How @thebeekid, Liz Espinoza, hacks college life with Adobe Acrobat

Image of Liz Espinoza — @thebeekid.

When Liz Espinoza started applying to colleges, she realized there was a lot she didn’t know. Because both her parents grew up in Mexico and weren’t familiar with the American college application process, Espinoza turned to YouTube.

She found videos for college application essay tips and admissions advice so helpful that she decided to start making her own videos to share resources for student success. “Once I got admitted to my dream school, I was like, ‘I want to be that person for someone else,’ because those people really had an impact on my life,” she says.

Now Espinoza posts lots of helpful videos on TikTok and Instagram as @thebeekid. She’s hosted a scholarship opportunity, and she regularly shares videos on study tips, must-haves in your college backpack, useful apps like Adobe Acrobat, napping strategies, and more. “I get to create and do what I love while also helping other people,” she says.

Some practical tips for students

Here are a few key pieces of useful advice from Espinoza, now a junior studying information science and business at Cornell University:

Use a planner

Balancing classes, work, clubs, and social life can be difficult. “There’s so much you have to keep track of, so whether it’s digital or physical, get a planner,” she says.

Make sure you’re prepared for the weather

In Espinoza’s case, that meant getting a waterproof backpack. “I learned this the hard way,” she says. “My laptop got water damage from the rain because I thought it was fine in my backpack.”

Build to-do lists

Juggling classes and content creation requires Espinoza to stay organized. She uses an app to make digital to-do lists that let her move items around when her schedule changes. “I usually make two separate lists at the beginning of the week, one for content creation and one for all of my class stuff,” she says. “So I’m visually aware of everything as the week goes on.”

Try Adobe Acrobat in Google Chrome

Espinoza saves time and steps with Adobe Acrobat for Google Chrome, which allows her to view, download, comment on, mark up, fill out, and e-sign PDFs right in her Chrome web browser. She can also convert files or compress PDFs with a free trial or paid subscription.

“It’s really annoying when you open up a file from your professor and you’re limited to downloading or printing it — or sending it to some third party to convert it,” Espinoza says. “All these extra steps are really inconvenient, but Acrobat for Chrome gives you all of these tools in one place.”

Acrobat also lets users share a PDF with others to annotate as a team for faster reviews. It works on Mac and Windows operating systems, with users just needing a web browser to participate. “My friend and I can share a PDF with each other, and throughout lecture, we can both add sticky notes to it and highlight important things,” Espinoza says. “If one of us misses something, then we’ll still get it.”

Being able to compress PDF documents with Acrobat for Chrome is also helpful when it comes to online homework. “Sometimes professors give you these big files that you have to fill out for things like problem sets, and they’re too big to share,” Espinoza explains. “How do I turn it in when it’s 90 pages of reading and then the assignment?” But with Acrobat, she can shrink the file size and send the PDF file with no problem.

Get the free Acrobat Chrome extension

Download the Acrobat Chrome extension and start using Acrobat PDF tools in your web browser with no subscription necessary. “It’s so easy to install,” Espinoza says. “All you do is add the Chrome extension, and it’s there any time you open a PDF.”

If you’ve already got the free download of the Acrobat Chrome viewer, open Chrome and enable your extension. Set it as your default PDF viewer in your browser’s content settings for streamlined functionality. Now you can add comments, share PDFs with a link, and more.

Do even more with Acrobat Pro DC

Start a free 7-day trial of Adobe Acrobat Pro DC to get even more PDF editing tools.

Convert PDFs to Microsoft Office file formats

Instead of copying and pasting content from a PDF into a new document, use Acrobat as a document converter. Turn PDFs into Microsoft Word documents or Microsoft PowerPoint or Excel documents right in your browser without losing formatting.

Convert web pages to PDF files

Save web pages in PDF format with Acrobat. You can create PDFs that preserve fonts, layout, formatting, and links of captured pages, and then add your own comments and highlights.

Edit text and rotate, delete, or reorder PDF pages

Make changes to PDF text or images. Rotate pages so everything is facing the right direction. Change the order of pages or delete unnecessary pages before you send it to your professor or a fellow student.

Study smarter and do more

Whether you’re taking classes in person, remotely, or in a hybrid arrangement — or you’re already out in the working world — you can do more, and do it faster, with Acrobat. Then you can spend more time doing other things you want to do.

For @thebeekid (who’s really more into rats these days, because “they’re just as important to the ecosystem”), that’s making videos that help people and connect with them. “I’m just hoping to remind people that being kind can go a long way,” she says.