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The 5 Things, Habits, and Software You Need this Fall

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MSU chapter.

[DISCLAIMER: I am not paid by or affiliated with any companies mentioned. All recommendations are based on my own personal experience. Your mileage may vary.]

Brave Browser

There is nothing more annoying than online advertising. In the digital age, it seems that constant data-tracking and invasive ads ruin the conveniences of online content and shopping. Brave browser is the fix you need this fall to save time and maintain your online privacy. Not only does Brave have built-in ad blocking, but it also automatically blocks cookies and cross-site trackers unless you specifically ask it not to for individual websites. That means no 30-second commercials playing every time you want to load a YouTube video, no commercials in the middle of Hulu shows, and no banner ads that block half the article every time you try to read a news piece. It also gives you the option to browse with a Tor browser for complete privacy, or a VPN to bypass location-based web services.


In a sea of online businesses, Scentbird might look like yet another unnecessary subscription box. The difference, however, is that Scentbird actually carries a good that is annoying to buy the good ol’ fashioned way: fragrances. Normally, if you want to buy a new perfume or cologne, you are forced to blindly buy it online for potentially hundreds of dollars a bottle with nothing more to go on than a vague description. In the best-case scenario, you get to try it out on a slip of test paper in a crowded mall with a salesperson breathing down your neck, pressuring you to decide between options as quickly as possible. With Scentbird, you can have small bottles of top fragrances of your choice sent every month. You actually have the time to get to wear them for a few weeks for whatever occasion you want, whether to work or for a date night. You get to really see how it feels on you and how it completes different outfits. If you don’t know what you want right away, a fragrance from that month’s seasonal top sellers will be selected for you. You can continue this process indefinitely if you want to be a true scent chameleon, always changing your colors. Or you can go until you find the perfect scent for you, and finally commit to that $200 bottle that will last you years. The site also features a quiz and algorithm that will give you recommendations based on season, scent family, or social occasion. This August, I tried out Raw Spirit Fragrances’ Summer Rain, a unisex floral/citrusy scent that my partner and I have absolutely loved.

Tab Grouping

If you’re a student and have more than 0 hobbies, I already know you have at least 10 browser tabs open at any given time during the semester. There’s the email, 5 tabs of research, online shopping you haven’t quite checked out of yet, and a few different streaming services open. It gets pretty exhausting to sort through tabs as the labels get smaller and smaller with each addition. Luckily, you can clear some of this clutter by tab grouping. In Chrome or Brave browser, simply right-click a tab and select “add tab to group”. You can choose a label and color, and drag any other related tabs into this group. Then, when you want them out of the way but not gone, you can simply click on the label and the tab will collapse, freeing up more room for whatever you’re working on at the moment.

Google Scholar

Whether it’s your first time doing research or you’ve been writing papers for years, there really is a difference between your academic life before finding Google Scholar and your life after. Although I’m sure many MSU students already know the wonders of this service, I would consider it a win if even a single person finds it from this article. Google Scholar lets you search for only academic articles, journals, and books, skipping all the commercial articles and under-researched opinion pieces that often come up if you try to find sources for a research paper through a typical web browser. Even better than that, if you click the “cite” button below any article, it will automatically format the citation in whatever format you are using, rather than having to glance back and forth between your works cited and the Purdue Owl page. Once you find an article on your topic, you can search through other connected sources to build a strong backing of existing research for your next paper. Your grades will thank you.


Are you torn between the joy of owning and collecting books and the despair of paying $35.00 for a hardcover? The library doesn’t fill your shelves, and paying retail prices for books that have been in publication for years doesn’t seem right or sustainable. You need to check out Thriftbooks, an online used bookstore that has all the bargains of a local used book sale but the massive inventory and organization of a place like Barnes and Noble. Through Thriftbooks, you can find used (but still very readable) copies of all your favorite books for often less than 5 bucks a title, provided the book has been out long enough to have been used. In my experience, the shipping is much faster than a lot of other online retailers. Even though you are spending a fraction of what you would at big booksellers, Thriftbooks has a point rewards program that will earn you periodic free books! If you want to get a month’s reading and explore more of your favorite genres and authors for around 20 dollars, you’re going to love using Thriftbooks to build those shelves.

I am a Senior Media & Information student at Michigan State University, writing about culture for Her Campus.