Soon classes at your local college will start. Before that happens, you’ll be moving into your dorm room. If you’re lucky and live close enough to home, then you won’t have to get a dorm room. Or if you’ve found a way to score off-campus housing.
If not, then there here are five tech must-haves for dorm living.
1. A Good Laptop
You will be writing, period.
What kind of writing you do is up to you…or your professor.
You might write emails to friends and family, writing social media posts, or when you have time, that paper that’s due tomorrow.
A good laptop is essential these days. All room and board charges cover Wi-Fi, so you don’t have to worry about the bill.
Be it an Apple, a Dell, HP, Toshiba, or any of the other brands, make surer you find one with 8 to 16GB of RAM, as well as a good amount of storage. Low RAM means a slow computer.
I speak from experience as my college laptop was slow. This made for some frustrating nights as I tried to write.
2. Virtual Storage
This never happened to me, but I remember a fellow college student running full on across campus to get to the computer lab. There was a paper due that was 70% of his grade and the class was in ten minutes. So he’d downloaded it onto a flash-drive and sprinted across campus.
Virtual storage wasn’t what it is today, but there were options at the time. Us poor college students couldn’t afford it though.
Get a free Gmail account and you’ll get access to Google Drive. This way you can work on papers, save a copy to Drive, and print them out anywhere you have access to your email.
Just make sure there’s a printer installed, filled with paper and ink.
Although a little bit more expensive, get an external hard drive.
My wife, who wrote huge papers for her honors program, kept one and it saved her sanity on more than one occasion. While virtual storage is helpful, a solid backup is added peace-of-mind.
So save yourself the stress.
And that guy who bolted across campus to print out his paper? He dropped the flash-drive on his way and couldn’t find it.
Save yourself the anxiety and get virtual storage.
3. Bluetooth Speakers
Back in my day, it was all about the stereos with multiple-disc interchanges.
I graduated before the iPod really took off, or the iPhone came out. Not by much, mind you, but yes, I went to college in a time when Discmans were still the “it” thing.
With smaller, and portable, speakers available, you have music right there with you, no matter where you go.
Create a playlist on your phone, pair with a Bluetooth speaker, and you can take this anywhere you go. Doesn’t matter if you’re studying or at a party, you’ll be your own DJ.
Check out JBL, Canz, Bose, Sony, and other Bluetooth speaker makers to find the one that works for you and your budget.
Another plus- if someone has a Bluetooth speaker in their room and you’re not digging the music, just pair your phone to it and play your own music!
4. Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dorms will be noisy.
Doesn’t matter the time of day, someone will be making noise.
Invest in noise-canceling headphones, it’ll help save your sanity.
You just never know when two guys next door will decide to pump up their sub-woofer to watch The Punisher. Even with headphones on, I couldn’t hear my own music. Therefore, noise-canceling would have been a good idea at the time.
Bose, Plantronics, AKG, and Beats are just some of the manufacturers who make noise-canceling headphones. And they come highly rated!
You can then shut off all outside noise while you study, or just listen to something other than your loud dormmates.
5. A Smart TV
With smart TV’s so prevalent, you can find a good deal on one with good resolution and apps like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.
This will help cut down on all the clutter you have to take with you. Your movies and shows will be in one place, allowing you to save shelf space for…other things.
Get a Chromecast, Roku Firestick, or Apple TV.
These will make up for any apps or streaming services that don’t come with your smart TV. Or if you can’t get a smart TV at all, then you’ll have this as a backup.
Since most dorms come with Wi-Fi, you’ll be able to stream and download that way and never miss the next episode of your favorite TV show.
The greatest thing about college is all the freedom you get to enjoy.
The worst thing about college…is all the freedom you get to enjoy.
You don’t have to figure it out on your own.
Dorm life has been a constant for millions of people for years. Some of those people have gone on to write books about the experience.
Find these on Amazon, Half-Price Books, BN.com, or download to your favorite eBook reader.
This way you can learn from other’s mistakes so you can avoid making the same ones yourself.
Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis
Published in 1954, detailing the exploits of a college professor who doesn’t want the job at all. It may help you get an idea of where your professors are coming from.
Free Stuff Guide for Everyone by Peter Sander
Everything is expensive these days. When you’re in college this will be a harsh reality to contend with. Get this helpful guide so you can find the best deals, discounts, or other ways of making your dollar go farther.
Goodnight Dorm Room: All the Advice I Wish I Got Before Going to College by Samuel Kaplan and Keith Riegert
A funny and honest look at college. This book helps you understand the realities of college, as well as the real world, as well as giving you hints on how to adapt to dorm living and get ahead.
Dorm Room Essentials Cookbook by Gina Meyers
Everyone has to eat. But cafeteria food gets old really fast. And eating out for every meal is not feasible. This cookbook clues you in on how to make snacks, meals, and desserts on a budget and in your own dorm room.
The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College by Harlan Cohen
If there’s a lot of people living in a close, confined space, then the numbers dictate that one of them will be weird. Handling roommates and dormmates is a part of college life. Best to get ahead of the game and buy this book.
The College Humor Guide to College by Ethan Trex and Streeter Seidell
Who better to guy you into college than the people who parody college living?
By taking the humorous route, the book is more helpful than actual guidebooks.
There are more titles like these available. This list will get you started.
Make sure you get these books and read them before classes start. This way you’ll be even more prepared for college than any high school prep class could have made you.
Download the eBooks, audiobooks, or stream them to your device with reliable internet. To do that, check out the best cable and internet deals. This way you’ll save some money before you jet off to higher education.