Whether you’re moving across the country as a freshman at a university or simply taking a few community college courses in your spare time, there are some items that every college student must have before classes begin. A lot of products are advertised as essential for college life, but which college supplies do you really need?
- Laptop Computer
A good laptop is a must have for every college student, and there are a variety of different types on the market to suit your individual needs. Nowadays, even the most budget conscious person can find a decent laptop at an affordable price. Make sure you get a laptop for college that has the ability to run applications and save data to a hard drive, rather than a notebook computer that cannot save data to a hard disk. This way, you can use it for more than just school related online research or surfing the web.
- Backpack or Carry-All
You need to be able to comfortably carry all of your school supplies as you trek around campus, so a well-fitting college friendly backpack or messenger bag is a necessity for every college student. Although in modern times, most teachers prefer to point students to a website where PowerPoint presentations and syllabi can be downloaded, it’s also a good idea to have someplace to stash the handouts that a more old-fashioned professor may have for you.
- Chargers and Batteries
You probably already own a charger for your electronic devices, but it’s worthwhile to have an extra on hand when you are in college. Laptop, tablet, and cell phone batteries can be depleted quickly, and not having access to your notes (or the ability to take them) during a crucial lecture is every college student’s worst nightmare. Plan ahead, and buy extra chargers and batteries for your electronic devices so you won’t be left “in the dark” at an inopportune time.
- Spiral Notebook and Writing Implements
It may seem archaic, but if your laptop’s battery dies and your phone’s keyboard is too small for note taking, you’ll be glad to have a notebook and a pen or pencil on hand for an emergency. Even if you don’t opt to use these items on a regular basis, it’s better to be safe than sorry (and these items are really inexpensive, to boot).
A tablet (like an iPad) can be a wonderfully compact way to access the internet, take notes in class, and do school work when you don’t feel like lugging your laptop across campus. These days, a functional budget tablet doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg, and it can be useful for both classroom related stuff and heading off boredom during those lulls between classes.
By thinking ahead and buying what you need beforehand, you can save yourself the hassle of waiting in long lines at the college bookstore and give yourself the peace of mind that comes with being prepared. Avoid wasting money on stuff that will never get used, and focus on the essentials – your wallet will thank you.
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