Handshake is always here for you when it comes to career planning, job applications, finding professional connections, and more… but we also know that there are many other areas of life that might feel uncertain right now. Below, we’ve compiled a list of free resources that are available to you as a US college student who may be displaced or otherwise impacted by current events.
If you need mental or emotional support:
- If you feel anxious, overwhelmed, or just need to talk to somebody, crisis counselors are available to you 24/7 via the confidential Crisis Text Line. Simply text HOME to 741741 for free support in the US from a trained Crisis Counselor.
- The Headspace app has released a collection of free materials called “Weathering the Storm,” which includes meditation, sleep, and movement exercises.
- Ten Percent Happier has created a collection of free guided meditations and additional resources for anyone who might need emotional support during this time.
If you need help moving:
- To help support students impacted by university campus closures, U-Haul is offering 30 days of free storage for new customers with college IDs.
- To help students get home to their families amid campus closures, Enterprise is “reducing the age minimum and waiving the young renter fees for rentals” through May 31, 2020. Students aged 18-24 qualify, and must present a student ID at the time of their rental.
If you’re in need of affordable and reliable internet access:
- Comcast Xfinity has announced a slew of offerings in response to COVID-19 concerns for students and remote workers, including free use of outdoor and public Wi-Fi hotspots and unlimited data for no additional charge. In addition, Comcast will be pausing any shutoffs or late fees if you contact them with hardship concerns: “Our care teams will be available to offer flexible payment options and can help find other solutions. If a customer contacts Comcast and tells them that they cannot afford their bills, Comcast will not shut their service off or issue late fees.”
- Spectrum has offered “free access to internet and WiFi for 60 days for new Pre-K to 12, college student and teacher households who don't currently have internet or WiFi service.” The company will also waive startup fees to those new customers who need it.
If you’re concerned about finances:
- Edquity offers emergency aid and basic needs insecurity technology for college students; to take advantage of easy access to online support, read more here.
- The US Department of Education has announced temporary changes regarding student loans, which you can read in full here. In short: “Borrowers with federally held student loans will automatically have their interest rates set to 0% for a period of at least 60 days. In addition, each of these borrowers will have the option to suspend their payments for at least two months to allow them greater flexibility during the national emergency.” You can learn more about what this means for your own student loans with Bankrate's handy guide.
If you get hungry:
- In support of independent restaurants and businesses during this trying time, UberEats has waived delivery fees for applicable small business orders.
- Many chain restaurants, such as Chipotle, Subway, and KFC, are also offering discounts and free delivery on online orders.
If you want to stay active while indoors:
- Peloton is offering new users a 90-day free trial on its app, where users can access workout classes from home.
- Planet Fitness is live-streaming free at-home workout classes at 7 p.m. ET daily on its Facebook page.
- Many paid fitness services like Core Power Yoga, Orange Theory Fitness, Classpass, Barry’s Bootcamp (on IGTV), and Tonal have created free at-home workout courses that anyone can access and participate in without special equipment.
If you need some entertainment:
- Audible has made many audiobooks free while students are out of school, including classics like Pride & Prejudice and Brave New World.
- The Metropolitan Opera is streaming free encore presentations of its Live in HD series every evening.
- You can take virtual tours of famous museums around the world, like the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.
- Through the end of April, On the Boards is doing free live-streams of experimental live theater productions.
- If you're experiencing wanderlust, you can scope out virtual tours of famous landmarks, poke around UNESCO world heritage sights, and experience natural wonders across the globe from your computer. Google Arts & Culture offers 360-degree videos inside historic venues, "street view" tours of famous places, and even closeup visuals of famous artwork.
For even more miscellaneous resources available during this time, check out this comprehensive list from Wirecutter. And of course, for insights about how to carry on your job or internship search remotely, be sure to explore our collection of tips and tricks to find your next professional opportunity—no matter where you are. We’re all in this together.