Unfortunately you can’t use this guy to make calls or text. Photo courtesy of Flickr user KB35. Licensed under CC BY-2.0.So there was that one crazy night – you lost count of Jell-O shots, games of beer pong, and perhaps even where you were. You wake up in the morning, the grogginess sets in, and you feel your wallet, your keys, and — that’s it. Your phone is AWOL, and in the new era of technology you’re up a creek without a paddle as a college student.

Or are you? Modern technology might have wiped out our previous lifelines and made cellular telephones a necessity, but they’ve also provided for ways to survive without them.

Here are some tips for surviving without your cell phone in college.

Use Google Voice. There’s no excuse not to. Even if you don’t use it with your primary number, having a Google Voice number can save your life – link your phone calls to your roommates’ or friends’ number temporarily and use the internet to text your friends. Not to mention the online contact database.

Take advantage of phone company programs. I am a big fan of phone insurance – it’s saved my behind for cheap the past couple of times my phone has gone MIA, gotten wet, or just broke. Even better, my insurance company (through my provider) provides free GPS lookups for lost phones which could save you a ton of money and a lot of stress.

Figure out a back-up plan, and quickly. If you need near-immediate access to a phone (for a job interview or friends coming in town), you need to acquire their numbers and a phone quickly. Roommates are vital for this, but make sure you two agree on an arrangement, so you don’t leave a generous roommate without a phone for a day or you only have the phone for a short period of time.

Find a temporary phone. I can’t even count how many friends have phones for this purpose. Granted, it’s probably in the early-SMS stage, with limited Internet connectivity, but God darn it, it makes calls and some can even text. Just make sure it’s the same provider and you can get it activated. 

Haggle with the cell phone dealer/provider. Last resort, but I’ve seen it work. When my roommate lost his iPhone 4 at a party, he was able to gain the reduced upgrade price just by talking for a bit to his cell phone provider (in person, over the phone is not as successful) which took an incredibly high price down to a moderately high price – but one he was more willing to spend. 

Losing your cell phone is never fun, but it’s survivable if you follow the above tips.