I’m sure you’ll all agree that we currently live in very privileged times. With the existence of the Internet, you can find the answer to 99% of the questions you may want to ask. There are millions upon millions of people who wish to give you something useful and of value for whatever reason they may have, be it profit, building goodwill, or self-satisfaction.
There are several different reasons behind why there are so many resources out in the net, but that’s a completely different story. The fact is, there’s a lot of useful stuff out there. Maybe a bit too much. Unfortunately, that’s the reason why us humans may fall into the paradox of choice, where the over-abundance of choice actually paralyses us from taking any action.
This post’s purpose will be to share with you all the resources I use on an almost daily basis (some not as much, but are definitely in my toolbox) as a rebellious student, that help me achieve my grades. It can definitely be quite confusing and overwhelming, given how much resources and tools there are, so hopefully I can guide and show some of you the resources that I personally find useful, and then you can make a decision if you’d like to try them out for yourself🙂.
The only thing you’ll really need will be an Internet connection, and a desire to make life just a bit easier for yourself💯.
While this one may seem overwhelmingly difficult at first, I can assure you all this app has been an absolute game changer to my life. 80% of everything I record and do is most likely located in Notion, or else it’s written somewhere in physical paper. If I can convince you all to just pick a single resource out of this list and use it to its full potential, I would strongly urge you to consider Notion.
Firstly, what is Notion? Now, some of you may snicker when I say this, but I will honestly say that it’s difficult to describe exactly what Notion is. The best way that I would describe it is as a mix of different apps; a fusion, if you will. That means you can use it to take notes, write in a diary, brainstorm, log events, plan, budget, make to-do lists, and more.
It’s interface is gorgeous, and I hardly ever run into any problems with it. Additionally, the amount of customisability Notion offers you is fantastic. The main way it works is that you can create pages with templates, and then write whatever you want into those pages. Naturally, you can download many different types of templates from the internet to suit your needs (even though some of the default ones Notion offers you is already very impressive), or you can go about making a page from scratch and deciding yourself what to do with it.
I’ve been using Notion for almost half a year now, and even I still haven’t tried all of its functions yet. While this one will probably benefit students the most, I’m confident that absolutely anyone can use Notion for something. It just simply offers that impressive if a variety.
This one isn’t exactly a resource per se, but any opportunity I have to promote the benefits of Anki, I will take with huge enthusiasm.
For those who don’t know, Anki is a flashcard software that incorporates a spaced repetition system. Spaced repetition is essentially doing something again and again, but over long periods of time.
This technique, combined with the idea of active recall (the most effective study technique, where you’re simply testing yourself, i.e actively trying to recall information), makes for a hugely successful formula.
Anki can help you memorise, in my own personal experience, almost anything; vocabulary, phrases, diagrams, definitions, labels, and more. Before any test that requires me to regurgitate out pure knowledge and facts, like biology, I’ll always go over my biology deck for that specific topic. I find it helps keeps my brain sharp and alert, as well as keep knowledge in my head for much longer periods of time than no Anki at all.
Ali Abdaal’s SkillShare class on Anki definitely helped launch me in the right direction, and so I would also recommend getting a free trial and binging his classes on that, but don’t stress if you can’t.
Another superb thing about Anki is that you can download decks of flashcard that other people have made, and use them yourself. I’ve personally downloaded a Japanese vocabulary deck, and a German deck to help me with my imperfect verbs. To my current knowledge, there are also many decks on highly sought courses like medicine and law, a few of which I’m sure some of you may be interested in.
A fantastic, completely free resource for those having trouble understanding some math concepts. I essentially taught myself complex numbers and co-ordinate geometry using Khan academy, during the period I had a rather ‘undesirable’ math teacher.
Of course, Khan Academy also offers lessons on many different topics other than maths, like science and computing, but I currently only use it for some extra maths lessons when I’m having particular difficulty with certain topics.
Most of their instructors, or I suppose the ones in my experience, have all been able to explain things with exceptional clarity and ease. And while I’m not using Khan Academy 24/7 for everything, it’s definitely proven to be a valuable resource time and time again.
While Reddit definitely does have a murky and uncertain reputation, I’ve found most of the advice gotten from here to be pretty good and effective, if you know what you’re looking for.
Say you have a question about a pretty specific topic, say on the human skeletal system in biology, you’ll usually get a pretty satisfactory answer if you go on to the r/biology or r/askscience subreddits. I find many people are very eager to share their knowledge on stuff, and usually will give some accurate or detailed answers to things. Naturally, this should be really only be done if a quick Google search or Wikipedia article hasn’t done your question justice yet.
It’s fair to say that for the most part, you should double-triple check advice you get from strangers on the internet. Always try and get information from more than one source, three if possible, to ensure the reliability of your answers.
While good answers don’t always appear on Reddit, there are certainly the occasional kind and knowledgable experts who are willing to share their thoughts and knowledge on the subject.
YouTube, Wikipedia, and Quora are all useful when I’m faced with some complex problems, as they’re all really easy to get to and free. Though, I do understand there may be some distrust and doubt with Wikipedia, most likely influenced by teachers. In my own personal experience, I haven’t had any case of obtaining false information from Wikipedia.
I also use Duolingo on a currently regular basis, just to keep my Japanese in shape. This will probably change though as soon as I’m finished with my leaving cert, as I’ll then take a more firm and realistic approach with learning languages.
Readwise is also a really cool resource that basically shows you highlights from books you’ve read on Kindle, and random articles you may have found online. I suppose you could also call it a spaced repetition system similar to Anki, but without much active recall unless you’re making Flashcards out of the highlights (which I must admit I haven’t had the chance to do😬). It’s really cool seeing highlights from books I read months, if not years ago, resurfacing in my Readwise feed, and I think helps me remember and retain more of the stuff I read. I highly recommend having a look at Readwise, especially for avid readers like myself.
Right, that’ll probably do it for this blog post. Hopefully some of the stuff I recommended here may be of use to some of you, that would be really cool.
Alright, stay safe guys and I’ll see you next week👋🏼