College

Find all of Emma Lenhart’s blog posts about the college experience and more on this page.

Ah, test anxiety. Unless you are super-human we’ve probably all experienced the nervous butterflies that happen before taking a test. One great way to counteract those nervous and negative vibes are to prepare well and study for the exam. I’m bringing you 20 study tips for college students you can use the next time you are prepping for a test.

As a college sophomore, I’ve endured my fair share of hard tests and exams in my college career. There have been tests I’ve anticipated failing just from rumors from peers, and have actually been able to score a B or better on. The key in acing tests is preparation and being smart about how you study.

Studying for just 30 minutes before a test or the night before doesn’t really cut it in college. Especially if you really want to excel and see your grades rise. Finding a way of studying that works well for you will help make studying for tests feel like less of a dreadful chore, too. Kinda 😉

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These study tips for college will help you to realize which content from the class is important, and might be on the test. Make sure to utilize all of your resources (including your noggin), and you’ll be halfway to an A+!

College Study Tips

20 Study Tips for College Students

  1. Map out any upcoming tests you may have in your planner so you know they are approaching for weeks in advance.
  2. Refer back to your syllabus to see if your professor provides information like how the exams are laid out or formatted.
  3. Ask your professor for a study guide.
  4. If your professor doesn’t have a study guide, ask them how they recommend best preparing for the test. This will tell you what you should spend your time focusing on.
  5. Turn off your phone when studying to prevent any distractions.
  6. Find a “study buddy” if it will help you.
  7. Ask your “study buddy” to quiz you informally or help you play term-memorizing games.
  8. Make a plan for how you plan to study.
  9. Find somewhere comfortable to study. It could be your dorm room, a residence hall lounge, or the library…whatever feels right to you.
  10. Remain positive! Remind yourself you can do it.
  11. Repeat affirmations to yourself before the test in your head, like “I know the material well and feel prepared.”
  12. Don’t save all of your studying for the night before the test!
  13. Re-read textbook chapters that your professor went over during lecture.
  14. Rewatch lectures from class if your professor allows your class to record him/her.
  15. Find out if you are a visual, auditory, or haptic learner and adjust your studying to fit those needs.
  16. Repetition in studying is key! Don’t review a topic just once and expect yourself to recall the information days later. Re-visit content multiple times.
  17. Make flash cards if your content is something that has a lot of terms/vocabulary. I like to use Quizlet.com for online flashcards on various topics.
  18. Quiz yourself on your commute to take the test on exam day.
  19. Ask your professor for help understanding a topic while you are studying, (before the exam.) It’s better to ask than to wish you would’ve clarified that one tricky concept when you’re in the middle of the test.
  20. Learn from your mistakes (and past exams.) What could you do better in preparing for the next exam? Do you need to visit your professor to get some extra help?

Time Management

Personally, I like to study a little bit every night before a big exam, starting about a week out. This helps me break down the topic of the exam into smaller, bite-size pieces that seem a lot less overwhelming to me. Studying doesn’t have to last for 10 hours in the library until 3 a.m. if you plan out your time well and use it effectively.

How to Use Your Professor In Preparation

I find among my peers that lots of them never ever visit the professor or talk to them outside of lecture or class-time. This is absurd! Professors (most of the time) genuinely want to help you succeed and have a grasp on the course’s content. Make sure to include your professor as you prepare for a test. Refer back to your syllabus and see when your professor has their office hours. Go and visit your professor and ask for any unclear topics to be clarified. Or, simply just email them whenever a quick question you have arises when studying. I promise you won’t regret asking for help, and it will show them that you are really trying your best and taking the class seriously.


What are your best study tips for college students? Do you have any favorite tricks?

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Packing to go away to college can seem like a huge, daunting task. I know I was nervous when I was getting ready to leave home that I would forget something crucial…especially because I attend a school 6 hours away from home. However, having a packing and college shopping list while getting everything together for the big move-in day can be so helpful!

I’ve racked my mind and have listed out all of the amenities and supplies that I could possibly think of. I only lived in the dorms for one year, but I know about what you typically can and cannot bring with you, and have tried to take those into accommodation in this college shopping list.

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College Shopping List

A Complete College Shopping List

Make sure you have everything you need for success at college by following this shopping and packing list!

For School Supplies

For The Bathroom

  • Disinfecting Wipes
  • Robe
  • Bath Towels
  • Hand Towels
  • Shower caddy
  • Loofah
  • Shower shoes (or flip-flops)
  • Foaming shower cleanser
  • Toilet bowl cleaner
  • Swiffer Wet Jet

For Your Bed

For The Kitchen

  • Basic pots + pans
  • Tupperware
  • Silverware
  • Cups
  • Bowls
  • Plates
  • Soup bowl
  • Coffee mugs
  • To-go coffee mug
  • Microwave
  • Oven mitts
  • Chip clips
  • Hand soap
  • Plastic wrap
  • Aluminum foil
  • Spices/seasonings
  • Can/bottle opener
  • Trash bags
  • Paper towels
  • Napkins

Food + Snack Ideas

  • Ramen (a classic!)
  • Chicken Noodle Soup
  • Easy Mac
  • Coffee grounds
  • Coffee creamer
  • Clif bars
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Cereal
  • Fresh fruit/veggies
  • Popcorn

For The Dorm Room

For Your Closet

For Your Desk

For Personal Use

  • Straightener
  • Curling Iron/wand
  • Facial cleanser
  • Makeup removing wipes
  • Toner
  • Facial moisturizer
  • Hair brush
  • Hairspray
  • Body wash or shower gel
  • Cold medicine
  • Pain relieving medicine
  • Cough/sore throat drops
  • Vitamins
  • Razors
  • Shaving cream
  • Lotion
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Band-Aids
  • Tissues
  • Nail polish remover
  • Stain remover pen
  • Cotton balls/pads
  • Feminine care products
  • Deodorant
  • Vaseline

Other Random Stuff


Don’t Forget to Get Cash Back!

If you’re shopping for items online, make sure you use Ebates! The Ebates plugin installs easily into your browser and gives you cash back on everyday purchases. I use Ebates every time I online shop + I love getting paid through PayPal cash back!

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

Items Usually Not Allowed in College Dorm Rooms

The following items will most likely be confiscated if found in your dorm:

  • Candles
  • Space heaters
  • Clothes iron
  • Dumbells/Free Weights
  • Nails for the wall/hanging
  • Toasters
  • Plug-in air fresheners
  • Oil burners

I know that sometimes students like to break these guidelines, but RA checks do happen frequently and your stuff can be taken away from you or you can be reported if you break the guidelines.

Tips for Move-In Day

  • Recruit family members and friends to help move you in! It will take several trips (and hours) to move all of your stuff in if you just bring your mom. Bringing extra people also helps as you will probably want one person to stay by the car with the rest of your stuff.
  • Try and use suitcases with wheels on them to make the process easier. Also, try and put heavier items in rolling suitcases so you can roll them to your room instead of carrying. You’ll thank me later!
  • Enjoy the process. Moving in can be stressful but I remember the day I moved into my dorm room vividly. My family + I played fun music while moving in and it made the process so much more fun and bearable.

Have any other ideas to add to this college shopping list? Tell me in the comments!

Pssst! If you liked this post + learned something new, I would love for you to share it with your friends. Sharing this post takes just a few seconds + helps with the growth of this blog. Click the blue social sharing buttons to the left or at the top of this page. Thank you!

*This post does contain affiliate links.*

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*This post does contain referral links. However, I personally use (and love) Opinion Outpost!*

No, it’s not too good to be true. This way of making money online fast isn’t a scam, but it also isn’t a “get rich quick” scheme. However, I do know how to make money fast for some extra cash, using and completing online surveys.

I discovered online surveys back in high school when I was looking for ways to make extra spending money and wanted to start saving up. I’ve tried many different programs and websites, (trust me there are a lot of them out there), and Opinion Outpost is genuinely my most favorite option to make money fast.

Opinion Outpost Banner

This post will introduce you to the wonders that are online surveys, and more specifically, Opinion Outpost. Ready to make some cash (or should I say, fill up that PayPal balance?) Let’s get to it.

Looking for more ways other than just online surveys to make money? Check out this post here for 6 other ideas on how to make money online fast. 

Make Money Online Fast

Make Money Fast Using Opinion Outpost

What is Opinion Outpost?

Quite simply, Opinion Outpost is a website that pays people to complete surveys. After completing a survey, you can earn points, which can later turn into rewards, as a member. These rewards can be anything from cash to Amazon gift cards, etc.

Companies and brands rely on customer and user feedback in order to create new ideas and improve their existing products and services. Lots of companies need consumer opinions, and Opinion Outpost acts as the go-between between you and the brand. It’s like an online focus group! The truth of the matter is that your opinion is valuable, and providing it to companies is definitely means for getting rewarded 🙂

How to Start Earning With Opinion Outpost

Completing surveys and being on the road to earning money online has never been easier. I love Opinion Outpost because of how user-friendly it is, and uncomplicated.

Create an Account

The first step you need to take before you can start earning is to create a new account. Click here to be brought to the page where you can sign up. 

Opinion Outpost Sign-up Page

To make it even easier, you can actually join Opinion Outpost and become a member by using one of your social media accounts (like Facebook!)

Take Screening Tests

The companies that partner with Opinion Outpost want to get real and valuable answers for their surveys in order to make a better experience/product/service/etc. Because of this, Opinion Outpost will “screen” you by asking you to answer some questions before you even enter a survey.

Doing this allows Opinion Outpost to match you up with the most relevant survey and brand, based on your interests and profile (age, gender, etc.) When you first sign up for an account, you will be asked to complete a profile so that the website can accurately pair you to the right surveys!

Completing Surveys

If you sign up for emails from Opinion Outpost, you will be notified whenever a new survey is available for you to take. In order to complete the survey, log into your account like normal.

Click on the “Take Survey Now!” button that will allow you to enter into the screener test or survey. Keep in mind that not every survey available is going to be right for you. If the area in which you work (or any other factor) seems to contradict the survey or interfere, you may be redirected back to your homepage. It can be frustrating at times, but stick with it! The right surveys will present themselves and you will be earning points in no time.

Make Money with Opinion Outpost

I would definitely recommend signing up to receive emails whenever new surveys are available for you so that you don’t miss out.

What are the surveys about?

The surveys on Opinion Outpost range from anything from entertainment, food, shopping, lifestyle, and more. I love the surveys because a lot of the time, they are genuinely interesting and fun. I once completed a survey that quizzed me about the TV shows I had watched in the past month, and about their plot lines/characters. It was like a trivia game, but even better, because I was getting paid to play 🙂

Earning + Redeeming Rewards (Cash!)

My favorite way to redeem my points when using Opinion Outpost is with a PayPal balance because I can easily transfer that money to my bank and then spend it on whatever I want. I know my sister has done this, too.

However, there are lots of different options on how you can redeem your points, like gift cards to places like iTunes and Amazon. It’s all personal preference!

How long does it take to cash out?

It’s hard to put an exact amount on how long it will take you before you can cash out the first time. Back in high school when I was a hard-core Opinion Outpost user, I would log into my account and complete any available surveys for me before I went to bed. I usually was able to rack up 100 points/week, which equated to $10 in PayPal.

However, the earning potential for Opinion Outpost (and any other online survey site) is unlimited in many ways. The amount of time and effort you put into completing surveys will prove to be fruitful in your return. I’ve read that some people make upwards of $100/week by completing online surveys…it really depends!

The great thing is that you get to decide how much time you want to put into it. If you have some free time, why not answer a survey or two? It’s a great way to utilize your free time and make money fast online.

Opinion Outpost Testimonials

You don’t have to take my word for how awesome Opinion Outpost is! Check out these testimonials from people have been using Opinion Outpost for themselves.

“Due to family issues, I had to quit my job to care for my elderly parent. Opinion Outpost has made it possible for me to always have extra funds in the event a bill is higher than expected.” —Ila, Texas

“I like being part of the driving force in developing new products and being part of the pulse of the imagination nation.” —Jo, Missouri

“I have been able to buy all of my families Christmas presents with my survey money only!” —Cheryl, California

Opinion Outpost 3-Step Banner

What are you waiting for?

Seriously! Opinion Outpost is awesome and I can personally tell you that because I have been using it for years to make money fast online. I also told my sister about it and she has used it too!

Opinion Outpost Banner

I love it so much and hope that I can help even one person make some extra money with this post. Click here to set up your account and start earning today!


What is your favorite way to make money fast online? Let me know in the comments!

Pssst! If you liked this post + learned something new, I would love for you to share it with your friends. Sharing this post takes just a few seconds + helps with the growth of this blog. Click the blue social sharing buttons to the left or at the top of this page. Thank you!

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I’m sharing 5 apps college students shouldn’t live without. All of these apps should be downloadable for Apple and Android products, but double check your phone’s application marketplace to see if it is available for you!

Let’s face it: we all love being on our phones. Whether it’s to kill time, increase productivity, message a friend, or something else altogether, we spend a lot of time per day staring at our screens. However, it’s not all bad! As a college student, I have found lots of cool and exciting apps that help me live smarter and become more motivated in my career and life in general. I’m an app junkie!

Opinion Outpost Banner

I would love to know in the comments section about what other applications you use to simplify and inspire your daily routine! What apps do you think college students shouldn’t live without? I am completely guilty of scrolling through the App Store at the wee hours of the morning in search of the next great app!

*This post also contains referral codes that you can use when using the apps to give you (and me!) great bonuses.*

Free Apps for College Students

5 Apps College Students Shouldn’t Live Without

1. Transit App

This app may be ideal for those of you college babes living in big cities, but if you have public transportation of any kind in your city…you need this app.

Transit App is my favorite application to use when tracking Chicago public transportation and trust me, I’ve tried pretty much every different app on the market. After finding Transit app, I’ve never gone back to any other or searched for a better alternative again. The app is free in the App Store and shows you upcoming departure times. The app currently covers more than 125 different cities worldwide.

Apps College Students Shouldn't Live Without Transit App

The design of the app is extremely minimal and easy to navigate. I use this app multiple times a day, especially in the wintertime when I don’t want to be waiting outside in the Chicago cold for 20 minutes for my train! I usually check Transit app when I wake up/am close to walking out the door, so I can know when the next train is coming. It’s seriously a lifesaver! Click here to get Transit. 

2. Uber

If you don’t have the Uber app yet, I’m not really sure what you are doing. This is probably the most essential app for college students. Nevertheless, I would rather you learn now than live the rest of your life without Uber 😉

Living on a college campus and tromping around the town without Uber can be rough sometimes. Even though I like to take public transportation or walk as much as possible, sometimes Uber is just a better choice. Especially late at night if I am coming home from a night out with my girlfriends and don’t think we should be walking home alone!

Apps College Students Shouldn't Live Without Uber

Contrary to popular belief, Uber isn’t very expensive. In larger cities, Uber offers the option to “pool” with other customers, which significantly lowers the cost of your Uber ride. I can usually get from point A to point B for just a few dollars via Uber.

Also, if you’re looking for a way to make some extra money, driving for Uber could be a great option! I actually know a few people in my personal life that drive for Uber and really enjoy it. (Looking for other ways to make money? Check out my post here.)

You can click here to download Uber and make sure to use my referral code “emma880” on your first ride!

3. Venmo

Venmo is another app that I use on pretty much a daily basis. Ever been at brunch with a friend and realize you forgot your wallet in last night’s jacket? No worries. Venmo allows you to easily send and receive money (linked to your bank account) securely.

Apps College Students Shouldn't Live Without Venmo

It seems like everyone in college uses Venmo because of its ease of use. My roommates and I pay each other for our bills + utilities via Venmo, and I pay my landlord with it, too. Seriously, if you don’t have Venmo by now…hop on it!

Click here to download Venmo. You can also access your Venmo account via the web if you prefer that!

4. Career Girl Daily

I’ve talked about Career Girl Daily before on the blog, (check out my post for the resources to use when you are feeling burnt out) but I seriously just can’t get enough of it. Career Girl Daily fills my daily fix for career motivation, and the articles they publish are always interesting and applicable to my own life.

You can read all of CGD’s articles online by visiting them here, but can also search for their app in the App Store. I personally love the app because I can quickly read and digest articles in between my classes or on the train when I’m trying to kill time.

Here are some CGD articles I love:

5. Ebates

Ebates is the hidden gem in this bunch. I LOVE using this app, and it helps me so much! Ebates helps you easily get cash back on the places that you already love to shop at. Besides being just a mobile app, Ebates is also a website and a Chrome extension.

Ebates

Saving with Ebates is so easy and the stores that they give cash back at is huge. Plus, the cash back amounts are BIG, not just pennies/cents. Right now I am currently saving up my Ebates earnings to get a PayPal cash out. Woohoo!

You can get started with Ebates by clicking here!


What are some of your favorite apps for college students? What, in your opinion, are the apps college students shouldn’t live without?

Pssst! If you liked this post + learned something new, I would love for you to share it with your friends. Sharing this post takes just a few seconds + helps with the growth of this blog. Click the blue social sharing buttons to the left or at the top of this page. Thank you!

*This post does contain referral links.*

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