Summer is winding down, the leaves are changing color, there is a crispness in the air—millions of students are either returning to or newly matriculating at universities across the country, which means the yearly supply-purchasing frenzy is on. Linens, backpacks, mini fridges, textbooks, and tech gadgets are making their way into both virtual and actual shopping baskets nationwide.
Aside from the dorm room necessities and collegiate supplies, the number one thing in every co-ed’s hand is a smartphone. When I was in college, we didn’t have smartphones, and apps were still referred to as applications. Now 85% of people 18-29 have them and there are more apps available than ever. But when there are so many options, how do you know which apps are the best for college students? Going beyond the ubiquitous social media apps that most of us use, here are the top seven apps that I recommend for college students. Most are available for both iOS and Android.
Looking for options for free or cheap off-campus activities like concerts, meet-ups, or sporting events? With the EventBrite app you can search for specific events near your location. Connect with your Facebook account to see events your friends are attending or invite them to an event, because lonership is overrated.
Capture any thought quickly. A smart and simple app, use Google Keep to take and organize notes, to-do lists, and reminders. Share with other users so all of you can contribute to the same list (great for multiple roommates). Login via your gmail account to access all of your notes from any device. P.S. If you’re not on the google platform yet, you’re losing hard.
Whether you’re studying, exercising, or dancing it out, music remains a central part of students’ lives. Spotify lets you stream unlimited music for free (with commercials) or go Premium for a small monthly fee and you get commercial-free listening with downloading capabilities. Sign up with your student email to take advantage of the 50% discount!
Want to avoid the “freshman 15” or the extra love in your love handles thanks to all-nighters and the glorious buffet line at the dining hall? The SworkIt app gives you access to easy, customizable body-weight workouts that can be done anywhere, for any amount of time. They even have a “fit in 5 minutes” routine for those of you with full calendars, and they connect through Spotify so you can workout with tuneage.
We’re guessing most of you use campus transportation and if you’re attending one of the many colleges and universities that partner with TransLoc, then you need this app. The Rider app provides real-time bus tracking for the campus buses and shuttles, so you’ll know exactly where your ride is and when you need to leave to meet that cute study buddy of yours. You can even see announcements that might impact the bus schedule and set alerts for when the bus is near your favorite stop.
Being “college-poor” is totally a thing. It is the epitome of needing things but not having a lot of dough. Enter OfferUp, the app that lets you browse items for sale in your area. Find the best deal on a mini fridge, microwave, or dresser. Tired of your stuff or moving out for summer? Sell it on OfferUp and make extra cash to buy important things—namely beer (but only if you’re over 21).
Food. It’s a necessity for… well, everyone, but students are just hungrier. Amiright? On-campus dining halls are super convenient, but what if you’d rather eat something different or you live off campus? Get takeout or delivery from thousands of restaurants nationwide. Use the app to locate nearby grub and decide whether or not you want to actually get off the couch to get it. Feeling extra lazy? You can even save your payment info so you can order again quickly without worrying about where you left your wallet (hint: check your laundry basket).
I think the best apps are the ones that enhance (*cough* enable *cough cough*) the college experience, and I hope that these apps help do that for you. What are some of your favorite apps? Leave your comments below!