Student spotlight: Kylie V.

Reading Time: 2 minutes Learn a few fun facts about our recent student contributor.

Student spotlight: Dany C.

Reading Time: 2 minutes Learn a few fun facts about our recent student contributor.

Student spotlight: Chrystal O.

Reading Time: 2 minutes Learn a few fun facts about our recent student contributor.

Apps + podcasts we love: Quizlet

Reading Time: 2 minutes

MartinMartin M., third-year student at San Bernardino Valley College, California

 

“Not going to lie, I usually don’t want to study for my classes. That may have something to do with Netflix and YouTube being readily available, but either way, with Quizlet, I find myself studying all the time. Quizlet offers two different study methods: the familiar flash cards (which you can practice with an added feature of receiving a score on how well you’re remembering), and diagrams, which are composed of pictures with information you can input. It sounds cliché, but it helped me study without really feeling like I was studying.”

Useful?
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Can I rate it a 10/5? Quizlet has millions of flash cards created by its users and even suggests definitions based on the terms you type in when making your own. I actually found the majority of the terms I needed to learn on the app—which means I spent about a third of the time I usually spend making flash cards by hand when creating them on the app. And the time I saved I used to study!

Fun?
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
The diagrams on the app are composed of a photo with information you input. You can take a picture of a room, for example, and then tap objects to input that information. It’s super cool and works really well for visual learners like myself.

Effective?
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
I got a high score on my computer information technology test after reviewing the material with Quizlet. Can Netflix do that? Probs not.

Get it on Google Play   Download on the app store

Thing of the month: Field Trip

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Steven TranSteven Tran,

fourth-year undergraduate, New Jersey Institute of Technology

“Don’t we all want to feel welcomed when visiting a new city? Field Trip suggests off-the-beaten-path attractions at any destination, with advice from the locals on places to explore. Choose from six interest categories: Architecture; Historic Places & Events; Lifestyle; Food, Drinks, & Fun; Cool & Unique; and Arts & Museums. You can listen to info via headphones while walking to these places. It uses Google Maps to pinpoint your location, and it’s pretty cool.”

Useful?   3 out of 5 stars

I used the app to visit New York City to see what types of attractions were nearby. It mostly brought me to restaurants. I stopped at an ice cream shop and, to be honest, it was really just average ice cream. However, some of the local attractions that were in walking distance from there were fun to explore.

Fun?  Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Not gonna lie: The walk to get the ice cream was a bit shady. I didn’t expect to feel uncomfortable, but there isn’t really a guide on how to get to your destination safely. The idea of the app is fun, though.

Effective?  Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Overall, this app does its job—and maybe in less-touristy places, I’d have a better experience. It’s a great tool to help narrow searches to attractions nearby, instead of using Google, where you might be overloaded by info.

Where to buy
Get it on Google PlayDownload on the App Store

Thing of the month: Alarmy (Sleep If U Can)

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Jerome Siangco

Vishal Kummetha,
second-year graduate student, University of Kansas

“If you can’t jump out of bed in the morning (e.g., most people?), this app is for you. It’s a creative alarm system that requires you to be alert before you can turn off the sound. Choose from having to answer math questions, take pictures of objects or places, shake the phone, and others. My choice to cancel the alarm was to take a picture of the sink, which worked super well. Once I fumbled to take the picture, there was nothing else to do but brush my teeth and get ready for the day.”

Useful?
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Who doesn’t go through phases of extreme workloads or plain old burnout in college? This app will get you up and out of the comfortable bed that we all cherish, so you can submit that project on time or not be late to class.

Fun?
3 out of 5 stars
Eh, it’s sort of a fun way to start your day. However, I admit I seriously considered breaking my phone to stop the sound.

Effective?
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
This is one of the most effective apps I’ve ever used to get out of bed. I can’t see how anyone with normal hearing could continue sleeping through this alarm. I felt both enraged and full of adrenaline, making it impossible to go back to bed after waking up.

Where to buy

Android
iOS

Thing of the month: LearnVest

Reading Time: 2 minutes
Apps we love reviewer Jasmine, Los Angeles, California

“Finally, an app that makes you stop feeling so broke all the time! LearnVest helps you plan how much to spend for different occasions, whether it’s gifts, personal care, your dog’s chew toys…whatevs. It also helps make debt repayment plans. You can do it all on your own or with expert help by working with a LearnVest planner.”

Useful?
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
If you can’t remember where your last paycheck went (or if you don’t get a paycheck at all), then definitely! LeanVest syncs to your online bank account. There’s an option to have an expert help you plan and budget: Everyone gets a free 15-minute consultation, and you can buy more time.

Fun?
2 out of 5 stars
Managing money isn’t what I’d call “fun,” but it’s necessary. The app is pretty straightforward. It didn’t take very long to set goals and categorize my spending. I was able to categorize cash transactions fairly quickly and write in where I spent the money.

Effective?
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
No one is responsible for your money issues but yourself. LearnVest showed me how much interest my savings account was generating each month. It also showed me my net worth. All my recent transactions were displayed and categorized so I could see how much I typically spend on food, school, and personal items. It also subtracted spending from the income I said I received monthly, and so it shows me my progress.

Where to buy

iTunes 

36 Questions by Nantech LLC

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Vikram HardattVikram Hardatt

Fourth-year undergraduate, University of Waterloo, Ontario

“When did you last sing? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s? If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be? This app offers 36 questions proven to stimulate conversation between two people and bring them closer together. It solves the problem of “small talk” between new or even long-term partners and helps you know each other (and yourself) on a deeper level. This app is what happens when scientists research how love works. It’s not just for Valentine’s Day.”

Useful?
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 starsGreat for when you run out of things to talk about or want to learn more about each other. I think I knew my girlfriend pretty well beforehand, but now I know her even better. Our conversation led to stories about our families and friends growing up, how different parenting styles have shaped us, and what life was like when we had less freedom as a child vs. being a young adult now.

Fun?
Rating: 4 out of 5 starsI ended up talking to my partner for over an hour longer than we’d planned. Besides asking questions, we also tried to answer for the other person. For example, I tried to guess what her perfect day would be like (I guessed everything, minus a bubble bath!). I talked about my interest in superhero television shows and movies, and she gave me a look when I admitted to a small crush on the Supergirl actress! But then I learned about all the actors she has a crush on and now know what movies to avoid. (Just kidding… sort of.)

Effective?
Rating: 4 out of 5 starsThese questions really made me think about my life from an unconventional perspective. This app reinforced that life isn’t forever, and to cherish the people that you have with you, and the small moments, celebrate the big ones, and learn from the bad ones. Every day you get to be a part of other people’s story and have a positive impact on their lives.

Devices:

Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

 

Thing of the month: pzizz

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Amy Nielsen

Fourth-year undergraduate at Western Washington University, majoring in communication studies with a minor in business administration; Student Health 101 Student Advisory Board 2016–17.

“This free app uses restful music and soothing vocal suggestions to help you relax, fall asleep, take a nap, and wake up. It is easily adjusted for individual preferences. The alarm can be preloaded or chosen from your music playlist.”

Useful?

Pzizz can help relax and de-stress students, but achieving a restful night’s sleep will vary among individuals. The music and voice relaxed me, but I had to close the app to fall asleep.

Fun?

It’s a fun idea. I found the speaking voice helpful yet a bit frightening. Luckily, you can always turn off the voice and sounds.

Effective?

It helped me relax. My body succumbed to numbness as I melted into the bed sheets. But when I used it to fall asleep, I awoke groggier than usual. For me, pzziz worked for resting, not sleeping.

Devices