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COVID-19 has had a catastrophic effect on the world, upending everyone’s lives through prolonged lockdowns, sudden financial difficulties, and heightened health anxiety. Living through this pandemic has been hard for me and many others, but I’m lucky to be still going to school despite the challenging adjustment to college online. Here are five awesome apps that are helping me manage college during this pandemic!


I don’t know about anyone else, but I have a really hard time focusing for long periods of time. Flora is a productivity app that helps you stay off of your phone with timers and to-do lists. You set a timer, and while you study it grows a virtual plant. If you open your phone or click out of the app before the time is up, the plant dies. While simple, it’s been really effective in keeping me focused on my work and preventing me from getting distracted by my phone. Flora’s coolest feature is that you can pay $10 for a year of Flora Care, which plants a real tree for every 24 hours you study!

Insight Timer

A practice that has helped my mental health tremendously is daily meditation. Insight Timer is a free library of over 80,000 guided meditations that range from the beginner to advanced level and even includes an option to create your own unguided meditation timers with ambient sounds. The app also has a wide variety of yoga sessions and celebrity-led live classes. I’ve used a few different meditation apps, but this is the best one thus far.


Before college, I loved reading in my spare time. But since my classes are so reading-heavy, I find it difficult to read for leisure now. Libby’s helped me get back into books, and it helps me avoid sitting in front of a TV screen during my free time. After connecting your library card to the app, you can browse thousands of books and audiobooks and download them directly to your phone. This app makes it super convenient to rent books and keep track of your library loans and books on hold.


While I wouldn’t call myself a professional artist, I do a lot of drawing as a way to destress. I’ve recently started getting more into digital art, so I decided to download Procreate. Procreate is a fantastic app with many features you can use to create digital art and basic animations. I can keep track of all of my drawings in one place and easily share copies of my art! I also use this app sometimes in Art Club when I don’t want to use actual paper. While the app was $9.99, it definitely pays for itself.


I’m going to be honest; I spent an embarrassing amount of money when quarantine first started. I really didn’t have much to do in my free time, and I was stuck in my house, so I wound up doing a lot of online shopping. While it was great for me, it was terrible for my bank account. Mint is a money management app that helps you track your spending, budget and even check your credit score. It’s helped me stay on top of how much money I spend every month and consistently depositing money into my savings. If I didn’t have this app, I would probably be broke by now.

The pandemic has been hard on everyone. Hopefully, these apps can make living through this time a little bit easier!

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Cameryn Richardson is a sophomore at BU, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies. Outside of writing for HCBU, she is an international peer mentor, involved in Art Club, and loves to find new restaurants and coffee shops to visit. Find her on Instagram @cvmrich!
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