How to Use Pokemon GO to Explore Your New College Campus

Image via Pokemon.com

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the last few weeks, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the latest new video game out from game developer, Niantic. There’ve been a flood of stories of people of all ages roaming around their neighborhoods, catching Pokemon and battling to reign supreme over the many Pokemon gyms scattered all over the world. You also probably heard about the many restaurants and cafes that are taking advantage of this Pokemon mania by offering discounts and deals to PokemonGO players who happen to wander into their establishments as they try to capture Charizard. It’s pretty brilliant, and a smart way to leverage an emerging pop culture phenomena.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how PokemonGO can be used in a range of other situations, and given that I run an education startup that helps students find and apply to universities and colleges abroad, I wanted to figure out how university students could leverage PokemonGO to get the most out of their new campus.

Use PokeStops to Learn About Local History

A PokeStop is a place where PokemonGO players can go to stock up on useful in-game items like Poke Balls, Potions, and Razz Berrys (little treats to make catching Pokemon easier). Niantic created many of these PokeStops around local landmarks — think fountains, parks, statues and memorials, historic buildings — you get the point. Following local PokeStops can help students get acquainted with their new campus by letting them easily find local landmarks and learn more about them. And while the game doesn’t give a history on each landmark PokeStop, they do offer an image of the stop and make them easy to find and navigate through on a map.

Join Pokemon Groups to Meet People

PokemonGO is best played as a group sport, which is why you’ll often see Facebook groups looking for people to gather and play the game together. And if you can’t find a group to join, you can always turn the game on and look for the closest lure, which is a special item that players can set to lure Pokemon to their location. Often, this is a great way to meet other players in a casual environment since many players set lures in common areas, such as dorms, parks, libraries, and other public spaces.

Ditch the Gym and Go for PokeWalks

The Freshman Fifteen is very real, and being in a new environment can create a decent bit of stress for any new student. Take advantage of PokemonGO by being active and going on walks every day. In fact, certain aspects of the game require walking, such as hatching eggs (to get more Pokemon) so you may as well take advantage of the health aspects of playing.

PokemonGO is a fun way to spend down time, but it’s also a great way to get acquainted with your new university, so sign up, meet other players, and start exploring your campus!

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