Our students today are plugged in, socially aware, and far more tech-savvy than any generation we have seen before. Cell phones are carried everywhere, and used for anything and everything. Need a place to stay on vacation? There’s an app for that. Wanna find a good coffee shop for your first date? There’s an app for that. Need to check your account balances? You bet there’s an app for that. Want to waste endless hours of your time playing a game that few can win (I’m talking about you, Flappy Bird)? Yep, there’s an app for that.
I could go on, but you get my point. There’s an app out there for pretty much everything, and as Student Affairs professionals, and educators, I think we owe it to our students to point them towards resources that will ultimately serve them in their journey towards success.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Each states that each year, drinking affects college students, as well as college communities, and families. They cite the consequences of drinking as follows:
- Death: 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die each year from alcohol-related unintentional injuries.
- Assault: More than 690,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are assaulted by another student who has been drinking.
- Sexual Abuse: More than 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.
- Injury: 599,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 receive unintentional injuries while under the influence of alcohol.
- Academic Problems: About 25 percent of college students report academic consequences of their drinking including missing class, falling behind, doing poorly on exams or papers, and receiving lower grades overall.
- Health Problems/Suicide Attempts: More than 150,000 students develop an alcohol-related health problem and between 1.2 and 1.5 percent of students indicate that they tried to commit suicide within the past year due to drinking or drug use.
The consequences of drinking might not always be so severe, but statistics show that alcohol is a top contributor to adverse incidents.
So if you’re worried about safety walking somewhere late at night? There’s an app for that. Or maybe you’re the forgetful type and before you decide to go out, you’re wondering if you have a paper due tomorrow. Guess what? There’s an app for that! Sick of getting catcalled while you’re out and want to warn others about potential harassment? Yep, there’s an app for that. Or if you’re prone to self-harm/suicidial ideation when drinking, there’s an app for that too.
Check out this short list of apps that can serve as a resource for students:
Circle of 6
Circle of 6 is a personal safety app that allows users to choose up to 6 close friends. When users find themselves in a risky or uncomfortable situation, Circle of 6 is a way to automatically send their circle a preprogrammed SMS alert with exact location. Circle of 6 also gives users access to a wealth on online information about healthy relationships, and allows users two pre-programmed national hotlines of their choice.
bSafe is another personal safety app that allows users to set up a safety network, share locations, a timer mode to program an automatic alarm if the user does not check in on time, a fake call option to make the phone ring when you want, and a guardian alert button to notify friends and family that you need help.
Hollaback is a movement to end street harassment powered by a network of local activists around the world. Users enter their location and describe the incident – and can even attach a picture of the harasser. They then identify the type of incident, whether they witnessed or were personally harassed, and then hit submit! A follow-up email will be sent, asking the user to share their story to post on the local Hollaback site, to inspire others to help end harassment.
myHomework Student Planner
myHomework Student Planner is an app that allows users to track their classes, homework, tests and assignments. It has a user-friendly calendar display, and is compatible with time, block and period-based schedules. It even has a ‘Night before’ reminder option, so students don’t forget to do their work the day before.
MY3 is an app created by the California Mental Health Services Authority to connect users to a network they can reach out to when feeling suicidal. The app has many features, including choosing 3 people to connect with in times of need, a safety plan toolbox to keep track of strategies and coping mechanisms, and access to the national suicide hotline 24/7.
Join the conversation by sharing apps that you have found useful in the comment section below!