Your College Electronics Essentials: What Gadgets You Need to Survive
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Your College Electronics Essentials: What Gadgets You Need to Survive

Become computer literate.

Nowadays, electronics are an integral part of our education. The two are intertwined and it is impossible to complete high school, let alone college, without the use of a computer. And why would you want to? Electronics are practical but also fun and help you manage your time better as well as the endless other benefits that come along with them. Whether you’re moving into a dorm or apartment or simply just need to update your technological situation, here are some things that will be necessary during your stay in upper division education. And also a few fun suggestions to make things easier.

  • Laptops are great because they are portable and can store just as much information as a desktop. Most schools will suggest a laptop but if you can’t afford to upgrade from your desktop, that will work just as well. The advantage of having a laptop is that you can take it to class to take notes on or if you need to give a presentation, many classrooms are set up so that all you have to do is plug your computer in and you’re good to go. They can also be useful when needing some privacy. Just unplug it and take it to somewhere quiet to work.
  • A printer will also be important for printing your assignments and papers. I would suggest a printer/scanner/copier/fax machine. They sell the 4-in-1 at several stores for not too much more than just a regular printer. The other functions may seem over the top or unnecessary but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been glad my dad bought me the 4-in-1 printer for Christmas.
  • Phone/Ethernet Cords will be important in case your school doesn’t offer wireless Internet. These are the cords that plug from the wall into your computer to provide access to the web. I usually suggest the longer cords for students who don’t know how far away the wall jack will be from their desk or workspace. It will be a pain to have to go buy an extender or a longer cord if you find out it’s on the other side of the room.
  • A Cell phone. Most of our generation has probably had one since they were in junior high school, but if you don’t already, investing in one would be a good idea. Even if you’re living at home, cell phones are more convenient and can save you a lot of missed calls and time. If you do have one, make sure you know the rates for out-of-state or out-of-country calls and texts. I definitely learned that lesson the hard way.
  • MP3 players will become like your best friend. The headphones from this can also double as headphones for your computer, both of which will be useful when you get people complaining that your music, game, or whatever is too loud. MP3 players are good for taking to the gym, listening to in between classes, or while walking to class. You’d be surprised how much use you will get out of it.
  • Extension cords are also very useful. I found a package of several different type of adapters and extension cords at Best Buy when I was moving into my dorm. It included a few different extension cords and plug adapters as well as a surge protector. All these things will come in handy at some point in your years at school.
  • A thumb drive or memory stick will be the key to not going insane in college. BACK UP EVERYTHING. That one time you don’t and your computer crashes will be the thing that makes you have a nervous breakdown. They are also convenient for toting around information without having to bring your entire computer. They are relatively cheap and very useful.
  • A digital camera isn’t necessary but over time it will save you money instead of having to buy film and develop pictures. It is also more convenient and it is nice to be able to delete the pictures you don’t like and be able to see the picture you have just taken. This is college. It is a new and exciting time in your life. Even if you don’t feel the need to document it now, later you will wish you had.
  • Lastly, if you are moving into an apartment or dorm with other people, coordinate to figure out who is going to bring the TV/DVD player. This isn’t particularly necessary to success in college but it is nice to have something to relax watching and keep up on your favorite TV show for a little piece of home.

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