5 Tech Items You Need for College

By Hayley Eselevsky, Student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

With the school year creeping up on us, many incoming freshmen are running around trying to get everything they need together. When it comes to technology, the truth is that it may be a little overwhelming for college students at first.

Here is an easy guide to the five must-have technology items for college students.

1. Any type of laptop:
Although I do love my Macbook Pro, any brand laptop will suffice for a college student. Yes, most college libraries have free desktop computers for students, but a laptop is worth the money. You can use it to take notes during class and type up papers while in your bed, and you don’t have to trek all the way to the library whenever you need to do your homework (yes, the majority of your homework will be online). Unless your college has strict requirements or recommendations for types of computers, you can really go with any brand.

2. External hard drive:
I know what you’re thinking, but let me explain. Yes, external hard drives can be expensive, but I would HIGHLY recommend getting one. Let me give you a BIG reason why with a true horror story. So I was writing a paper for my English class and saved it until the day before to print out. Lo and behold, my computer broke. Yes, broke the day before my huge paper was due that I didn’t print. But thanks to my handy-dandy external hard drive, I didn’t have to worry because I had already saved it to the external hard drive. While I had to send my computer in to get fixed, my paper wasn’t doomed because all I had to do was plug my external hard drive into my friend’s computer and pull up my document. My external hard drive literally saved me from failing my English class. Be on the safe side and get the hard drive.

3. Slingbox:
There is no longer a need for you to purchase a television for you apartment or dorm room. As long as you have a laptop, the Slingbox is the way to go. In a nutshell, a Slingbox is a box that hooks up to your cable television at home that grants you access to your home television from your computer. All you have to do is buy the Slingbox and set it up at your house, and you have instant access to all of your channels (including DVR recordings) that you have at home. No need to make your study schedule around your favorite TV shows, because now you can watch them whenever you want off of your computer.

4. Coffee maker:
Even if you are not a coffee drinker now, I guarantee that you will be one after your first semester of college. I guarantee that you will find yourself in a crunch-time study session late at night before an exam, and you will be falling asleep. You will NEED coffee to stay awake, and luckily you will have a coffee machine in your room if you buy this important item. You can also save a lot of money by brewing your own coffee. Buying coffee often can be expensive and buying your own machine can help you save money. I mean, we’re all students, aren’t we all concerned about saving money?

5. Any type of camera:
Whether it’s on your phone or a real camera, this is a must-have. I’m not saying you’re going to want to take pictures every day, but these are going to be the best four years of your life, and you’ll want to have pictures to remember them by. Whether it's posing with your best friends before a night out or if it’s just you and your friends going on fun adventures while you are bored, it is a necessity to have a camera to document your college years.

[Image from Slingbox.com]

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