grubhub

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:

LinkedIn

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:

istudiez

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!

Uber:

Uber

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?

GrubHub:

grubhub

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:

AroundMe

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!