7 sites that will make your college experience a lot easier

College isn’t easy. We all know how little it takes before you’re spending your night staying up until 3 a.m. writing a paper you should have started weeks ago. But who can blame you? You’ve had other things to worry about. Clubs, work, other classes, social engagements … the list goes on and on. And while your parents might be quick to let you know that college was a lot harder back in the dark ages without Internet, you know it’s just as difficult these days to stay competitive, do your work and above all, keep your sanity.

But now that you have the Internet to help you out, you might as well use it, right? Here are a few websites to help you out, whether it be planning in the long run, relieving stress or solving a problem in a pinch.

*1. RateMyProfessors.com*

We might not admit it, but every now and then we’re bound to decide to take a class based on the professor who is teaching it. After all, if you’re filling the rest of your schedule with hard required classes, why not reward yourself with an easy class every now and then? RateMyProfessors.com allows you to look up classes and professors and see what other people are saying about the instructor for that statistics or biology class you’re considering. While the information isn’t completely reliable, there might be enough to sway you one way or another on which section to take with which professor.

*2. LifeHacker.com*

Ever wonder how you can best increase your productivity? Looking for simple solutions to your most comment problems? LifeHacker is the perfect website to give you all of the tips and tricks you need to do well in class and beyond. With advice on everything from the best way to rig your cell phone to do what you want to teaching you how to improve frozen pizza by punching holes in it (that’s an actual LifeHacker article, look it up) this site is dedicated to teaching you the shortcuts to a better existence. Deep, but true.

*3. CollegeHumor.com*

Everyone needs a laugh now and then, and the comedy team at College Humor is totally dedicated to filling that empty cavity in your funny bone. With articles, photos, graphics and videos that spoof all the best (and worst) parts of college, the real world and beyond, College Humor is there to get you through those stressful moments — and perhaps help you procrastinate as well.


4. Scheedule.com*

When it comes to registering for classes, signing up for the section you want in the time slot you want with the professor you want can be exhausting. Scheedule — which is available for only a few select institutions, including the U of I — helps you look up classes by course or CRN. When you pick a class, you can mix and match sections and look at all of the times the class is taught in one window. From there, you can set up your schedule however you’d like before giving it a go for real on the University’s registration website. Scheedule saves you a lot of time if you’re not sure what your schedule is going to look like, so try it next time before trying to register for classes and wasting time going back-and-forth between windows.

*5. Gutenberg.org*

Are you a big reader? Want to get into more classics? If you have the time, check out Project Gutenberg. This literati paradise offers over 36,000 free ebooks that you can download and read right on your computer, Kindle, iPad, smartphone or any other compatible device. The site is also partnered with other affiliates that offer over 100,000 free ebooks total. That’s a lot of reading. Don’t spend money on another classic again — if you want to read anything from Sherlock Holmes to Pride and Prejudice to the Kama Sutra (Project Gutenberg’s top download), this website already has it for you for free.

*6. BrokeGradStudent.com*

College is expensive. And we’re not just talking about tuition; room and board fees, school supplies, food, nights out and other expenses add up to quite a hefty bill while you’re spending your four years here. Broke Grad Student is a blog started by a semi-recent college graduate trying to pay back $22,000 in student loans. This blog offers up tips on how you can make it through college without breaking the back. That means building funds, searching for financial aid, learning how to eat cheap and more. The blog is a big outdated — it hasn’t been updated since 2009 — but the advice in the archives is still useful for anyone attending college in this day and age.

*7. Evernote.com*

Keeping track of everything you’re doing or are supposed to do at any given time is daunting. That’s why Evernote is around to help you organize and prioritize your responsibilities. By setting up an account and downloading the Evernote app for your smartphone, you can start typing notes, clipping web pages, snapping photos and recording memos on the fly. Never forget a single note you meant to take, even if it comes to you in a fleeting instant. We all have great ideas or remember things in an instant that we forget to write down to look at later, but Evernote seeks to stop that problem once and for all.

_Jill is a senior in Media._