The first few weeks of college will be a whirlwind; albeit an exciting, fantastic, fun-filled start to your time at Boston College, all of the new experiences have the potential to overwhelm you a bit. To ease the transition, here are a few must-have apps you can use to take some of the guesswork out of your arrival to the Heights.
Map of BC
It’s not exactly an app, but having a campus map on your phone will make the first week or so infinitely easier—and safer for your ego—than crowding around those mall-directory-esque maps stationed around campus or pulling out the paper map you got at Orientation. Instead of wandering across the Heights tourist-style trying to figure out where Campion Hall is, you can pull up the map on your phone; no one will know you’re lost and you’ll look like a regular BC texting-while-walking student.
Whether you’re commuting to class from Newton Campus, catching the D line from the Reservoir stop, or too tired from your workout at the Plex to walk back up to Upper, you’ll find yourself traveling on BC buses all the time. Transloc—while not always the most reliable source of information—tracks these shuttles, displaying how many minutes to expect to wait for the bus to arrive at a given stop. As someone who lived on Newton freshman year, I can tell you from experience that Transloc really comes in handy to help strategically plan trips between campuses when the temperatures drop below freezing.
When you’re used to being able to drive from place to place while at home, not having a car at college can be a strange adjustment. Uber and Lyft make this transition a little easier, allowing you to get from place to place quickly and conveniently. Lyft tends to have lots of promotions for free rides, which is always welcomed by broke college kids.
ProximiT- Boston MBTA Tracker
Ride-sharing apps can get pricey, so after a little practice the T will become your best friend. Charging just over $2 to take you anywhere in the city, the T is generally easy to figure out and conveniently stops at the foot of Heartbreak Hill (B Line), at the Reservoir stop (D Line and accessible via the Comm Ave Bus from Main Campus), in Cleveland Circle (C Line) and in Newton Center (D Line). ProximiT helps you plan trips and is similar to Transloc in that it tells you how far away the next train or bus is.
In college, you’ll find yourself needing to pay people back for things frequently, but cash is generally in short supply. Venmo links to your bank account and allows users to pay others in exact amounts quickly and easily; most clubs at BC use it for members to pay yearly dues, and it comes in handy to pay your roommate back when they have to pay for your White Mountain because you can’t find your debit card.
The dining halls at BC are better than most, but sometimes the offerings can get repetitive. Food delivery apps bring your favorite restaurants to you so you don’t have to interrupt your all-nighter in O’Neill to go grab dinner. With infinite options from all around the city, apps like Foodler, Delivery Dude, and GrubHub ensure that you stay well-fed with a variety of delicious options.
News app (CNN, The Skimm)
Between all the the things you’ll be doing at BC, it’s easy to forget about the outside world and get caught up in the “BC Bubble.” It’s embarrassing talking to people—usually adults you’re trying to impress—and
realizing you have no idea what’s going on when it comes to current events, so having a news app on your phone, like CNN or The Skimm, will help you stay connected to off-campus happenings (if you’re not already reading The Gavel every day). Turning the notifications on will keep you up-to-date down to the minute.
By now you’ve probably noticed that the majority of these apps are related to spending money and, let’s face it, times are tough for a college student’s bank account. Nights out and Uber fares add up quicker than you’d think, and there are few things that put a damper on a Newbury Street shopping day more than a cashier telling you that your card was declined. It’s smart to have your bank’s app stored in your phone, that way you can check from time to time to make sure your account balance is in the safe zone and avoid potential financial catastrophes.