Today, I'm a Good Human: Stuff to Make School Easier

School is hard. Especially when we lack the resources we need to succeed or do better in class. I personally struggle quite a bit in class and I'm always looking for things to make my life a wee bit easier. I don't want my colleagues to struggle too, so here are some websites and stuff that I personally use on a near-daily basis. I think they're pretty useful and they save me a whole lotta time when studying for tests and finishing assignments.

I'll split everything up by subjects. I'll include things that have helped me with my current classes plus some other little things that I think would help any struggling student.

English: Typically when we think of English class, we think of reading and writing. And I think we can all agree we write a LOT on a daily basis. A lot of the things we write go online for the whole world to see. One thing that I struggle with is making my sentences make sense; English isn't my first language which makes writing a little bit difficult at times. One thing that's saved my life this year is this little app thingy called Grammarly. This is basically like autocorrect... but for your tablet. The installation process is really simple and once you get it up and running, it corrects grammar mistakes and spelling mistakes in your writing. I'm currently using it and it has corrected many mistakes that I wouldn't have noticed otherwise. You can enable it to work on certain programs, such as Microsoft Word. One thing to note is that Grammarly won't correct every single mistake you make, so this kinda just serves as a tool to make proofreading easier. If you upgrade to the full version, it'll correct even more and even make suggestions on what you should include in your writing. I think it's an app worth getting; here's a short video on Grammarly. Putting writing aside, we also have to read a whole lot for English. This will come off as a no-brainer to some of you, but if you're reading a piece of literature you don't quite understand, one website that's really helpful is Spark Notes, a website that includes analyses of popular works, such as Shakespearian plays and classic novels. This helped me a lot last year when I had to read plays. Another thing that seems to be more up students' alley is a YouTube channel called Wisecrack, and more specifically the playlist on that channel called Thug Notes. This playlist is hilarious, but also really helpful in understanding famous literary works; each video includes a brief overview of the plot as well as a more in-depth analysis. I highly recommend watching these videos before doing literature analyses for English.

Math/Physics: I have a love-hate relationship with math. I love learning how to do it, but I HATE how long it takes me to do certain problems. One thing that I struggle with is graphing complex functions by hand; I don't own a graphing calculator, so I use a website called Desmos to help me out with this. It's really easy to use; all you have to do is type in your function and BOOM! It graphs it for you. I use this website mainly to check sketches of graphs. This is also really really really useful when you're transforming functions because you can graph more than one equation at a time on the same axis, therefore you can graph your original function and the transformed function (I guess that's what you'd call it?). This next wedsite relates more to physics than math, but it's basically a quadratic equation calculator; sometimes in physics, we are required to solve ridiculous and meaningless problems using the quadratic formula, which can be a challenge when working with decimals and weird numbers. This has saved me a lot of grief these past couple of weeks because all you have to do is enter your A, B, and C values and the calculator will give you a positive and negative answer (most of the time). There are also Crash Course playlists on YouTube on physics and chemistry (I'll talk more about Crash Course in, like, a few sentences cx). Going back to math, this next website is REALLY helpful when you don't understand certain concepts in math. Microsoft Math is a website where you can review mathematical concepts, and it also includes lessons and various examples. Making an account is very simple, and from there, you can pick what subject you want to study. There aren't many options to choose from, which is a downside to Microsoft Math, but I still find it pretty useful.

History: APUSH is arguably one of the hardest classes ever, but thankfully, there are a whole lotta resources online to help us. One that most of us are familiar with is the YouTube channel called Crash Course. The channel itself is quite interesting to me and the videos contain a LOT of information. When reading the textbook, we may miss important facts or we may not understand some things. Crash Course videos are really detailed, and they include many cartoons. They are really helpful when reviewing information; I've used these videos to review many times before. The biggest resource I wanna share with you guys, besides that, is a website called APUSH Review. I'm pretty sure you can guess what the website is about; on this website, you'll find videos recapping important information from every chapter of our APUSH textbook, along with fill-in-the-blank notes that you can save and print out. Typically, I read a chapter in the book and then go online, print the notes, and watch the videos to review. This has helped me out a lot on tests because instead of including useless crap, the videos are short and contain ONLY key details relating to the chapter. The notes also don't tend to be very long and are usually about three pages long. One thing to note is that because the videos on this website only contain key details of every chapter, you'll be missing a lot of smaller details that would be helpful to know on tests.

Spanish/French: I took AP Spanish last year and thankfully, I didn't struggle too much with it. I know some people are just learning their second language, which can be challenging. One app I recommend getting is called Duolingo. This app is tailored to help people learn new languages easily. This helped me when I was learning French. You can set daily goals and Duolingo will send you reminders every day. Depending on your skill level, you can take shortcuts and skip lessons; every exercise will teach you a certain skill, such as using plural nouns and asking questions. This is handy for those who want to learn a new language or are struggling in Spanish or French. There are many languages you can learn on Duolingo, which is an added bonus and makes it really fucking cool. Besides Duolingo, I think one of the most obvious tools available to us is Google Translate, and this comes in handy when typing long essays and translating certain words. I'd typically use this last year when I didn't know how to write a word in Spanish and when I didn't know what verb to use. It saved my life, TBH.

So yeah... I think that's it. I may come back to this post if I find anything else :)


Sooooonnnnnggggg: Losers by The Weeknd

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