Like the video shows, you probably don’t need advice on your first kiss or how to mend a broken heart—but there are definitely ways to make college life a bit less difficult. Here are a few of our favorite apps and tech solutions that make independent living much easier…and help put your parents’ minds at ease.
Keeping track of the foods you eat is one of the best (and healthiest) ways to stay fit, and MyFitnessPal makes it easy. Image courtesy of MyFitnessPal.
Somewhere between the 2 a.m. Chinese food and smorgasbord of dining hall pastries, you might start to notice that you’re not quite as fit as you once were. With instant access to tons of food, eating well and regular exercise will become necessary to maintain your health—which should be your #1 priority during any lifestyle change. MyFitnessPal is a useful resource to stay on top of it. You can access a nutrition and calorie database, find healthy recipes to cook, and search workouts to do in your dorm room. The freshman 15 is not a myth, folks!
Need to consult anyone and everyone in a group? GroupMe is the answer...plus: memes. Image courtesy of GroupMe.
Communicating with a group of people across devices can create some serious technical difficulties. That’s why sports teams, collegiate clubs, and study groups alike are relying on GroupMe. This free app creates a private chat room for you and your peeps, and works seamlessly through iOS, Android, and traditional SMS. Whether you need to keep in touch with your family, plan a weekend getaway with friends, or desperately triple-text your group project members, GroupMe makes life easier.
Budgeting doesn’t come naturally, but once you nail it, your weekend wallet will thank you. Image courtesy of Mint.
College is like a stepping stone into adulthood. This translates into more responsibility and freedom (cookies for dinner every night??), but more importantly, a major responsibility for your finances. Your banking app will become your best friend as budgeting becomes a survival tactic. Mint is a user-friendly app designed to create realistic budget goals, check your credit score, and receive customized saving tips. Best part? It’s totally free (which is now your new favorite word).
Not only does this app help you design the perfect academic schedule, it also helps you find internships and jobs relevant to your major.
There are few experiences in college that are more frustrating than picking your classes for the semester. Whether it’s courses filling up, prerequisite restrictions, or your computer deciding to be the devil incarnate—you’re bound to run into some complications. In order to preserve your sanity during this trying time, we suggest using the schedule planner from MyEdu. The online module lets you sort through your specific course offerings and create a balanced schedule with professor recommendations. Once you create that perfect schedule (hello three-day weekends) make sure you create a few backups in case things don’t go according to plan.
It’s time to stop the endless game of open-and-close-the-distracting-tab. Get more done with SelfControl.
We all know how much of a black hole the internet can become—especially when you need to get something done. If you find yourself spiraling into the virtual void, try exercising a little self-control. Or, you could just download it! SelfControl is a free Mac application that blocks you from accessing distracting websites during crunch time, even if you delete the app or restart your computer. Simply input the websites you love to procrastinate on, set the timer, and force yourself to get work done. For non-Mac users, try the StayFocusd plug-in for Chrome.
6. Sleep Cycle
Thanks to Sleep Cycle, you can start your day off fresh—even if you’ve got early morning classes. Image courtesy of Sleep Cycle.
Getting enough sleep at school can be a serious struggle—especially when your new roommate talks in their sleep. To avoid feeling groggy for those 8 a.m. classes, we suggest you invest in some tech (and maybe some ear plugs). By using your phone’s microphone and accelerometer, Sleep Cycle tracks your movement while you snooze and wakes you up during your lightest sleep. The app also features a soothing and gradual alarm tone to wake you up feeling naturally rested and ready to LEARN.
Think of theSkimm as a personal news butler who briefs you each morning on all the stuff you’re supposed to know. Image courtesy of theSkimm.
Staying up to date on the news and current events in the midst of your budding college career can be a bit strenuous. However, theSkimm “makes it easier to be smarter” by compiling the day’s top news and pop culture into a millennial-friendly, quick and easy read. Now you can intelligently discuss the presidential race in class and dissect Brangelina’s tragic breakup in the cafeteria.
“Can you call my phone?” No. Use Tile instead, and locate everything with the push of a button. Image courtesy of Tile.
We’ve all done the frantic pocket-pat-down at least once in our lives when we realize we’re missing something. Luckily, there’s a tiny piece of tech that can give you peace of mind. Tile is a small Bluetooth dongle that can help you track down your prized possessions. Simply open the accompanying app, check the GPS location, and when you get close enough your tile will start to ring. Put one in your backpack, hook it on your keys, or duct-tape one of these bad boys to your friends when you go out at night.
What’d we miss? Tell us which apps make college life easier for you in the comments.