In the last twenty years, the introduction of personal electronics has changed the college game forever. It's almost unimaginable to go through college without a laptop or a smartphone. The pen might be mightier than the sword, but you're going to need more than a ball-point to make it through four years of higher education.
That being said, not all devices are equally as useful. Here are five tips to maximize your college experience via the devices at your disposal.
Bring a Power Strip
Have you ever wished there were more outlets? Maybe you’ve been to that hotel that only had them on the far side of the room, or perhaps you’ve been in the waiting room with only one plug and fifteen people. If you can relate, you already know that’s not a college reality you want. This simple piece of hardware will improve your college dorm experience for the better. It's easy to overlook, but once you get one, there's no going back.
Invest in a Pair of Quality Headphones or Earbuds
Dorm life can be one of the most amazing parts of college. But, if you like to listen to music late at night or in the early morning, you’re going to want a pair of earbuds that are accessible, easy to find, and well-built. Your roommate with thank you. If you prefer to study in silence, consider investing in noise-canceling headphones. While they are a bit pricier, they make studying in a crowded room, in a vehicle, or in a coffee shop so much easier.
Make sure you keep them in a place you can find them reliably. Nothing is worse than losing a pair of your favorite headphones. And whatever you do, make sure you take your earbuds out of your pockets before you throw your clothes in the laundry!
Have Some Way to Locate Your Phone
Most smartphones come with some sort of tracking software. On Apple products, “find my iPhone” allows users to locate their devices at the press of a button. Other phone companies have similar functions, such as Android’s “find my device.” Whatever the case may be for your handheld communication device, make sure you put some sort of leash on it. Four years is a long time. Somewhere during that period, you will more than likely lose your phone. By taking this one precautionary step, you will be able to eliminate the stress and anxiety that such a situation often brings with it.
Keep an Organized File System on Your Computer
Make sure that when you write your papers, you know exactly where you’ve saved it on your computer. It can be incredibly frustrating to save a file only to lose it to the depths of a messy digital labyrinth. It is—in no uncertain terms—the worst.
First, make sure you name each file in a format that’s easily remembered and easy to replicate. Here’s a simple format that works across the board:
Creator’s Name _ Class or Activity _ Type of File _ Document name
Here’s an example:
Martin Smith _ US History II _ Papers _ Research Paper I
There’s a lot of different ways you can organize your digital files, but make sure it’s a system you can understand and that will work at a glance. Over-complicating your system of organization can be its own nightmare. Click here for additional ideas on how to organize information on your computer!
Bring a Portable Speaker
Everyone loves the person with a portable speaker. It doesn’t matter if you’re going on a hike or just having a study party, being able to play music for a group will prove an incredible social boon. The community at Patrick Henry College loves music from a wide variety of genres. Soundtracks, EDM, classical, pop, and country—you’ll probably hear them all. More often than not, you'll be wishing that you brought one along.
These are some easy ways to facilitate your life at college through some simple steps. But technology isn't the only way to prepare for college! There's a lot of different areas of preparation to consider. Click here to read more about how you can be prepared for college this fall!
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Patrick Henry College exists to glorify God by challenging the status quo in higher education, lifting high both faith and reason within a rigorous academic environment; thereby preserving for posterity the ideals behind the "noble experiment in ordered liberty" that is the foundation of America.