It's officially back-to-school season, and while I used to dread this time of year in grades K-12, it's now an exciting and bittersweet period in my life since this fall, I'll be heading back to Syracuse University for my senior year of college. But this year also marks a first for me; it's the first time I won't be the only student my parents need to worry about moving onto campus. My younger sister will be right alongside me in the six-hour car ride to Syracuse where she'll begin her freshman year.
Since this will be my fourth year doing the whole back-to-campus thing, I've become quite the pro at packing, organizing and planning everything that comes along with starting a new school year. In fact, my mom has been texting and calling me all summer asking me for advice for how my sister can better prepare for her first year away at school. (My sister, of course, refuses to ask me directly, because she is adamant about not needing her big sister's help with anything.) But not everyone has an older sibling to help them with the back-to-school grind, so Kik, the chat app that has over 300 million users, wants to take on the role as your campus guru.
1. Make Your Room The Ultimate #DormGoals
Moving into your college dorm is probably one of the first times since childhood where you get to design your bedroom from scratch. Sophomore year, my best friend and I got to decorate our entire two-story apartment by ourselves. Our apartment could not have been a better reflection of who we were then with all of the cute trinkets I found at local thrift stores and framed photos of Harry Styles (of which I would totally be ashamed of now — but it sure was stylish, *ba-dum TISH*)
Your dorm room or apartment on campus is your home for the next nine months of your life, which makes it a great space to express yourself and your unique style. You can chat with Kik's Target College Stylist chatbot for inspiration to decorate your space in an organized way that reflects your authentic self.
2. Find The Best Places To Grab Some Grub
Your campus becomes your home while you're at school, so it's super important to know where everything you need is located. Whether you are trying to find a great pizza place or cool places to shop, Kik's Nearby chatbot wants to help you find tons of neat places around your college town. Send the bot your location and what kind of place you're looking for, and it'll tell you exactly where you need to go.
3. Balance Your Social Life And Academic Responsibilities
OK, so since I'm the kind of person who has a 170 item bucket-list, I'm clearly a huge advocate for making lists. If you were to go through the Notes on my laptop, you'll literally just find a ton of old to-do lists. And you know what – I actually did everything on them!
To-do lists are the easiest way to stay on top of everything you have planned, whether it's club meetings you want to attend or schoolwork you need to keep up with. Kik's To Do List chatbot lets you keep a running list of everything that's coming up in your life.
4. Live A Healthy Lifestyle
One of the things I struggled most with my freshman year was maintaining a healthy diet while living off of dining hall food and late-night snacks. Whether you're trying to make the most of your meal plan or learning how to fend for yourself in the kitchen for the first time ever, Kik's Forksy chatbot can give you tips and inspiration on eating healthy.
But, Kik can also help you with other health needs as well. If you're not feeling well and can't wait for your appointment with your school's health services, chat with the Your.MD bot for instant medical advice from experts.
5. Get A Job On Campus
If you're looking for a job on or around campus, then try Kik's Wirkn Jobs chatbot. The chatbot wants to help you find something in your area that match your personality and preference. Or, you can use it as a tool to figure out what you should major in. By letting you know what jobs are available based on your personality, you can better gauge what you should be studying if you aren't totally sure what you want to do career-wise yet.