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Apply Yourself

So you’ve survived your first week back in college, and you’ve totally gone to all your lectures, right? RIGHT? Didn’t think so. It’s hard to get back into the swing of things after summer, especially when there are so many friends to meet in coffee dock, so many nights out you can’t possibly miss, and so much to do in general. If you’re one of many finding it hard to get back into the rhythm of your degree, (y’know, the reason you’re in college) then fear not! There are some handy apps out there to help you.

My Study Life (iOS, Android, desktop)

This is a personal favourite of mine and, for someone as horribly disorganised as I am, it’s been a lifesaver. You put in term dates, when your holidays are, add lecture times, due dates for assignments/exams etc. You can set tasks or to-do lists, and you then get reminders on what you have left to do. Could you do all of this on your phone already? Yes, but it is incredibly convenient to have it all in one app, as opposed to scrambling through each app to find where you left that last note about the assignment that was due last week.

Forest (iOS, Android, Windows Phone, desktop)

Forest is an app that combats the smartphone addiction so many of us have fallen into. In Forest you plant a seed that slowly grows into a tree over a period of time that you can adjust. If you exit out of the app to go into another app before your allotted time passes, your tree withers and dies. You can earn rewards, unlock more tree species and track your progress. It’s actually really fun!

Habitica (iOS, Android, desktop)

Habitica is an app that basically turns your life into a game that you can win. The mundane everyday tasks you have to do become monsters that you have to battle by completing them. When you complete a task you have set in the game, you win awards and coins you can use to upgrade your avatar/accessories. If your friends download it, you can compare stats and fight bosses together. It’s a really nice way to motivate yourself on the days that adulting seems too hard.

Trello (iOS, Android, desktop)

Trello is a very versatile app, as you can use it just for yourself, or you can add members to use for group projects. It’s based on lists with cards. The lists can be called anything but I like the ones on the website sample: ‘Ideas’, ‘To Do’, ‘Doing’ and ‘Done’. You can swap cards between lists, add people to certain lists and it updates in real time so everyone is on the same page. It’s much more efficient than trying to email what you have done to everyone, especially that guy who checks his email once a week; Dude, you’re in college now. You have to check it every day.

R We Still On Time (iOS, Android)

On the topic of group work, it can be hard to organise people It’s incredibly hard to organise people to show up on time, at the same place, to discuss college work or indeed, any kind of work (I’m not bitter. Not bitter at all). The premise of the app is extraordinarily simple: You add members to an event at a specified time and place. They get reminders about the event, and can let you know if they are on time, running late, or simply not coming. Simple, but so useful.

Wordfail (iOS, Android, desktop)

Words are hard. You might think that, like Donald Trump you know words: you have all the best words. I can tell you, from listening to the PhD candidates who correct your assignments, you have nothing. Nada. You’d be surprised how many people forgo grammar, syntax and common sense when the ‘assignments panic’ kicks in. Wordfail was made by two professors who were sick of seeing poor English in assignments. It’s great for upgrading your vocabulary and confidence in your writing in a fun accessible way.

A Soft Murmur (Android, desktop)

Are you a final year stuck next to the most obnoxiously loud housemates/neighbours on the planet? Yeah, it sucks; I had some before that used to sing karaoke at 4 am. Instead of listening to the deafening cries of a girl running after her boyfriend yelling “CAN I JUST TELL YOU ONE THING?!” this app lets you listen to an array of soothing background sounds. Think waves, rain, white noise, and all those stereotypical sounds. I still don’t know if she told him that one thing, so I guess it worked for me.