Seven apps every first-year should download

February 10, 2016
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What’s not to love about your first year at university? You get to make mistakes and attempt all the crazy things out of your comfort zone, sans the crushing pressure to establish a successful career. But it’s wise to remember that like everything, university also comes with a side of stressors. Whether your anxiety is triggered by poorly organised study loads, financial pressure or questionable decision making under the influence, here are seven apps to help you stay level.


Avoid years of frustration and tedious page flipping with RefMe, a nifty app that allows users to scan a book’s barcode and create a citation based on your subject-preferred style including APA, AGLC and thousands more. The app also supports websites and journal articles, and in the case of a missing barcode allows students to search the textbook manually using the title or ISBN.

Lost On Campus

While most universities have downloadable PDF campus plans on their websites, they often lack interactivity, thus are seldom used by tech-savvy first-years who’d rather wander aimlessly than hold a map. Enter Lost On Campus, your friendly neighbourhood guide to the best chill spots, coffee, food, ATMs and mysterious secret places around most universities in the country. The app also helps locate important buildings such as lecture theatres and tutorial rooms, faculty offices, assignment boxes and study spaces.


If you’re one of the few still buying and losing USBs, downloading Dropbox is the best decision you’ll make all year. The program is a cloud-based file storage service that saves and syncs all your media across multiple devices. This means that those notes you’ve been taking at uni, once saved to Dropbox, are automatically available on your phone and personal laptop. The app comes with 2GB of free space, however serious users can hustle up to 40GB using this guide.

Drunk Mode

Best described in a piece by The Telegraph as a “condom for your phone”, Drunk Mode aspires to resolve all of your Sunday morning regrets in a single app. Its four key features include Stop Drunk Dialling, a feature that blocks select phone contacts for up to 12 hours to avoid post-bender shame; Find My Drunk, a GPS service that allows users to track that mate who always vanishes; Breadcrumbs, follows where and how far you wandered last night, and Find a Safe Ride Home helps find you a quick ride home or pops up walking directions to where your friends are. 

If at any moment in the night users want to disable the app, they must solve a maths puzzle, which may prove difficult when you’re a few down.


For those among us moving out for the first time, conversations about money and sharing household costs with people we’ve just met can be a point of awkwardness. The Splittable app makes those moments easier by tracking all your common bills, who’s paid them and how much you owe. The app also allows users to make direct payments to other housemates using PayPal.

The Happiest Hour

Student life isn’t the easiest when it comes to finances, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a decent feed and modest hangover for under $25. The Happiest Hour is your one-stop app to finding the best golden hour deals for booze and food, anywhere and anytime. Users can search for specials by time, location and even preferred drinks.


While a staple diet of ramen and cheap wine may seem economical, it rarely makes for a well-balanced lifestyle. Keeping track of your food, water and exercise through MyFitnessPal gives users nutritional information based on recommended calorie intake and encourages you to stick with weight loss or gain goals. 

Meghna Bali

Meghna Bali is a final year Bachelor of Communication student at Western Sydney University. She's also highly enthusiastic about chai, poetry and ruining movies for everyone.

Image: Matthew G, Flickr Creative Commons license