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Monday, November 29, 2021

Life + Arts

Helpful apps for the stress-free Cougar

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As school starts again, technology trends transition from beating the heat and relaxing to efficiency. | Rachel Sloan/TheCougar

Going back to school doesn’t just mean hitting the books again. A new academic year also means a resurgence in the use of certain apps. These software programs may fall to the wayside during the summer, but students dust them off and put them to work once fall semester comes around.

Many students named Twitter as an app they employ more frequently during the school year.

“I don’t use it during the summer much because I’m always out,” said political science sophomore Aaron Arambula. “And (Twitter) — it’s fast.”

Twitter’s speed and accessibility play a major factor in its popularity as a social media platform. On campus, it acts as a media outlet for the University and a way to establish communication between students.

“It helps you find out about a lot of events on campus,” said liberal studies sophomore Helen Jenkins. “You can meet people and be social.”

Students also named Spotify among the most helpful and relevant mobile applications for the year. It’s a music streaming service that can be browsed by genre, artist, album, record label or playlist and arranged by personal preference.

“It has all varieties of music on it, and it’s easy to find the music you like,” said pre-business sophomore Nia Bills. “It’s convenient.”

 Listening to music provided by Spotify is a means of relaxation, and it can help with studying as well. Playlists can be personalized and named, but they also come pre-made, Bills said.

 “They have studying playlists already on there,” said digital media sophomore Mel Stefka.

 Class-wise, many students found the UH System Campus Mobile app to be beneficial. It gives easy access to UH Self Service portal features.

“It has all my information for my classes that I usually don’t have unless I go on Blackboard,” said English freshman Gerold Smith.

The app is also popular for its new features, including location services.

“It told me where my classes were,” said general studies freshman Halie Charo. “I’m a first-year student, so I don’t know where anything is, and I can just go on there.”

Charo is also an avid user of the Starbucks app, a trait shared by many of her peers.

“You can pay and reload your card (on the phone),” Charo said. “I love that app.”

The Starbucks app may help for a quick pick-me-up, but the CampusDish app is prevalent among students with an appetite. It provides the day’s menu anywhere on campus by calories, nutrition or venue.

“It’s more convenient because then you know if you should go to Moody, Cougar Woods or somewhere else,” said liberal studies sophomore Victoria Espitia.

Getting to classes on time can be an even bigger problem. The Cougar Trax app is widespread among students because it uses GPS tracking to find out the location and arrival time of the shuttle buses.

“I like it because I’m new here,” said computer engineering freshman Aditya Raj. “I know where the shuttle is going when it is going. It’s good since I like moving around.”

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