College life during this pandemic can be riddled with stress, anxiety and loneliness, so a new free mental health app specifically for college students can teach you how to become more self-aware and get you feeling more connected.
"To be honest, I didn't really have any knowledge about my emotions or anything. I was that typical tough guy, just fight through it," explained Ben Conness, a sophomore at the University of Tampa.
Conness says he was very isolated at the beginning of this pandemic and was unable to process how he felt about anything.
But after using an app called Ajivar, a personalized and computerized private coach, it helped support his mental health and gave him life tips.
"I've been able to understand myself better and recognize these different emotions that I've got going on," he said.
"College students certainly feel lonely. They feel isolated. They're not connected with their peers the way they used to," explained Trine Schmidt, a licensed Mental Health Counselor and co-founder of the Ajivar app.
Schmidt says she developed the app to teach students about emotional intelligence, helping a student become more self-aware every day.
"There's so much research that talks about how mindfulness is really great in calming the nervous system and responding to stress more sufficiently and easy," Schmidt said.
The Ajivar app is run by artificial intelligence and offers meditation, breathing techniques, relaxation tips, positive affirmations and skills to become more self-aware.
The app also has a section called the "Real You Community." It's a safe and private space where college students can connect and support each other anonymously.
"Then you feel connected. You feel, 'I'm no longer alone.' There's somebody that's been through it. They did it and it gives you the motivation to keep going," Conness said.
The Ajivar app is available for students at the University of Tampa and certain campuses across the country for free.
The "Real You Community" is also free to all college students.
If you're interested, you can download Ajivar from Google Play or the App Store and you can create an account with your name and institution email.