Smartphones are so wonderful, but when without them, can we survive? Photo courtesy of Phil Roeder. Licensed under CC BY-2.0.Last Friday, I needed to get gas. So, naturally, I stopped at a gas station, got out, and went about my business. Fifty-five dollars later, I turned to get into my car only to find that it was locked. And inside my car were my keys. And my purse. And my phone.

“Ah,” I thought. “This is not good.”

It is a truly harrowing tale of bravery, but the upshot of the story is that I had to figure out what to do without my phone. When I was in need, I didn’t have my contact list, my AAA app, or anything that my smartphone had to offer me. It made me realize that as helpful as smartphones are in times of trouble (getting lost, for instance, which is something I manage to do quite regularly), there are situations that smartphones can’t help you out of. Like when it’s locked in your car.

With this in mind, I think it’s important for college students to realize that we might not always have our smartphones with us. There are a few very important things that we should know without having our phone with us. For instance, basic directions. If you are directionally challenged like I am, take time to learn the area around you so that even if you are without Google maps, you can basically manage to get back to a familiar area.

Additionally, you should have memorized a few important telephone numbers. The only reason why I managed to get out of that gas station without completely losing my head was that I have my boyfriend’s number memorized. I was able to call him from the gas station and have him bring me my Jeep’s spare key. I’d say it’s a good idea to have the numbers memorized of your significant other (if applicable), at least one parent, your boss, and perhaps your best friend. This way, in case you are ever in any trouble and don’t have your phone, you can always call someone who can help you or at least that you can tell that you will be late.

Smartphones are wonderful and extremely helpful in so many ways. But by being dependent on your own memory and knowledge, you can help yourself out of a sticky situation when circumstance separates you from your phone.

Have you ever had to manage without your phone in a difficult situation? Let us know in the comments!