As a new student, you’ll need to learn a lot of new information pretty fast or risk being clueless, penniless, and more than a bit confused about independent student life.
This is where the internet steps in, a realm of student resources with bountiful information about anything, where you can learn the things your parents never taught you (or that you weren’t interested in learning at the time), such as how to budget your money, how to arrange an overdraft with your bank, and how to iron your clothes without leaving an iron-shaped pattern. In short, all the student resources you could ever possibly need are available online.
Below is a categorized list of useful student websites and online resources that will help to make student life that little bit easier from day one.
General websites for students
LifeHacker aims to help its users out with life in the modern world. Popular tags include ‘Productivity’, ‘Money’ and ‘DIY’.
Although essentially one of many time-wasting student websites, MentalFloss is good for learning interesting facts from around the world, covering topics such as food, culture and science. Admittedly, its main function may be as a procrastination aid, but you should still learn something.
This student resource offers an alternative to TV (and, unfortunately, studying), hosting randomized videos on interesting scientific topics.
This site tells you the best times to go to bed if you have to be up at a certain hour – a very useful tool within student life. Taking into account regular sleep cycles, Sleepyti.me can help if you suffer from grogginess in the mornings.
If you struggle to stay away from social media when you’re meant to be studying, use KeepMeOut to block certain distracting websites.
Educational websites for students
Edx is one of the world’s leading MOOC platforms. MOOCs (massive open online courses) are offered for free to anyone wishing to learn. Other major MOOC providers include Udacity.com, AcademicEarth.org and…
Coursera covers a wide range of academic learning, allowing you to supplement your studies with some additional knowledge.
Cooking websites for students
Exactly what it says on the tin, StudentRecipes.com has recipes for 4,000 quick and easy student meals.
RecipePuppy allows you to search for recipes based on the ingredients you already have at home. Lazy students, rejoice.
This is one of the most useful online student resources if you like making and fixing things yourself. You can learn anything from how to make spaghetti ice-cream to how to fix a broken shelf.
Health websites for students
This guide will be a lifesaver throughout student life for times when you’re feeling wrung out, stressed or ill. Whatever your ailments, visit this resource to find out what foods to eat to build your immunity and vitality back up.
WebMD allows you to check your current health status using its symptom checker. Although this resource is great for hypochondriacs, it doesn’t replace the knowledge of a real doctor – go offline and visit your university’s health center if you’re really concerned.
The website of the UK’s National Health Service provides information on all kinds of illnesses, conditions, diseases and treatments. The site also gives comprehensive information on sexual health.
DontPassItOn provides free chlamydia and gonorrhea testing kits by post to UK citizens aged 16-24.
Sexual health advice and resources for those based in the US.
Shopping & selling websites for students
Well-established consumer-to-consumer site Ebay allows you to buy, sell or auction off almost anything, including clothing, electronic devices and antiques. It could come in handy if your student budget needs a boost, or if you want to find some bargains.
The Book Pond allows you to sell your old academic textbooks or buy the ones you need from other students who are ready to pass them on.
Amazon sells everything under the sun, including books, e-books and textbooks you may need for your program. However, its critics say it’s damaging to independent bookstores, so you may want to consider using your local store instead of always shopping online.
Gumtree advertises jobs, second-hand goods, properties and services for people around the UK. If you’re a student in the UK, it can be a good place to search for part-time job opportunities, look for accommodation, sell things you don’t need any more, or even swap goods or skills.
The global version of Gumtree, Craigslist is big in the US and has many city/area divisions, so you can find listings close to you.
This online platform allows you to give away your unwanted things or get your hands on what other people are giving away. Handy for furniture and general bric-a-brac.
Money-saving websites for students
Groupon offers daily deals on things such as spa days, fancy restaurants and city breaks. It’s not exactly the place to go to for the essentials of student life, but it’s a good way to treat yourself at the end of a stressful exam period, perhaps.
MoneySavingExpert has advice on everything from cheap flights to the best bank interest rates, helping your student budget stretch further.
Free to use, Mint can help you organize your finances and track your spending.
MyVoucherCodes offers vouchers and discounts for a huge number of retail stores and restaurants within the UK. If you’re in the US, RetailMeNot is the place to go.
Just one of many student websites offering discounts, UniDays lists thousands of student discounts and offers around the globe. It’s free to join and also available as an app.
WiseBread is dedicated to living well on a tight budget – whether you’re a student or just trying to get more for your money. It offers advice on everything from debt management to growing your own fruit and vegetables.
Other useful resources for students
An offshoot of Rap Genius, Lit Genius is a place where scholars have formed a community to annotate poetry and literature, both classic and recent. It’s an extremely helpful resource for English literature students in particular.
TED hosts thought-provoking talks given at events all over the world on the core topics of technology, entertainment and design – but in fact covering pretty much every aspect of human experience. The TED site is where you can find all the videos of these talks. They’re another good procrastination device, but you may also find some inspiration for your next essay.
Although your tutors will tell you never to reference Wikipedia in assignments, the collaboratively edited encyclopedia project can be a very useful tool for early-stage research into your assignment or project.
Bartleby publishes classic literature, poetry, non-fiction and reference texts free of charge.
Similarly, Project Gutenberg provides free online access to texts whose copyright has expired; so far, it’s digitized more than 56,000 texts.