Cynical Cornellian: A+ Smartphone Apps

January 16, 2015 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Love, Tech

As I often state, “College is the time to be an adult!” By that, I don’t mean that college is the time to make long-term decisions or even mature ones. Rather, college is the time to learn how to live like a starving artist in a low-rent apartment, in which your dinners consist of ramen noodles and saltine crackers and your daily routines consist of perusing your Tumblr dashboard and posting ironic Facebook statuses to hide the fact that you truly despise where your life has headed. All cynical college student jokes aside, being an adult in college means being broke and bored (still cynical, but hey, I’m a college kid).  So here’s a list of wonderful, life-improving/life-altering phone apps and websites that might make you just a tad bit less cynical about your slowly degrading adult life.

"Seamless is an online food ordering application through which college students can find dining locations in the vicinity, and place an order for either delivery or pick up."

“Seamless is an online food ordering application through which college students can find dining locations in the vicinity, and place an order for either delivery or pick up.”

Seamless/Grubhub: This is the pinnacle of foodie heaven (I’m a foodie, so you can trust me on this one). Seamless is an online food ordering application through which college students can find dining locations in the vicinity, and place an order for either delivery or pick up. The application has the added function of dividing restaurants into food categories/genres (Pizza, Chinese, Sushi, Indian, etc.). Personally, I love the app because it categorizes restaurants based on distance and customer ratings. Moreover, I love having access to the menus in an organized fashion—I have a legitimate phobia to entering a dining establishment only to be bombarded with a huge menu and an impatient waiter/cashier. Seamless gives me the options with an unlimited supply of time to think about, and research/find pictures of, the food that I’m about to use my limited supply of money to purchase (as a cynical, broke college kid, you have to be economical). Use the app for any meal of the day—or late night, if you’re about that all-nighter life.

Tinder: Dating is tough. Dating in college is tougher. It’s true that college is probably going to be the time of your life in which you have the largest supply of potential life partners. From that perspective, you would assume that finding a date and, eventually, a boyfriend/girlfriend/partner would be as easy as reading a children’s pop up book (sans the people who are illiterate or have a phobia to paper that unfolds and pops out at you when you turn the page). Unfortunately, dating in college is not that simple—for reasons unbeknownst to me. Tinder makes everything so much easier! You make an account by linking your Facebook to the Tinder app, your Facebook profile photos sync to the app and become your main photo stream, you write a witty and provocative description, and you swipe right to all of the cuties! If you get matched, you send an awkward and slightly inappropriate greeting and cross your fingers that you’ll get lucky tonight. I met my boyfriend this way and will never regret sending that inappropriately objectifying message to him the moment we matched. Thank you Tinder!

"I met my boyfriend this way and will never regret sending that inappropriately objectifying message to him the moment we matched. Thank you Tinder!"

“I met my boyfriend this way and will never regret sending that inappropriately objectifying message to him the moment we matched. Thank you Tinder!”

Yik Yak: Imagine seeing Regina George’s burn book but with names kept out of the hateful messages and the pages being short, electronic posts. Once you can conceptualize this, you’ve conceptualized Yik Yak. An anonymous social media app, YY allows users to upload rude, comedic, or somewhere in-between posts that get disseminated to an audience in a 10-mile radius. So if you’re bored and absolutely hate that girl listening to Iggy Azalea on her iPhone at maximum volume in an incredibly silent library, post a status about that girl listening to Iggy Azalea on her iPhone at maximum volume in an incredibly silent library and hope that people in that incredibly silent library give you a thumbs up—also hope that the girl listening to Iggy Azalea on her iPhone at maximum volume in an incredibly silent library reads the post and turns off that garbage that she calls music.

And there you have it: three apps that I consider to be A+ material for college kids struggling to be adults in a world where being an adult is a massively depressing ordeal that requires a trust fund or sugar daddy to truly be happy. Am I cynical? Yes. Are these apps A+? Absolutely.

App Roundup: The Best Apps for College Students

May 29, 2014 in Alive Campus, Tech

It feels like just yesterday that I rolled my eyes at the hoards of iPhone users around me and silently swore to myself that I would never feel the need to buy into the smartphone phenomenon. 

Just a few months later, I had bought into it.

It seems like the market for smart phones grew–and continues to grow–faster than any product in our current technological revolution. Before I joined the crowd and bought my iPhone last April, I was baffled by the concept of an app. What is the point? What makes these apps so special? It seemed to me like the internet could do everything an app could do.

Then I downloaded a bunch of apps–and I haven’t looked back since.

Apps for your smartphone–whether you’re team Android or team Apple–can be extremely useful and convenient, in ways that I never would have realized had I not taken the plunge and got an iPhone.

For all of you out there who own a smartphone, I’ve created this list of some of the best apps for college students:



LinkedIn is a unique type of social media website–it is a resource for professionals seeking networking opportunities among employers, companies, and coworkers. With a super-sleek, intuitive layout and design, LinkedIn offers the user job, company, and connection suggestions. It’s a great way to stay up-to-date with particular companies and employers that interest you, to get information about current job openings, or–especially for early undergrads who are searching for their passion–to learn about new and different positions out there that you may never have known about or considered. It’s also a way to maintain professional relationships with colleagues, classmates, and even professors–I have “connections” with past professors on LinkedIn, which may come in handy later on down the line! Be sure to create a thorough LinkedIn profile (which is basically like a resume) to make the most of this app.

iStudiez Lite:


The only way to survive college academically is to be super organized, so that you can stay on top of your classes, assignments, and events. The simpler and free–but, in my opinion, just as useful–version of iStudiez Pro, the iStudiez Lite app is the one-stop place to keep track of your academic life. It allows you to enter your classes into a schedule, jot down all of your assignments and their respective due dates, and view all of these reminders in a calendar. It has a really great setup that is simple to navigate, and will easily become your go-to planner!



It’s the hot new state-of-the-art concept: ridesharing services via your smartphone. There are other ridesharing apps out there, but Uber is my favorite. I have never had a bad experience with any Uber driver, plus Uber offers a lot of promotional deals. I got $20 to spend on rides just for joining! Uber is extremely successful, but is still growing and developing, so it may not be available where you live–but if it is, be sure to take advantage of this awesome service. Your phone’s internal GPS will tell an Uber driver where to pick you up, and you pay through the app, where you enter your credit card information. You don’t even have to worry about tipping, as the company takes care of that for you! Uber feels safer and more comfortable than your standard cab–what’s not to love?



When you’re stuck in your kitchen-less dorm room studying for a big exam, the last thing you want to do is interrupt your focus by going out to pick up lunch, dinner, or a crucial midnight snack. That’s where GrubHub comes in: GrubHub offers delivery service from your favorite restaurants that don’t usually offer delivery. The service is pretty cheap, and you can get food from great places, including sit-down restaurants, delivered right to your door. There’s nothing better than that!



AroundMe is a great app that tells you what sort of landmarks and businesses are nearby. Anything and everything you would ever need to locate–from banks to gas stations to concerts to hotels to supermarkets (just to name a few)–is at your fingertips. The app tells you what is around you and how far away each place is from your current location. It’s so useful when you’re visiting a new place, or are in a part of your town/city that you aren’t completely familiar with.

Your school’s app:

BU Mobile

Finally, look into downloading your college/university’s official app! At this point, most schools will offer an app, though each school’s app will vary from others’. The app for my school, Boston University, includes school-related news updates, a map of the campus, a university calendar, a list of all courses at BU, a student and staff directory, AND a schedule for the BU Bus. Use your school’s app to stay in the loop!

Tech Learning

November 3, 2013 in Alive Campus, Campus Life, Colleges, Tech

Tablet Windows 8

The classroom must ready students with the necessary options of information toward their personal success. If it is done in a cool way then I’m sure the information will process better.

Technology is progressing by the hour. Microsoft is ensuring the best interconnection between their cellphone, computer and gaming platforms for a more beneficial user experience. Sony is growing their media platforms across the board. Nintendo is constantly developing their handheld to console performance so that users will benefit from using both together. Competition progresses technological standards set by each company for better comparison and use.

The most noticeable and popular technological progressions tend to be cellphones. A new cellphone comes out every week. Once I’m reviewing the new Iphone then I start hearing about the new Galaxy and I’m completely lost when I realize Nokia has a great Windows phone! Yes, I own a Lumia 5200! It’s not the most recent but I am enjoying the Windows phone. I have never been to a class where a student doesn’t have their cellphone on their desk, peeking from their book bags or notebooks.

It’s always in a readily available area to peek at whenever the teacher isn’t looking in their direction. The largest craze in conversation besides a Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, or Scandal conversation is the new Apple Iphone IOS in comparison with the older IOS. It’s ugly. No, I like it. It looks like it is for kids. It’s cute. I like when Apple changes their phones. Let an Android user enter the conversation! Iphones are too stiff. They aren’t functional. The Droid has a better camera. Droid family! Iphone family! It gets a bit wild. I have a Samsung Galaxy SII with a crack in the screen and the phone has given me no trouble for a year and a half until it falls off the roof of my mom’s car on my way home one summer afternoon.

Cellphones are allthe buzz on campus but I don’t think they’re the most useful. Everyone knows of the Nook? Or the Kindle? Fire! They’re more compatible than a regular laptop unless you’re talking of the tablets with the detachable keyboards. Those are pretty cool. I can definitely see a use for them as presentation tools. Imagine watching the stages of a frog’s evolution on a wall of hanging tablets or a PowerPoint presentation showing the lunar cycle. The possibilities are endless. Tablets are the projector screens and walk-in televisions of the future.

Imagine the Minority Report of education. Classrooms will be hand handled to further engage students in learning. The experience of learning will be more than a lecture by a professor swallowing the minutes of his job until his or her next paycheck. Students will be able to respect the physical action that exists in the workplace. Teaching and learning will be less strenuous and provide an avenue for way more active participation for students attempting to engage in learning as useful, fun and necessary instead of as a requirement to graduation.

The use of tablets will bring a spark of student engagement in the classroom. They can focus on working closer with their classmates while not forcefully engaging with or through the teacher. The learning curve will definitely increase for students because they can engage information at their necessary pace toward understanding.

What’s any environment without learning?

It is necessary for students to learn smarter to grow smarter. The classroom must ready students with the necessary options of information toward their personal success. If it is done in a cool way then I’m sure the information will process better.

-Kevin Dufresne

Essential Android Apps for College Students

September 13, 2013 in Academics, Alive Campus, Tech

I recently became an owner of an Android phone and with school beginning my first instinct was to see what apps were out there to help me during the year. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. Here I will showcase some of my favorites so that you don’t have to go digging through them all.

Social Media- Ok so this isn’t technically one app or education connected but it’s something you’re going to want. Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and others are a great way to stay in touch with what’s happening with the world or just your friends during the day. There’s no need to wait for your laptop to start up to access them. They’re also a great way to kill time while you’re waiting for the teacher to show up. If you’re like me and many other college students, you may have a lot of student loan bills to pay off after you graduate. It’s never too early to learn to budget and start saving up money to pay off debt. This is especially true if you’re strapped for cash as is often the case with students. The mobile app doesn’t give you as much as the website but it’s easy to use and it’s helpful to check up on your money every once in a while. Taking a look at your cash flow can make you think twice about spending money on things you don’t really need such as that hot venti pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks. is Here to Save You From Your Spending Self is Here to Save You From Your Spending Self

WebMD- The popular self-diagnosis site has a mobile symptom checker. It’s good if you’re trying to decide if you need to go to health services or if maybe all you need is more sleep. Don’t get carried away with checking every little thing though. That’s just as true for the mobile version as it is for the website version.

Find My Car-Commuters here is your salvation. I’ve done it before. Forgotten where I parked because the cars that were right next to mine have left and I didn’t have time to drive around looking for a spot near a landmark. Walking around a huge parking lot looking lost can be embarrassing and frustrating. This is especially true if it’s pouring rain out. Use this app and never have to worry again!

Sleepytime-If you’re wondering what time you should go to bed in order to wake up less groggy for that big test then this app will help you out. You simply put in what time you’d like to wake up and it will give you a few options. It’s based on the fact that you should sleep in 90 minute cycles in order to have a healthy sleep. It also accounts for the average time it takes a person to fall asleep-14 minutes. You can also calculate what time to wake up if you go to bed a certain time. It may take your body a day or two to get into the habit of it, but it’s worth it.