The College Student 'I'm Thankful for' List

Carrie Schmelkin : Gossip from the Hallways
Carrie Schmelkin
Web Editor, TMC

The College Student 'I'm Thankful for' List

I’m definitely in the Thanksgiving mood. Maybe it’s because the leaves outside have beautifully turned auburn and golden. Or perhaps it’s because I can finally start sporting the best fall trends such as Uggs, leather jackets, and North Face fleeces. But it’s probably mostly because we just finished our company pot luck lunch and I am in a tryptophan-induced coma.

In any event, it seems to be an appropriate time to consider what we are thankful for.

Sure we are probably all thankful for the obvious: loving family and friends; the fact that we are (hopefully) employed; that we are in good enough health to be able to drink ourselves silly this holiday season; and that we have enough gumption to head to our local bar on Thanksgiving Eve to run into everyone that we went to high school with.

But do you think college students will have a different list if we asked them to name what they are most thankful for? Sur,e they will probably try to be PC and say they are thankful they can bring their iPad to class to take notes, use Skype to join study groups and opt for a computer monitor in place of a TV. But that seems a bit too conservative.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving (and comic relief), here is my best stab at what a 18-22 year olds are truly thankful for when it comes to education technology.

Siri’s Ability to Find the Nearest Bar

Sure, students can use Siri, iPhone 4S’s artificially intelligent voice, to send text messages to their friends letting them know they are running late for class all through verbal commands, but what they might find a little more convenient is that Apple has now made it even easier to pinpoint the closest bars in the area. According to Apple, Siri understands what you mean if you ask something like “Are there any good bars around?” And I am happy to corroborate Apple’s claim, as Siri quickly told my co-workers and me of 19 bars that are in the Norwalk area. And if you are looking for that piece of pepperoni pizza at 3 a.m. when the bars close, Siri has your back.

That SimplyNoise can Drown out your Roommate

We may shudder at the thought of our freshman year at college when we shared a closet with a total stranger and the cold fact that this nightmarish situation often included many a sleepless nights when our roommates blasted the TV while we tried to sleep, talked out loud when we were trying to study for a test, or were busy fooling around with other coeds.  But, thanks to SimplyNoise – a site that was mostly created to help people battle insomnia – college students can pop in their headphones and turn up white, pink or brown noise to drown out the rights of college passage.

That Foursquare Can Help You Stalk

One of the biggest educational perks about Foursquare is that you can find out where that Philosophy study group is meeting (even when you left the directions at home) as Foursquare allows people to check in where they are at any time of the day. But why do college kids probably really love this app? Because it allows and even promotes stalking. Want to see if the guy you went on two dates with really is going home for the weekend or is instead hitting up the local bar and dodging you? Or what about checking up to see if your ex-boyfriend is spending his weekends moping over the loss of you or actually going out? While Facebook makes it easy to “stalk” someone to see if they are dating someone new, if they moved in with their new girlfriend or if they got a new job, Foursquare has made it immensely easy to actually come face to face with that person.

The Fact that Video Cameras are Cheaper than Ever

College students nowadays can definitely afford video cameras and, accordingly, these pieces of technology are quickly finding their ways into school sporting events, campus performances and nights in the dorm playing Beer Pong. But why do students probably really love video cameras? Because cameras allow them to feed their laziness and not go to class. Instead, students can send ask one of their classmates to go to the lesson with a video camera in hand, ask them to record the lecture, and then the student can watch the lecture back before the test. A procrastinator’s best friend.

How Language Translation Apps can be used for Flirting

(I am going to preface by saying that this one came from that quirky guy who sits in a cubicle near me who let me know that he wished these apps existed when he was in college.) I’m sure we all had a class in which a drop dead gorgeous Italian man or a mysterious Spanish woman sat in our class and we wished we knew enough of the language to impress them by saying something in their native tongue. Fortunately, voice translation apps – ones in which you say something in one language and it translates it into another language for you – are ubiquitous. While great for helping you pass Spanish 101, I bet some of those overzealous freshmen boys are finding other ways to use the app.


In all seriousness college students, I know you are probably thankful for the immense benefits that have been afforded to you thanks to technology. So do me a favor and pat your iPad on the back and be sure to drive home safely to spend the holiday with your families. Happy Thanksgiving!





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