Wednesday, 2 December 2015

6 YouTube Channels That Will Help You Study (Kinda)

If you’re like me, then the internet is your greatest weakness – especially when it comes to studying. Yes, I’ve lost the battle with it too. But never fear, for I have found a way the internet can help you — yes, YOU — study for your finals. It’s pretty mind-blowing (albeit not as mind-blowing as a panda sneezing).

Panda sneezing

So instead of allowing social media to slowly take over your study schedule, try out some of these videos and see if they help keep you in an academic frame of mind — both for the sake of your studying, and for your sense of guilt about NOT studying. After all, some of these will relate to and reinforce what you’ve learned in class.

Of course, researching this list was an act of procrastination in itself for me…but at least I can say that I’ve learned a few things.

1. The School Of Life

Focused mainly on philosophy, sociology, political theory and literature, The School of Life is an actual school in the UK whose goal is to “develop emotional intelligence.” While the channel gets bonus points for having a British narrator, the part that I’ve found most useful is its ability to spur deep thought. It does present information that could be helpful for research purposes, but I was most inspired by the way that it caused me to look at things (plus, it solidified the correct way to pronounce Nietzsche’s name…) One student I’m aware of has even claimed that the channel caused them to experience an existential crisis (but in a good way).*

*This student was me.


Like the title suggests, these videos present science concepts for those who, like me, feel as though they’re in a time pinch. Plus, they relate all the science-y stuff to real world questions, like if it was the chicken or the egg who came first, or what colour WAS that dress, really? Sometimes they even have guest presenters, like the famous Bill Nye the Science Guy. BILL BILL BILL BILL.

This particular video is about the effect of alcohol on your body. A+ for the fun doodles, which I find make learning so much easier.

3. Crash Course

The title of the channel is quite literal, as it offers crash courses (short, yet vastly inclusive and well-explained theories and ideas) in everything from Capitalism to ATP to why that green light in The Great Gatsby is so important. It also has one of the most comprehensive subject listings on this list.
The channel is run by two brothers, John and Hank Green — one of whom wrote that really sad, emotional, yet pretty funny book The Fault In Our Stars…. This may or may not be how I found this channel in the first place...

I’ve included the crash course on Conditioning in psychology, mainly because…well, dogs.

4. Vsauce

Probably the most famous channel on this list, Vsauce likes to ask the big questions and also likes to give big answers. In fact, I’ve found that I usually end up with more info than originally sought  — and for me, this is why Vsauce is so great: because it always reveals more than you knew possible.

In this example, he works to answer the basic (and complicated) question “what is fear?” and to do so, addresses a number of related questions, like why do we get scared when we think of spiders? Or, why are some people afraid to speak in front of the class? Both are questions that I, personally, would love to know the answer to.

5. Minute Physics

Physics is pretty mind-blowing, albeit it’s even sometimes hard to wrap your head around. It’s like when you first watch The Butterfly Effect, and you end up walking around the earth weeks later still overthinking every single little decision you make. There’s a parallel universe? What do you mean my curiosity kills the cat? I ONLY WANT TO BE FRIENDS WITH IT.

Okay so, physics confuses me more than anything. But these videos have helped me make a little bit more sense of some complicated theories, like E=mc2 and the numerous dimensions and universes that exist.

6. There’s a Heifer in Your Tank

This one is home grown since all of the videos were produced by students who’ve taken Animal Science 200 – Principles of Animal Agriculture right here at the U of A. Plus, most (but by no means all) of the videos feature people who could have (at one point or another) possibly been your classmates wearing animal costumes…. There are a lot of cow and chicken costumes. Each video finds a creative, funny, and sometimes funny way to answer a somewhat random (but totally worthwhile) question related to animal science – like “would you rather be a human gynecologist or a turkey gynecologist?” My answer – I still don’t know!

Rachel - YouAlberta Contributor

Rachel never leaves her house without a pair of good headphones, her current favourite read, and a cup of tea. She’s a third-year English Major and Linguistics Minor who mainly enjoys hanging out with cats, but will leave their side for the promise of some live music and the company of friends. Some of her dreams include sleeping in and never running into a scary insect ever again.

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