5 apps you need as a college student

With today’s technology, there is an app for just about everything. Put your smart phone and/or laptop to some good use, and check out the apps listed below. As a college student, they may save your life… or at least save you some time.

EasyBib

EasyBib is a bibliography generator. While also available on the web, the app lets you simply take a picture of a book’s barcode and creates an easy, time-saving MLA/APA bibliography. You can then export or email the final piece to yourself. 

SelfControl

For those of us who lack self control when it comes to internet distractions, this is a necessary app. If you find yourself constantly ending up on Facebook or YouTube when you should be studying or writing a paper, Self Control will allow you to block those sites for a certain duration. “Blocklist” all of your favorite distractions and finally get your work done.

Alarmy (Sleep If U Can)

Never oversleep for a class again with this app. Alarmy gives you two options to silence the alarm: 1) shake the phone; 2) physically get up and go to the place shown on your screen and take a picture. Watch how it works HERE.

  • Available for $1.99 for iOS and free for Android 

Dictionary.com Mobile

Come across a word in a textbook that you are unfamiliar with? Look it up quick and easy on the Dictionary.com app. This app will also come in handy the next time you’re trying to use a fancy word in your essay. Look it up on the app and make sure you’re using it correctly.

iProcrastinate

This app lets you keep track of all the homework, projects, papers, exams, etc. that you need to get done during the semester. You can break it all up by subject and star certain assignments. The best suggestion for this would be to start writing in assignment due dates as soon as you get the syllabus from your professor. Whether you prefer “calendar” or “list” view, the app will let you know what’s “upcoming” and “due today.”

  • Available for free on Mac OS X and $1.99 on iOS (allows for iCloud syncing between devices)

Improve your time management skills

We could all use some sprucing up on our time management skills every now and then. They are not only important in school, but also in the workplace. If you find yourself constantly missing deadlines or rushing to get things done at the last minute, here is some time management advice to help: 

  • Keep your classes back-to-back. Oftentimes students like to spread out their courses throughout the day. However, keeping them together allows your brain to stay in “class mode” for a longer chunk of time, rather than having to turn it on and off. Practicing this tactic also allows for a longer period of time to get homework and studying done. When classes are spread out, we’re left with an hour or so to wait around until the next class. It’s more common to use that small chunk of time to eat, watch TV or check social media, instead of studying. When there’s more time available, we’re more willing to sit down and pull out the books.
  • Write everything down. People have probably been telling you this for years, but it’s true. Writing down what we need to do helps us to remember. Invest in a calendar or assignment book to keep track of the things you need to get done. To make it even easier, download a to-do list app for your phone. This way it will always be with you. Nothing feels more accomplishing than being able to cross something off a to-do list!
  • Break up big assignments. Have a huge paper coming up? Prepare an outline ahead of time to figure out how many paragraphs or pages need to get done. Once you have an idea of what you want to write, encourage yourself to do a page, or even a paragraph, a day. This way you’re getting a little bit done each day until it’s due, and it won’t feel as stressful.
  • Give yourself breaks. Call it a “brain break” if you will. Studying non-stop can be exhausting, especially around midterms or finals week. Try studying a chapter or two, and then take a 10 minute break. Go for a walk or eat a snack, then come back to the book. You’ll feel more content and less grumpy over the idea of studying. 

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3 tips for a successful internship

Summer means internship season for many students. Whether you are working for class credit or just to build your resume, you want to have a successful experience. Below are a few tips to help you make the most out of your internship.  

Go in with goals. Walk into your internship with specific goals in mind. That might include wanting to learn more about the industry, improve skills, network with people, etc. Predetermined goals will help you get exactly what you need out of an internship and allow you to leave feeling more accomplished by the conclusion of it. Don’t forget to mention these goals to your supervisor, so you’re both on the same page in what you want to achieve. 

Ask questions. As an intern, you aren’t expected to know everything. It’s better to ask a question than to attempt figuring things out on your own and making a mistake. Asking questions such as, “Why am I doing this?” or “What is this for?” are also important. You want to learn as much as possible throughout your internship time. Doing the task is just part of the process; you will want to know why you’re doing it and what its significance is in the long run.  

Keep track of your work. Save the pieces you have created or work on. This way at the end of your internship, you’ll be able to walk away with a nice portfolio to show to future employers. A portfolio is essentially a visual resume that showcases the skills you have developed. 

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Does Lewis have a kitchen for students? I am a prospective student and ask this because of reasons.

Asked by Anonymous

Each of the dorms has a small kitchen for students, including a stove/microwave/refrigerator if you would like to cook! Does that help?

Summer fun on a college student budget

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With the tight budget of a college student, sometimes it is difficult to find things to do that don’t break the bank. However, when you find a moment to spare between jobs, internships and/or summer classes, here are ten affordable things to do for fun this summer before coming back to Lewis:

  1. Head to the beach. Grab your towel and pack some snacks, and you’re ready to go!  
  2. Walk around the zoo. With free admission at Lincoln Park Zoo, this is a great way to spend a nice day in the city.
  3. Have a bonfire. Buy some graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows, and you’re set!
  4. Take in a baseball game. Check out StubHub for tickets to Cubs and White Sox games, they’re usually much cheaper. Sometimes if you wait until the day before, you can find an even cheaper ticket. Also consider looking into a Kane County Cougars game at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark in Geneva or a Joliet Slammers game at Silver Cross Field in Joliet. The tickets are much cheaper and just as fun!
  5. Bike around the city. For under $15, you can rent a bike and explore Chicago from a new perspective for a couple of hours! 
  6. Go ice skating. Public skate at most ice rinks is pretty inexpensive, and it’s a perfect way to spend a hot summer day.
  7. Take a boat tour. For under $20, various companies, like Shoreline Sightseeing, offer 40-minute boat tours on Lake Michigan, which showcase Chicago’s lakefront sights and attractions. 
  8. Check out a festival. For $10, the Taste of Joliet offers food and live music at the end of June. The Taste of Chicago is also coming up in July and admittance is free!
  9. Visit a museum. Almost all Chicago museums offer free admission days throughout the summer. Search the museum you’re interested in to check out which days you can go for free.
  10. Watch a movie in the park. The Chicago Park District offers a “Movies in the Parks” series all through the summer, showing everything from new movies to the classics, for free! 

Jump start your semester, freshmen

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Are you an incoming freshman? Have you started reading your First Year Common Reader, “The New Kings of Nonfiction” by Ira Glass yet? 

It’s summer, you say? You don’t want to do homework over break? Well, it’s time to kick those time management skills into high gear! Imagine being able to knock out one piece of homework before the semester even begins! Reading the novel beforehand with a few months to get it done is definitely better than trying to find time to read in between other homework assignments during the semester. Even reading just a bit each night will be enough check that off your to-do list before school starts.

To get you started, “The New Kings of Nonfiction” is a collection of stories—some well known, some more obscure—capturing some of the best storytelling of this golden age of nonfiction.  This is an anthology of the best new masters of nonfiction storytelling, personally chosen and introduced by Ira Glass, the producer and host of the award-winning public radio program, The American Life. These pieces—on teenage white collar criminals, buying a cow, Saddam Hussein, drunken British soccer culture, and how we know everyone in our Rolodex—are meant to mesmerize and inspire.  

Happy reading, students!