College is no walk in the park. It's not like high school where you had authoritative figures like your parents or teachers always keeping a watchful eye on you and helping you keep track of your responsibilities. Those support systems become much less accessible once you step foot on campus, especially if yours is far away from home. For the most part, it's all up to you. Part of the early adulthood experience involves the necessity to start taking accountability for your own decisions. It can be scary at first, but with the right tools, you'll be able to navigate through the next four or five years without breaking a sweat. Here are five must-have items every successful college student needs.
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#1 A laptop and tablet
This one's a no-brainer—in this day and age, no student can succeed without a laptop, tablet, or some sort of computer. Aside from a few course materials such as textbooks, everything is pretty much posted online. You're going to have notes to take, projects to complete, essays to write, labs to formulate, and formal reports to create. You're going to need something to connect to the Internet with so you can email your professors, conduct online research, and maybe keep YouTube open on a separate tab. There's no question about it: you need a laptop or a tablet.
#2 A dependable alarm clock
A good way to practice being a responsible adult is making sure you're always on time for your lectures and labs. As a university, you're going to go through a lot of restless nights, sometimes burning the midnight oil studying and other times just enjoying some late-night moments with your friends. Regardless of what you end up doing, you still need to be able to wake up the next morning so you can get to class on time. That being said, a dependable alarm clock is crucial for every student to own. That, and a cell phone that you can set multiple alarms on.
#3 A portable battery and chargers
One of the worst things that can happen is arriving at a lecture with your laptop on low batt and forgetting your charger for it. Or working on a critical report or essay and your laptop running out of juice just before you were able to click "Save." An easy way to prevent such tragedies from happening is ensuring you always have a portable battery or extra charger in your bag at all times. Most of the time, you can buy decent ones at your local electronics store for around $50 or so. It's always better to be safe than sorry.
#4 A memory foam mattress
One of the keys to success is making sure you get enough sleep. If you live in a dorm or furnished apartment, often times the mattress you end up with is some basic spring box that does nothing for your comfort whatsoever. After a long day of classes or a long night of studying, you deserve a good sleep. So do yourself a favor and buy yourself a memory foam mattress! They're proven to help you fall asleep instantly and hug you in all the right places.
#5 An external hard drive
As a university student, you're going to have a bunch of important documents saved on your computer. The last thing you'd want is for your computer to crash and for all of the assignments you've spent hours slaving on to disappear without a trace. That's why it's nice to own an external hard drive—if the worst happens and your computer does crash, then at least you'd have everything safely backed up. Nowadays, a terabyte only goes for like, $60, and that's usually more than enough space for all of your files.