Though sometimes we may think we are, students are neither omnipotent nor omniscient. We appreciate a little help with our daily activities now and then, and we certainly don’t refuse free information presented to us. This is the reason we value our accurately named smartphones to such an extent. Our eternal gratitude is owed to the creators of the wonderful applications we take for granted every day to help us survive college. Thus, I’ve compiled a short list of my top must-have apps as a college student:
While this app does not relate to the scholarly aspect of being a student, it does come in handy in regard to the social aspect of being a student. Want to grab coffee with a friend at the Patisserie for a study date but forgot your wallet? Venmo. Walk by students tabling for a charity and don’t have cash? Venmo. Ate someone’s food and feel bad about it? Venmo.
- Google Calendar
If you don’t have this app yet I don’t know what you’re doing. Fun colors. Shareable calendars. Repeating events. 10 minute reminders. Visual confirmation of how busy you are.
- Spotify (or any music app)
Believe it or not, I actually use my Spotify app for classes on a regular basis. Need to memorize a music piece for choir? Loop it. Can never remember the dotted rhythm for that piece in Wind Ensemble? Play and clap along. Trying to study in the library but it’s too dang loud? Shuffle classical music to drown out the chatter.
- Podcasts (for the news)
I’m sure most everyone already has this app and listens to all kinds of podcasts, but I specifically recommend listening to a news podcast every now and then. My morning ritual includes listening to an episode of NBC News while I do my makeup and drink my coffee. That way, I can walk around campus feeling like I’m “in the know” and not audibly gasp when I find out there have been enormous fires in California for the past few weeks.
Don’t get too excited; this is not an actual app in the App Store, unfortunately. But, you can go to mywhitman.com on Safari and then click “add to home screen,” and your phone will create an app for you that takes you directly to the website. I highly recommend adding this quick-access app so that you can look up fellow students’ faces mid-conversation when you need to place a face with a name. Creepy—I know—but awesome.
Do not make the mistake of underestimating this seemingly boring app that comes with every phone. It is not boring; it is beautifully simple. You think you’re going to remember the due date of your paper? You won’t. Write it down in your notes. You have a list of things you need to accomplish this week? Make a to-do list. Did someone say something to you that you want to remember forever? Write down that quote to look back at when you’re feeling down. Your collection of notes represents the thoughts and feelings you experience, and you’ll surely want to remember them someday.
This also may seem an odd one to have in this list, but I swear you’ll thank me once you download it and your social life subsequently goes through the roof. Texting is not the thing to do amongst our current age group; Snapchat is the thing to do. Forgot what tomorrow’s homework is? Ask your friend to Snapchat you the syllabus. Need advice on something random? Send a snap text to that group chat you don’t remember being added to. Want to stalk your friends’ locations so you can surprise them when they least expect it? Open snap maps. This app is a fantastic way to interact with your friends in a nonchalant way that reduces the forewordness present in text messages.
We are students, and our business here is to learn. Apps like these may be wonderful tools to help us have a smooth experience in college, but don’t forget that ultimately the determining factor of your success is not your phone, but you. Focus on yourself, your attitude, your motivation—and then send a snapchat or two.