Entering college marks a huge transition in life. This chapter is filled with first experiences, new friends, lessons in time management, prioritization, procrastination, stress, success, and, of course, a lot of fun. Above all else, being accepted into a university and finishing with a degree is a tremendous accomplishment, one that you, your friends, and your family will be proud of.
Trials and tribulations will be met, but thankfully, there are so many digital devices that soften those bumps in the road and make life as a student so much easier. You don’t want to be that kid who nearly misses the midterm exam because the printing line at the library was far too long. Be proactive and come prepared with these four gadgets as you head off to school.
- Student Laptop
This device should be at the top of your shopping list, no question about it. Laptops are pretty much essential to succeed in school. From taking notes in class to working at your dorm desk, writing during your commute or reading with a study group, your laptop will become your best friend.
No one sits tethered to a desktop monitor these days, and while tablets may be conveniently portable, they lack the processing power necessary for rendering large graphic design projects or running complex algorithms on massive data sets. It doesn’t matter which major you choose — art history, anthropology, or mechanical engineering — the need is all the same. The best laptops for students should be durable, compact, and lightweight, with a long battery life and enough storage to save all your documents without bogging down performance. It’s wise to invest in the insurance package, too, just in case any spills or accidents happen!
Sure, it’s possible to print at the library, but you’d save yourself an immense amount of stress by having a printer in your dorm room that’s ready for action at all times. You’ll learn this lesson in college pretty quickly: waiting until the last moment will not do you any favors.
Things pop up, accidents happen, lines are long, ink runs out — there are so many possible curve balls that can come in between you and your research paper getting turned in properly and on time. Plus, investing in a printer when you head off to school will probably be cheaper than the total amount you spend on print jobs throughout your four-year academic career.
- Smart Watch
Some technology is changing the world — and smart watches are one of them. These gadgets help you monitor your health, track your fitness, count the steps you take in a day, record your sleep patterns, and so much more. When Mom and Dad aren’t there to take care of you, a smart watch can help keep you in check so you can avoid that dreaded freshman 15. As an added bonus, you can enable most smart watches to send and receive text messages and emails. You can stay informed without being distracted on your phone during class. Showing up to a class that’s been canceled is the worst, but these can keep you in the know so you don’t trek across campus last minute because you missed a memo.
No one is superhuman — as focused as you may be, background noise can be a serious detriment to your attention span. People chatting, a lawnmower revving in the distance, or someone eating obnoxiously loud across the table in the library — whether you’re in your dorm room or studying at Starbucks, distractions are abound.
Stay in the zone and power through your toughest assignments wearing noise-cancelling headphones. There are many playlists on Spotify curated exactly for studying and promoting mental clarity. From classic to acoustic, lo-fi to trance, your mind will stay zeroed in on the project at hand. Remember, the brain cannot multitask. Every background conversation you listen to detracts from the material you’re trying to learn. Studying while distracted could be just the difference between an A and B, so this isn’t a device you should skip on.
Bonus points if you pick up a headphone cable organizer! There’s nothing worse than trying to sort through a tangled pair of cables at the bottom of your backpack when you’re on a mission to get work done.
Backed with these essentials, you’re poise yourself for success all semester long.