December 2nd, 2016
Today, as I sat stuffing envelopes full of pamphlets and student discount cards for the students in the MT program, I seriously wondered to myself why I had thought it would be a good idea to become a VP of the MT student association (MTSA) this year. Normally, I have a ball being part of the MTSA; I love connecting students to experiences outside of our department, putting on socials, and hosting phys ed events, but there’s something about this time of year that gets even the most optimistic person (aka me) feeling just a little bit overwhelmed (read: a lot).
I’ve already completed three assignments that I have due this week, but I’m still staring down two major research papers, a professional portfolio, a conflict & education case study, a presentation & reflection, and the fourth chapter of my thesis…all due by on or before December 14th. Anyone want to insert a panicked scream here? As I think about it, it’s not so weird that I had that thought about being part of the MTSA, and have been wondering about the myriad other things I find myself involved in. Exam and project season is tough; we all know the projects will get done, but it’s always more daunting on this side of the finish line.
So, how do we get through it all without wanting to order 100 coffees and crying into every one of them?
In an effort to help you stay calm, collected, and on top of things during this crunch period, we’ve compiled a list of some great apps that will help you study, encourage your calm, and hopefully bring you a little clarity this pre-holiday season.
**most of these apps are compatible with iOS, Android, and Windows, and can be accessed via your phone or computer**
Study-Based Apps to Get You Through:
Evernote (FREE): a great app to organize all those notes, graph photos, to-do lists, and pre-holiday obligations. Evernote helps you to: take notes, make to-do lists, set reminders, attach files, and also save a photo as a document or post-it.
Khan Academy (FREE): Strictly speaking, this one isn’t a study organizer, but it DOES have cool videos on basically any topic, which means you can watch LeBron James introduce a probability problem if you need a quick reminder on the basics of a topic, or just want to browse a different subject as a study break.
Wolfram Alpha: This app isn’t free, but it IS a tutor, report & graph generator, and formula explicator that you get all for $2.99. Not too shabby!
Easy Bib (FREE): We all know that writing the bibliography of a research paper is the wrst part, so why not make it easier on yourself? EasyBib is great because you can access it from your phone, now you can work on those pesky citations when killing time on the subway!
My Study Life (FREE): need to keep track of a crazy study, research, class, lab schedule? Want to access it across multiple devices? Look no further!
Flash Cards Deluxe: Too cool NOT to include, even if it IS $3.99. This app lets you create personalized flashcards for anything. ANYTHING. And you can use them on your phone, and NOT waste more paper or get hand cramps writing out your notes on cue cards.
Sleep Cycle ($1.69-1.99): Knowing WHEN to wake up, no matter how early or late you’re going to bed, is key to making sure you get a good night’s rest and your brain is ready to go even without that coffee! This app will tell you when you need to wake up depending on your sleep time, and helps you get there too.
The Now (FREE): This app will help you keep your chin up by sending you mindfulness messages throughout the day.
Talkspace: Don’t have time to book an appointment with UofT Health Services but really need someone to talk to during crunch time? For $25 a week, you can message with a therapist from your phone. The app IS free, but that version gives you limited access to therapists.
Smiling Mind (FREE): This app gives you guided meditation practice based on your age. Ucertain about this one? A little mindfulness each day is actually a great way to boost your awareness, and create a sense of peace…something we could all use when research papers loom.
SuperBetter Games (FREE): Basically, these are games that help improve your resiliency, mental health, and encourage creative thinking to hard problems. A very productive way to take a study break if you ask me!
Songza (FREE): For me, there is nothing better than instrumental music to keep me focused when studying, a little old rock to get me having a dance party when I need to move (aka when I can no longer sit at my desk), and some upbeat tunes when I need to put a little happiness back in my mind. Check out Songza for music playlists to fit your every mood, activity, genre, and occasion!
Magic Window – Living Pictures: Can’t actually get outside to take a walk and take in nature? Try Magic Window, it will send you peaceful nature scenes from around the world to put everything right in your world.
While we certainly hope these apps help you de-stress, stay centered, and get through this busy period more easily, don’t forget to take care of yourselves and to seek help in person here if you need to. Good luck!