College is a time to make friends, be social, build communities and have a great time. It’s also a time to study hard and learn the skills you need for a great career. There are thousands of online hot spots, and they range from creative social gatherings to the best places to share notes, download class material and buy and sell textbooks. Here’s a list of sites to make your college experience one to remember, both socially and academically!
Online Gathering Spots
Many college gatherings have evolved past the stereotypical bashes that leave dormitories ruined and students with drinking and noise tickets. Groups have begun coming together in an online setting and having wonderful, and very creative, gatherings. Although these gathering spots are unlimited, here are some sites to check out to begin expanding your virtual social circle.
- SecondLife.com: an online society that allows you to build your own virtual twin to navigate the online world.
- MySpace.com: chat with friends, share class notes, rate your professors and exchange videos, music and movies.
- Facebook.com: share pictures, talk about class and professors, share notes, and stay in touch with friends at home.
- YouTube.com: share class lectures, presentations, movies and notes with others. Or, share movies of yourself participating in your favorite hobbies or singing your favorite song.
- Digg.com: share news and videos with your friends…and meet new ones.
- Del.icio.us: bookmark your favorite sites and share them with your friends.
- Technorati.com: keep all your favorite blogs organized, and meet people who share your same interests.
- StumbleUpon.com: rate your favorite sites and meet others who share your interests.
Want a hot professor? There are many sites that allow you to share info about the best, and the worst, professors. Although many students like to rate the professors on how attractive they are, you can also find info on how well the professor teaches, how hard the class is, and how his or her grading scale works. Check out:
- RateMyProfessors.com: find the best-looking professors, stay away from those who grade unfairly, and read what other students have to say.
- PickAProf.com: find out how many A’s this professor gives, who else is taking the class, and what others have to say.
- StudentsReview.com: rate the college, check out future career choices, and rate professors.
Need class material? Save money by comparing textbook prices online. There are a number of helpful sites that allow you to both buy and sell textbooks and other class material. Make sure to check out your school’s bookstore first for pricing and buyback info, and then compare. Start with:
Reading more than just the assigned material won’t only give you extra brownie points with your professor, it will make you much better prepared for that upcoming test. Find both assigned and extra material by checking out these sites:
- PinkMonkey.com: online study guides, book notes and chapter summaries.
- SparkNotes.com: discussion forums and study guides.
- BookRags.com: literature guides, criticisms and biographies.
However, remember that most schools subscribe to programs that help them determine when students have plagiarized material, such as TurnItIn.com, or they purchase plagiarism detection software. Plagiarizing, which includes purchasing papers written by someone else, can get you kicked out of college. Be careful when you use material from any of these sites!
Want to find out what is happening locally? When you have a craving to meet some people in person and join in local events, there are a number of sites that can point you in the right direction. You can search for events you are looking for, or if you need a little extra help deciding what you want to do, check out these sites:
- Eventful.com: type in your city name and check out the results that come up. The site features everything from animal events to music to support groups.
- CityGuide.aol.com: search for good restaurants, bars and local events.
- CraigsList.org: search for anything from a new job to upcoming local concerts. Or, sell your schoolbooks!
If you have more helpful sites to add to this list, please post your comments below! See you online!
About the author
Cara Wieser has a Master’s degree in journalism and communication. She has taught many university classes and has been published in numerous newspapers, magazines and online publications, as well as read on the radio. She enjoys riding her horses and curling up to a fire with a good book (who doesn’t enjoy this!).