Doing your part to #FlattenTheCurve means staying at home and, unfortunately, being away from your friends. Even if we live in a time of daily social media and instant messaging, it’s oddly unnatural not to have our usual hangouts, chika sessions, and heart-to-heart conversations with the people we love the most.
Whether you just miss hearing your kalog bestie’s weird laugh or need to let out some #feels with your nearest and dearest, we scoured the internet for free apps to keep you connected to your barkada, family members, and even your crush—wherever in the world they may be. So if you’ve got the gear and internet connection, try out these apps between your online classes:
You’ve probably used Zoom for online classes or heard about it from folks working from home. Although it’s built for business meetings, Zoom is a classic, reliable app for video calls. Fun tip: select a virtual background to take you anywhere you wish – the Eiffel Tower, your favorite meme, or even outer space (because Earth is pretty overrated right now, tbh)!
If you want to do more than just sit in front of the camera and talk about the last thing you ate or your last feeble attempt at online classes, Houseparty stays true to its name with games and quizzes you can play over video chat! Spend hours laughing your butts off to Trivia, Heads Up, or Quick Draw with your party of 8, then take a quick screenshot of your silly faces to share on Instagram.
Another virtual classroom for your online classes is Google’s very own video call app – Google Hangouts! The great thing about Hangouts is how simple it is to use. Not just for online learning, but also for instant hangouts with your squad. Just log on to Hangouts for free, share the conference link to your friends, and there you have it – a virtual HOHOL session! You can set one up for up to 150 people at a time (for maximum chaotic energy) through web, iOS, or Android.
Bring on the snacks and invite your friends to a virtual Netflix Party! This nifty Chrome extension lets you host Netflix watch parties with your buddies and react to scenes in real time through its chat feature. No more crying alone to K-Drama! All you need is a desktop or laptop, Chrome browser, and a Netflix account.
Calling all bookworms! One of the best things to do while staying at home is to read, read, read – and what better way to go through your shelves than with friends? Bookclubz is a free app that lets you form your own book club right at the palm of your hand. You can set book discussion meetings (which you can now do through the apps above!), log books you’ve read, rate your favorite reads, and check out what other book clubs are reading!
PS. Maybe you can use your book club meetings to discuss readings from your online classes, too! You know, for when you need those extra 2 brain cells to figure things out before your next class.
If you want more advice like this, check out the rest of our blog! We cover topics that help students inside and outside of the classroom—from study hacks, to self-care, to real stories from students (or people who used to be students)!
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