By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
While you’re attending college, you should make sure your tech is up-to-date to help you succeed.
Get a lightweight laptop. If you’re still lugging around with a beefy laptop, upgrade to a newer, lighter model as you’ll likely want to take notes in class and seek the quiet refuge of the library for research and writing papers. But select a model that has a full-sized keyboard, or else bring along a full-sized keyboard for when you’re writing papers. Your hands will thank you later.
Consider a split keyboard. Once you become accustomed to the different feel, you’ll realize why split keyboards are popular among data entry clerks and writers. The angle of the keys keeps the hands and wrists in a much more natural position than standard keyboards.
In addition to Cloud storage, backing up your papers and projects on a physical hard drive can provide an extra layer of protection. If for some reason your computer fails and remote storage is unavailable, you’ll still have your work saved locally. A few thumb drives can make it easy to share files with project partners if they don’t want to use sharing methods like Dropbox.
Protect your equipment and expand your outlet capabilities with a surge protector power strip or hub. If you select a model that includes USB ports, you can charge more devices at a time.
Buy noise-cancelling headphones. They’ll help you block out the racket of your dorm so you can study and sleep.
Pick up a small, clip-on solar reading light. Just leave it in a sunny window and you’ll have many hours of personal lighting that won’t disrupt your roommates. Plus, you won’t need batteries or an outlet. Unlike a desk lamp, you can clip it anywhere.
An external battery pack can be a lifesaver. Choose one that works for your phone, tablet, laptop, headset and portable speaker.
You also need a few creature comforts for your dorm. Get a small fan/heater combo. More likely than not, you’ll have a roommate who likes a different room temperature than you. With your own stand-alone unit, you can make your area of the room more comfortable. In addition, a small microwave, mini fridge and other food prepping appliances, like a toaster oven and blender, can help you stay fed when you can’t get out for meals or need a late-night snack.