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Scholarship Winner 2015

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SimpleTexting would like to congratulate the 2015 Scholarship Winner: Abigail Proffitt

Entrants were asked to thoughtfully express how their mobile device improves their lifestyle. Here is the winning entry:

A Girl, a City, and a Cell Phone: How My Mobile Device Improves Quality of Life

My mobile device is not particularly fancy- it’s a neon green iPhone 5C, housed in a clear plastic case filled with water and floating blue and pink heart-shaped glitter. The screen is scratched, and it’s been dropped down more flights of stairs than I care to admit. It’s still running on IOS 8, despite the numerous software updates available for newer models. But despite all
its flaws, this device is my connection to my city and to my world.

When I chose a college, I looked for one close enough to my home in southeastern Kentucky that I could visit my family every other weekend, but far away enough so that it felt like I was living on my own. The University of Louisville was the perfect choice. Clocking in at 3 hours and 190 miles from my house in Pineville, my new home was the perfect change of scenery. I felt independent, prepared, and confident in my choice. When I moved in to my dorm, I was immediately excited to explore my city, and put myself out into the world as an adult. That is, until it occurred to me that I didn’t have a car, and therefore couldn’t leave my campus.

I quickly realized that my mobile device would be my link to the world outside U of L’s campus which, though lovely and interesting, doesn’t come with a Chipotle or a nail salon. I had taken for granted the ease and convenience of having my parents chauffeur me to school, movie theaters, shopping malls- anywhere I wanted to go back home, I could get there in the trusty old Kia Sorento. However, at college, I was equipped only with a bicycle with a blue plastic basket attached to the handlebars and my smart phone. At first, I expected to be trapped within the confines of campus for the entire semester. But in reality, with a little practice, using my device to explore my city is so easy. It takes five seconds for me to ask Siri what’s happening in Louisville tonight. If I find out that there is a concert in a venue two miles down the road, I open my Google Maps app, toss my phone in my bike basket, and it tells me how to get to my destination via Louisville’s bike-friendly roads. If I’m feeling snacky, I open Yelp to find the best spot to have lunch. At the end of a long day of work, I call an Uber with my device, and five minutes later I’m on my way home.

Without my device, I would be completely unaware of my local culture. I recently signed up for a local service called DO502, an organization that compiles the best things to do in the Louisville area and notifies its users about them in emails. With my device and DO502, I can construct a perfect evening from start to finish while supporting local culture. For example, at Halloween, a local theatre group put on a rendition of the Rocky Horror Show at a park close to campus. My phone chimed with an email notification for the event. I typed my name on the list of attendees. Later that evening, I entered the location into Google Maps, followed the instructions as I rode my bike to the park, enjoyed the show, and then wrote a rave review on the theatre group’s website, all made possible by my mobile device.

As a college freshman in a new place, I want to feel connected to the city I chose to live in. Louisville is my home now, and I want to enjoy my time in the city as well as be a good student. My mobile device helps me maintain that balance. It’s a comforting thought that when I leave the campus library after an intense study session, I can count on my phone to take me anywhere I need to go to relax.

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