Freshmen in college often find that life differs greatly from high school. For some, it’s the first time in their life they are independent, and yet have more pressure than ever before. College campus is a unique community where safety, academic, financial, social, and housing challenges can leave you feeling stressed and overwhelmed.
But college can be one of the best times of life when you’re prepared. Technology provides several solutions to ensure peace of mind and physical safety.
Here are a few useful apps to consider.
BlueLight for iOS and Android sends location updates to chosen friends or family members to let them know where you are at all times. The app sends notices to let everyone know you’ve safely arrived at your destination, or alerts friends and first responders if you meet trouble. BlueLight has incorporated several campuses across the country into its network, connecting students to local and on-campus emergency dispatchers.
Your phone can keep you safe if you invite someone to walk with you via the free bSafe app. It allows you to set up a network of contacts who can track your location via GPS and includes emergency, timer, and “at home” features. It also includes an SOS function you can access by touch or voice. This activates an alarm while sending an audio and video recording of the situation to the phones of chosen contacts.
Watch Over Me presents a simple screen on iOS or Android phones that lets you enter an activity such as walking home or going for a job and then set a time limit. The app will automatically notify selected contacts with an emergency notice and your GPS location if you don’t end the “watch” session before the timer counts down. And don’t worry about being too slow, a handy button lets you extend the time limit as long as you want.
These apps keep college students safe when out and about through GPS monitoring of your phone. You can rest assured your contacts will know if you miss an appointment or run into trouble. Some apps also have the capability of recording video/audio at the touch of a button in emergency situations. Depending on the hardware involved, there are apps that send alerts if you fall, drop your headphones, and so forth.
Ask your college advisor about available and recommended safety apps; some can integrate with campus-specific maps or emergency services, like campus police.
Tech wearables can serve as personal security devices that are easier to use than a phone app. Many gadgets connect to your phone, and any contacts or emergency numbers you provide.
Safety can take shape of a watch or bracelet or something as small and inconspicuous as a pendant or ring. They can work via Wi-Fi and send automated SMS texts when the signal is lost.
Some ladies’ wearables that are becoming popular include Ivy, crafted of cubic zirconia and silver to conceal a gadget that syncs with a smartphone app via Bluetooth. It allows you to sound an alarm, send text alerts, or access other features with a few taps of a finger. You can purchase the Ivy device as a necklace or bracelet.
Nimb is an elegant-looking ring that is also a discrete panic button. Working via the phone app and over Bluetooth, activating it sends alerts to friends, 911, or other Nimb members nearby. These alerts include your GPS location, and live audio recording so rescuers know what’s happening.
Device aptly named Siren is another smart ring that emits an ear-piercing 110-decibel alarm that can be a deterrent to would-be attackers that get too close. All you have to do is give your styled ring a twist. The sound is directed downward and outward so it doesn’t harm your own ears.
These devices can be a lifesaver for those walking home late at night or an added security in meeting up with online dates. It’s great to have a discreet call for help and a signal back that confirms authorities have been contacted and on their way.
Modern students cannot fathom the world without technology. Technology makes it easy to put day-to-day tasks on auto pilot. Social apps let you stay connected with your circle of friends whether you’re en route to a party or planning a romantic adventure. They can also rescue you from uncomfortable social situations. Forgetting a task or not being able to escape an unpleasant situation are in the past due to a wide range of tools.
The Circle of 6, available for Android and iOS devices, connects you with up to six close friends that can save you from unwanted situations. You can reach out to your circle for a ride home, fake phone calls to provide excuses or any other favors your friends will do for you! You can reach any of your six friends with a single tap, When you’re out with a group, should you get separated, you can track each other’s location via GPS.
Others options include OnWatch, which is something like a timed monitoring app that sends automatic alerts but designed with female safety in mind. Unfortunately, college girls are prime targets for predators. Besides customizable timed alerts, you get quick access to social media accounts, and domestic violence and dating abuse resources.
Between is an app created for long-distance relationships, or at least separated partners, by providing a confidential channel for sharing texts, photos, video, digital notes, schedules, and more. It can also be a big help to those who are feeling lonely or have family problems to stay on top of and need to be in close communication with someone back home. It’s available in several versions for Windows, iOS, and Android phones, and Mac and PC computers.
One or more of these gadgets can become the companion you need to protect yourself or watch over a loved one while they’re away at school. You can avoid real danger by having a digital guardian always at the ready.
This is a guest article by Heather Redding, a tech enthusiast and freelance writer based in Aurora, Illinois. She is a coffee-addict who enjoys swimming and reading. Street photography is her newly discovered artistic outlet and she likes to capture life’s little moments with her camera. You can reach Heather via Twitter.