School supply shopping is the highlight of the end of the summer. Yes, the camping and hiking was fun. The bon fires were lovely. The weekend trips to Lake Michigan are unbeatable. But… there’s something about getting new school supplies. The fresh notebooks and folder just smell of a fresh start, a new beginning, and the opportunity to finally keep up with the reading. For incoming freshman, it is important to understand that college classes require different materials from high school. Keep reading to learn about some of the things you’ll need to be successful this fall.
- Planner: You will need one planner to keep all of your due dates and events in order. The importance of a planner in college cannot be overstated. College can be overwhelming and between work, student organizations, and a full class load, important things can get lost. Whether you choose to buy a physical planner or opt for the digital Google Calendar through your Gmail account, make sure you’re staying organized.
- Highlighters: Pens and pencils are obvious. Highlighters, though are just as necessary. College level reading is challenging and it is important to make sure you’re engaging with the texts by highlighting important passages and making notes.
- Reusable Water Bottle: New college students are sometimes surprised by how active college life is. Stay hydrated and healthy with a reusable water bottle. Using a reusable water bottle is not only good for the environment, it’s also good for your bank account. Once you buy your bottle, you can fill up for free at a water bottle filling station on campus. You’ll never waste money on a plastic water again!
- Notebooks and Folders: Many professors do not allow electronics in their class so you’ll have to take notes the old fashion way. Make sure you have a different notebook and folder for each specific class. It’s a bad idea to mix handouts and notes from different classes. Stress around midterms and finals is often caused in part by a lack of organization. If you stay organized throughout the semester, you can just focus on studying when the time comes.
- Textbooks: Obvious, you might say. However, once it’s up to students to buy their books (as opposed to having them provided by their high school), many choose not to. For many classes the textbook is essential as teachers build their lectures from the material you were supposed to have already read. Sure, some professors tell the class they don’t need the textbook. In that case, it is better to buy all of your books ahead of time and take advantage of the 30 day grace period places like Amazon offer.
The big idea here is that you stay organized. Many students feel overwhelmed when they start college and they tell themselves they aren’t smart enough to make it. Intellectual ability is not the problem, it’s the ability to stay organized and stick to a schedule. Attending class, keeping up with reading and assignment, and taking detailed notes is half the battle.
It is important to note a laptop is not on this list. Yes, it is helpful to have a laptop. However, there are many computer labs on campus that are open late at night. If a laptop is not in your budget, take advantage of the computers on campus. They all have the Microsoft Office Suite and many have the Adobe Suite.
Good luck and happy school supply shopping!
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