw this is an amazing book, well-written with intriguing characters. Fallon and Ben have an instant connection and because she is moving away, decide to meet every year on November 9. However life gets in the way and as they grow, they struggle to keep to their arrangement.

View all my reviews

Anatomy of a Cover Letter

I detest cover letters. Is there anything more difficult to write? Thankfully, cover letters are one of those things that get easier to do with time. Below, I’ve listed a short guide to what your cover letter should look like.

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Address to who you’re writing

Dear Sir/Madam
(it’s always a good idea to know who’s going to be receiving your application and then addressing them here. It shows that you have done your research on the business).

Paragraph 1: Introduce yourself. State your name, where you go to school and what you’re studying. State why you’re applying. Make sure you catch the readers attention so that he or she is eager to continue reading.

Paragraph 2: Highlight anything important you think they need to know. For example, have you have previous experience in this field?
Do you have a skill that makes you excellent for the job? EVERYTHING is important. Jobs teach you skills that can be used in any field.

Paragraph 3: Make it clear that you will be an asset to them. Whether it’s because you thrive on pressure and deadlines or because you have amazing qualifications, show the company that they should want to hire you.

I look forward to your response

Sincerely,

Enter full name here

Writing Wednesday: Meeting with my Ex-Jerk

I took this piece from the old Playground of Randomness site:

Her face is alight with a huge smile. Her eyes are brighter, glowing mischievously. Dressed in the usual skinnies and boots instead of the short dresses, she looks exactly like she did a year ago. Dark hair left opening and flowing, the usual denim book bag slung across her shoulder, Blackberry in the hand… You can’t really see the changes unless you look really close. There’s moments when she tenses, when the smile fades and her brows furrow into a frown. Those moments are when you see the girl that he’s changed her into. The broken, fragile pieces start to show through the cracks. She doesn’t bother to look his way- another thing that hasn’t changed. She’s chatty and bright, speaking to everyone but him. He returns the favor, not looking her way. He stays with his friends and she stays with hers. No one messes up that balance. And yet, despite the distance(or maybe because of it) she doesn’t seem to care. She looks good, happier; more carefree. You wouldn’t think that she had had her heart broken. You wouldn’t know that she still hurts despite the facade she puts on. But then again, that’s what she wants you to think. She has always been a master manipulator and this time is no exception.

Book Review: Again the Magic by Lisa Kleypas

A prequel to the Wallflower series, Again The Magic tells the story of the romance of the two Marsdens girls, Livia and Aline.
Aline has been in love with McKenna-the stable boy- since she was a little girl. But once their affair is exposed she’s forced to lie that she never loved him in order to remove him from the estate and save him from her fathers wrath.
Now years later, McKenna has returned and he is seeking revenge on Aline. He is accompanied by handsome American Mr Shaw who is instantly taken by Aline’s younger sister Olivia.
For some reason this novel took me longer than most to read(3 days) and so I’m dead tired now. But I loved every minute of it. McKenna was a bit too dark and brooding for me but the romance between Livia and Mr Shaw provided a perfect light contrast.
My only regret is that I didn’t read this before I started the ‘Wallflowers’ series.

How to Save Money on Textbooks

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The cheapest way to buy textbooks can be described in a single word. Don’t.
Textbooks are costly and once you’re done with them you’ll have to try selling them to someone else. Trust me on this. I’m sitting with an entire box of matric study guides as well as textbooks for freshman. The worst part is the syllabus for both have changed so my books are useless.
Learn a lesson from me and try as much as possible to not buy textbooks. Instead consider these options:

1) Rent: I’m not sure if this is an option in South Africa but I have seen several sites in the US advertising for textbook rentals. The good thing about renting is that you get rid of the textbook once you’re done with it. Unfortunately you can’t highlight or make additional notes in the book.

2) Borrow: Check the local library for textbooks. I’ve never actually found any of my books but it’s worth a try.

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3) Download- Online sites have ebook versions of books. This way you never have to worry about reselling the book or a heavy bag.

4) Photocopy- Your campus library should have a copy of all reading material. If all else fails, photocopy the necessary notes. Sometimes this may be close to impossible (ie the book is too large to copy or is missing several pages) but if you’re barely going to use the book, it’s a great substitute. I’ve paid R120 for a photocopy of a R300 book. That’s R200 I could eat. Or pay fees (I’m lying. I’m going to eat it).

Buying

Sometimes you just have to give in and buy the book. Here are a few cheap ideas for books.

Second-hand: My Management textbook was too large to photocopy and the sections were getting cut off. I paid R250 for a second hand copy from a friend(everyone else was selling theirs for R400) and it was so worth the great marks I received later on. Bonus? She had added additional notes.
Check your student website as well as second-hand stores for textbooks if you can’t find them anywhere else. Sometimes these stores buy back which takes away another hassle. Yay!

What you should never ever do if you end up having to buy textbooks, is buy them new. You don’t need that hassle or expense. Talk to other students who have done the module to find out if you really need the textbook. And if you do then compare prices before buying.

College is expensive enough on its own. Any way to save money is a great idea. Especially if it means you don’t spend on a book you’ll only need for a few months.

Healthy Snacking For College

As a college student, it’s difficult to find snacks that are both healthy and quick. So I searched all over the internet and here are a few of the snacking options I found:

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-Bagel or crackers with cream cheese
-Yogurt with fruit or granola
-Dried fruit and nuts
-Bran muffin
-Pretzels
-Cereal bars(these aren’t good for a meal though. I tried them for breakfast and was still hungry)
– Peanut butter sandwich
-Chicken or tuna salad(these both are really tasty and healthy).

Why You Need a Tablet in College

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From my very first day as a college student, it seemed like everyone had a tablet or iPad. At the time, I had no idea what they did or why they were necessary but after getting a tab of my own for my nineteenth birthday it’s impossible for me to imagine life without it. Here are a few reasons why you definitely NEED a tablet of some sort in college.

1) It’s tiny- I like to think of tablets as small laptops. They’re also faster. Carrying a tablet instead of a laptop is less of a hassle on your shoulders as well as being more convenient.

2) You can load books on them- this is my favorite part of my tablet. I am able to store both my assigned readings and my novels on one device. Granted this presents problems as I can sometimes be easily distracted but it’s great that I can work and relax with one item.

3) It increases your productivity- the
endless variety of Android apps ensure that I am as productive as I can be. If my to-do lists demand I’m able to read, draft essays and conduct research if I need to.

4) You can watch movies and TV shows- I’ve yet to meet a college student who isn’t obsessed with a show or three. Having a tablet allows you to keep up with your shows whenever you can. Needless to say, I divide my time between college and my Friends.

Do you have a tablet or iPad? What are your favorite apps for college?

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