Easy Ways to Stay Up to Date as a College Student

There's a lot going on in the world right now, and as college students, it can be hard for us to keep up. Unlike our parents, we don't wake up every day and turn on the TV with our morning coffee to catch up on the news. We don't stop what we're doing at 5:30 to see if there have been any updates in the last ten or so hours. For some reason, the idea of sitting down to watch the news feels very time-consuming; although we're not in class all day, there always seems to be something going on that we have to take care of. It can be really easy to operate in a campus bubble, but it's important to know about what's going on in the real world (but, like, on a deeper level than Miley and Liam or Bachelor in Paradise). Like anything else in college, if you want something to be a part of your life, you have to make time for it. So, I've assembled a list of newsletters and podcasts you can incorporate into your routine without feeling like keeping up to date is another item on your already too long to-do list.

  1. 1. The Skimm

    The Skimm is one of my favorite email newsletters. Founded and run by women, the Skimm keeps you up-to-date on both national and international news in quick, colloquial language. With pop culture references and a little bit of sass, the writers reach the Golden Mean of educating you without bogging you down with the details.

    Despite the cavalier tone of their articles, the Skimm takes the news very seriously. If you want more information, they hyperlink sources with more extensive coverage in their paragraph news blurbs. When voting season rolls around, they provide understandable descriptions of candidates and their policies in order to promote women voters. In addition, they are committed to diversity, always pointing out how current events and policies affect women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ community. 

    Frequency: Monday-Friday mornings

    Bonus: Recently, the Skimm released Skimm This, a quick podcast released every Monday through Friday at 5 P.M. Eastern Time. If the Skimm is your version of the morning news, consider Skimm This a nice evening update.

  2. 2. The Newsette

    While the Skimm covers the political aspects of the daily news, The Newsette provides pop culture, health, and lifestyle headlines. The writers limit their news content to three headlines that are about one short paragraph each. They also have a "Best of Instagram" section featuring interior design, nature, or fashion photos that will appease anyone's aesthetic eye.

    What sets The Newsette apart from other email newsletters, though, is their interview section. Committed to providing their readers with information to reach their goals, The Newsette interviews women bosses across several different industries, finding out their morning/evening routines, how they got into the job they have, and advice for women interested in their field. 

    To end their newsletter, they have two fashion items, one "splurge" and one "save" to satiate your online-shopping urge as well as a "Today I Will" section with a little inspirational, Dove chocolate-esque challenge for your day.

    Frequency: Monday-Friday in the mid-morning

  3. 3. The Daily Good

    Like The Newsette, The Daily Good is an email newsletter geared more towards lifestyle than traditional "news." Run by The Good Trade, a company geared towards sustainable living from fashion to food and everything in between, The Daily Good relays sustainable fashion brands, artisans, and food to their readers in addition to good music to keep you calm in a perpetually-bustling world.

    Each email opens with a warm greeting and a bit of advice from the co-founder of The Good Trade, AmyAnn Cadwell. Its simple aesthetic is image-heavy, limiting the amount of mental effort you have to put in to enjoy what they have to offer.

    Frequency: Monday-Friday mornings

  4. 4. The Rhodes Report

    A daily newsletter curated just for us, The Rhodes Report keeps you updated on anything and everything Rhodes. They provide the daily offerings at the Rat, the weather forecast, campus events, and pieces of information you should probably know about what's being offered for Rhodes students. If you're not already subscribed, this one is a must.

    Frequency: Monday-Friday mornings

  5. 5. Stella Spoils

    Stella Spoils is not exactly news-related, but its tagline "daily inspiration for the cool kids" is pretty accurate. Like the Newsette, Stella Spoils has a collection of ridiculously cool Instagram posts that'll make you question your VSCO game. It also keeps you up to date on upcoming fashion trends, cool music you probably haven't heard of, and random bits of lifestyle info that'll break you out of any rut.

    Frequency: Monday-Friday

  6. 6. Girls' Night In

    If you want an email newsletter that will encourage you to stay in bed all day, Girls' Night In is exactly what you need. This weekly newsletter loads you up with self-care ideas for your weekend, whether you feel like giving yourself a spa day or finding something cool to read. If you're looking to find some outlet or a sense of escape from fast-paced college life, consider giving this newsletter a look.

    Frequency: Friday mornings

  7. 7. The Daily

    If you don't feel like sitting down to read an email. consider listening to The Daily, a twenty-minute podcast that'll give you the latest news as you walk to class or clean your room. You can listen to this podcast, hosted by Michael Barbaro of the New York Times, on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Google Podcasts. As a bonus, listening to anything by the New York Times can help you feel like you have yourself together.

    Frequency: Monday-Friday

  8. 8. Your Daily Drive

    For all my Spotify users out there, Your Daily Drive is the perfect combination of music and news that mimics a morning radio show. Even though most of us aren't making an official morning commute, this personally-curated collection of your favorite music and highly-reputable news podcasts (including The Daily, NPR News Now, and WSJ Minute Briefing) can give you both the energy and the information you need to have a good day. Play this while doing work in the library or working out in the gym and you've officially won the multitasking game.

    Frequency: Monday-Friday