How to Use the Internet to Make Your College Life Easier

Class schedules, lodging, studying, transportation and even where to eat are all new when you first arrive on campus. There are a variety of Internet websites and apps to help you navigate this new territory.

The first thing to do is register for your classes online. Most colleges and universities offer this option now. You need to be prepared. Know what dates registration is allowed and what courses you should be registering for. All of this information is usually provided on a school’s website or you can contact the school’s registrar office.

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Next, dig deeply into your individual course websites. You want to read and understand each course’s syllabus. This is the main way to keep up with reading and essay assignments as well as tests and required projects and attendance policies. This is where you can find class notes, announcements and learn exactly what each of your professors expects of you. You may be able to turn assignments in electronically through these sites as well.

You can also use the Internet for apartment and roommate hunting. If your school doesn’t require you to live on campus – sometimes they do especially as first year students – there are multiple sites that are designed just for you. Try Roommates.com or  StudentHousing.com to find resources nationwide. If you’re studying abroad, you may want to go to Students-Lodging.com. In addition, there are multiple local websites and online resources in each college community. A quick search for “student housing” or apartments will lead you in the right direction.

Buy your textbooks online. You can often get them more cheaply and easily  or even rent them and sell them when you have finished using them. Look at sites like:  Chegg.com or BigWords.com. Be sure to check for editions, though. Your class syllabus should tell you which edition your professor wants you to have. For example, you don’t want to end up with Edition 6 when all the class material is geared toward Edition 8.

Once you have your class schedule and your textbooks, you’re ready to study! Many colleges and universities provide services that enable students to create online study groups for specific classes. This is a terrific way to communicate with your peers as well as gain additional feedback from your instructors. Remember to stay professional and stick to the course material in these forums. 

If your schools doesn’t offer these services, you can establish study groups on collaborative sites such as PortaPortal.com or email your professors and fellow students. Having a study group to instant message as you work helps too and keeps you from all having to be in the same physical space.

When it comes to transportation on and off campus, the Internet provides you with all the tools you need. Campus parking maps and walking trails can be found and most schools will provide an estimated walking time between designations that can be invaluable when making your way around. Campus and local bus and train schedules are online too.

After a long day of classes or study you want to be able to find good food easily and within your price range. If you’re on a campus meal plan, the school website will tell you where you are allowed to eat and what the hours of dining locations are. If you’d like to get off-campus, try Yelp.com or UrbanSpoon.com to find ideas and reviews.

Author Bio : George Gallagher is an author in the financial sector and works  at cuStudentLoans, he helps college students learn the best ways to manage their student loans and finances.