Are you one of the 16.6 million students leaving for college next year? Congratulations!
Your college years are the most wonderful time of your life, filled with opportunities for learning as well as new friends and fun experiences.
Despite this, you’re probably feeling a little overwhelmed at the prospect of independent study and going it alone for the first time. Focus on the things you can control, by taking along all the tools you need for success.
Check out these college tech essentials to help you cope with the pressure, get through your studying faster, and have more time for fun!
1. Noise-Canceling Headphones
Music is a lifesaver for many students, it energizes you, helps you focus, and keeps you sane. These headphones turn a noisy dorm room into an oasis of concentration at study time and can bring a little energy into the deathly silence of the library.
When you’re studying, headphones prevent people from talking to you and interrupting your train of thought and can help you cope with the anxiety that you may experience in noisy crowded spaces.
You can get noise-canceling headphones in wireless, earbud, or headset varieties.
2. Smart Gadgets to Make Life Easier
A smartphone is a must-have for modern life and you’re professors will assume you’ve got one. They’re ideal for browsing the web while studying, staying up to date on class WhatsApp groups, and keeping in touch with family and friends.
There are quite a few other smart gadgets that can make your life easier at college too. A smartwatch helps keep track of your fitness goals, as a calendar, an MP3 player, and for keeping track of messages. Oh yes – it tells time and doubles as an alarm too.
A smart notebook is a clever innovation designed specifically for students. Studies show that the human mind retains information better with handwritten notes.
These bits of paper frequently go astray in the chaos of students’ lives though, so storing your notes electronically is a much safer option. A smart notebook combines the best of both worlds.
With these gadgets, you still take notes by hand except they’re transferred and saved on your digital device straight away. If you can afford only one splurge item for your college career, make it a smart notebook.
A smartpen does the same thing except you’ll need to print your own dotted paper to write on. One of the biggest benefits of a smartpen is that it records the audio around you while you write too, so you can double-check your notes against what the lecturer said.
3. A Laptop or Tablet
Modern smart tech is great but it can’t do everything you need at college. Shop around for cheap laptops and make sure it has a word processing suite installed to make your studies easier.
Tablets are a more affordable alternative to traditional laptops and they can do almost the same amount of work. They’re also lightweight and more portable than laptops.
The only drawback with tablets is their lack of a keyboard and mouse. If you do opt for a tablet, be sure to get a wireless keypad and mouse to go along with it. These gadgets make life a lot easier and you can also use them with a laptop if preferred.
A large external screen isn’t essential but it’s a huge asset for comparing notes and avoiding backache due to poor posture.
It’s also an excellent tool for presentations or watching videos in your spare time. If you don’t like squinting at the text on a small screen, an external screen’s a bonus too.
4. A Reading Light
Despite modern advances, you won’t find most textbooks online. So a good reading light helps you burn the midnight oil long after your roommates have called it a day.
There are several modern reading lights to choose from that let you carry on cramming without disturbing anyone else in the room. Consider one of these:
- Flicker-free LED desk lamp
- Adjustable LED clamp lamp
- LightWedge reading light for lighting one page at a time
You’ll find a huge variety of lamps to choose from in tech stores and online, many featuring things like eye-saving technology, charging ports, and different colored lights to suit your mood.
5. Portable Hard Drive and a USB Flash Drive
If you’ve ever experienced a hardware failure with one of your devices, you’ll know how important it is to save important work and once-in-a-lifetime images on an external source.
A portable hard drive is essential for backing up your notes and assignments, for transporting work to the printing department, and for keeping your work safe. Nowadays, you get portable hard drives that can fit into your pocket for extra convenience.
Extra storage means you’ve got space to scan and store more research and source material and become a walking authority on most subjects.
Despite wireless, server, and cloud technologies, a USB flash drive’s still the quickest and easiest way to transfer files from one digital domain to another. They instantly expand your laptop’s memory and are small enough to attach to your keychain so you don’t lose them.
On the topic of keychains, you might want to invest in a smart keychain if you’re inclined to lose things. This chargeable keyholder has a tiny microchip in it so you can locate it using your smartphone.
If you’re prone to losing your phone, never fear, pressing a button on the keychain rings your phone even if it’s switched off. The trick is to keep both the keychain and your phone charged at all times.
6. Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
Although your main aim while at college is to study and pass your courses, you’ll also have time for fun and that’s where a wireless speaker’s a huge asset.
These devices broadcast music stored on your smartphone or another device far and wide, so you can pump up the jam wherever you are. Some Bluetooth speakers are small enough to put in your pocket, making you the life and soul of the party wherever you go.
7. A Printer
You could get all your printing done at the reprographics department but it costs a ton and who needs a printer during office hours? When you’re down to the wire on a deadline for your assignment, having your own printer’s a huge help.
A laser printer is the fastest type of printer for college students although inkjet printers are cheaper. The main differences lie in print quality and quantity.
If you only need to print in black and white, laser printers print a lot more pages per cartridge than an inkjet printer. You’ll pay more for a color laser printer and the necessary cartridges.
If you’re enrolled in a creative course where you need to print a lot of color images, an inkjet printer offers superior quality.
8. A Charging Backpack
You need somewhere to keep your books and all those tech essentials anyway, so why not make it the best place ever? Nothing beats the panic of watching an essential gadget giving up its will to live as you race towards a deadline against a rapidly diminishing battery.
Chargers and adaptors have an uncanny knack for disappearing randomly. So, a charging backpack is an excellent fix if you want to avoid fighting over electrical outlets with your roommate for the next four years.
These brilliant innovations feature a large, light batter that you can plug into your devices on the go. All you need to do is ensure the backpack’s battery stays full by charging it from any electrical outlet. If you can get a solar-powered backpack, even better.
The backpack has both internal and external charging ports so you can share with your friends too. That makes it a great way to meet friends and win the favor of cute college guys and gals.
If you can’t get a charging backpack, a portable battery pack or a phone case that keeps your device charged are must-haves for college life.
Ready, Set, Go!
No matter where you’re going to college or which course you’ve chosen to study, you can rest assured that you’re ready for the challenges ahead with these college tech essentials.
Now all you need are some cute outfits and you’ll fit right in with the rest of the cool college kids. So, get packing and get set for good times and great grades!
Need more tech advice and tips? Keep browsing our website for more of the best tech and digital tips to boost your career.