The college experience today is vastly different than it was just a decade ago thanks to the onset of mobile phones. It’s true that a decade ago students did own mobile phones and many had Facebook pages, but these past ten years have seen a rapid overhaul in the way that we all live with technology.
Mobile Phones Are A Fifth Limb
Mobile phones are no longer an afterthought - among young people, smartphones function as fifth limbs.
Today’s college students, who also comprise part of Generation Z, grew up with personal laptops and mobile devices. Unlike their older predecessors, smartphones were never an exciting novelty or venture - they were simply another everyday life item.
The ease and comfortability with which college students use mobile technology touch every facet of their life. After all, if a task cannot be facilitated, or at least, complemented by mobile technology, is it really worth doing at all?
35.5% of Gen Z-ers spend between 6-10 hours per day on their mobile devices. Students communicate via Snapchat, carry tablets to class, and have the conveniences of mobile applications to handle everything from personal finances to study schedules. Smartphones have digitized the undergrad experience and account for almost every activity through a student’s day.
How Studying Is Managed
But this hyper-connected generation uses their laptops and smartphones for more than just sending their friends filtered pictures and videos. They regularly turn to their digital devices to help them manage practical tasks, including studying, managing student loans, and even, exercising.
Here are the top 3 digital resources that are helping students with the college experience.
Ten years ago, extra help meant attending weekly office hours and hoping the professor would have enough time to offer individual attention. Luckily for Gen-Z, extra help is much more accessible to students today with Studypool, an online micro-tutoring platform that connects students with ivy-league certified tutors who can answer their academic questions.
Using online studying, classes, homework and helps, students can ask specific questions to help them prepare for an exam or receive feedback on papers; students post their problems and tutors submit their answers. The platform also allows students to schedule virtual tutoring sessions via skype.
This crowdsourced approach to extra help allows students to gather multiple perspectives and approaches to questions such as “help with chemistry homework.” There’s no waiting period and students can receive help from the comfort of their dorm rooms.
Student Loan Hero
Student debt is an increasing concern among current students and recent graduates, alike. As of 2012, 71% of students graduating from four-year institutions had incurred debt. And today, the average graduate leaves college with a minimum debt of $37,172 (a conservative number).
Although students cannot control rising costs of tuition across universities, they can control how they prepare themselves to handle debt and the burden of loans. Platforms like Student Loan Hero are dedicated to helping college students and recent graduates plan for financial success.
The platform provides a slew of resources designed to help individuals feel in control of their finances before they even make their first debt payment, including refinancing options and descriptions, credit-building tips, and monthly payment calculators.
Gen Z is one of the most socially conscious generations and one of the issues they are most attuned to is health. In generations past, most college students operated under the preconception that their 20 year old bodies were invincible: they could eat late-night pizza, drink dollar pitchers and sleep the day away without a care. But today’s college students grew up hearing about this country’s alarming obesity rates and watching documentaries about the dangers of fast food and sugar.
There’s an array of mobile apps designed to help college students stay on track in managing their health goals, including Move. The app tracks every movement - beyond just spinning class and pick-up games. College students are active without even trying - they walk miles on campus each and every day, and this app ensures all of their daily physical activity is taken into consideration.
At the end of the day, the app offers a visual diary of every movement, helping participants to plan ahead for the next day.
Gen Z-ers might be painted as social media fiends among the media, but this generation is digitally savvy. They know how to look for digital support to help them maintain grades, financial health, and physical health.
Today’s college students are self-starters, and they’ve watched their Millennial counterparts flounder with early adulthood; this group is tapping every digital resource at their disposal to help them get ahead in every facet of life.