At 36 years of age, I’m still in school, though working on my PhD. Despite plenty of success academically, I still have anxiety dreams before a new school year begins. I dream I didn’t go to class all semester and now need to take a final exam that I cannot read. I wake up with a bit of fear and stress, but it quickly washes away as I laugh it off and I know I work hard in school, attend my classes, and prepare for all exams, usually achieving good results.
Being prepared is good in all aspects of life, but back to school preparation goes beyond simply having a backpack, notebooks, textbooks, pencils, and paper. I want to suggest five overlooked items that are important when heading back to school as a college student, whether you’re earning a bachelors, masters, or doctorate degree.
5 Useful but Overlooked Back to School Items for College Students
Certainly listening to your music is an important part of any true college experience, though to be clear I don’t advocate walking around campus with big headphones on looking down at your cellphone at all times whilst you ignore everything around you.
YOU ARE MISSING OUT ON LIFE!
But I do know, as a student, you need to study and it can be quite hard to find a quiet place to do just that in the dorm or even around campus. By picking up a pair of noise canceling headphones you can make any place a quiet study area. You can both enjoy your music in HD sound and have the useful tech of noise canceling bliss.
Shhhhh… I’m studying here, and listening to my favorite Imagine Dragons track.
True, these are not the cheapest headphones on the market, but they are high quality and if you are willing to shell out the big bucks for designer headphones, then you can afford these very easily.
This is a relatively new and ingenious item that as a student can be very useful. Not all classrooms have outlets to plug your phone into, and let’s face it, a lot of professors and lecturers don’t want your phone out in class at all. Your phone is running low on power, so what can you do?
Well, there is a plethora of small but powerful portable USB chargers out there on the market. They range from the small 3000-5000mAh sticks (that’s milliamp hours), to the beefier 8,000mAh+ power banks. These can be great in a pinch if your phone is dead and you need to make that super important call, text, or message. They’re relatively inexpensive and fit easily into your backpack or purse.
Personal Defense Item
Whether it’s the pepper-spray or Taser your dad bought you, or the Swiss Army® knife you earned for getting your Eagle Scout, it is important in today’s day and age to think about your personal well-being and safety. As students we’re out at all hours, whether it’s a late night walking around campus with friends, going to that late sporting event, or getting up early for class or work.
God willing, nothing ever happens to you while walking around campus, but it is a good thing to be prepared for any occurrence and to have some peace of mind if you find yourself in an unknown area of campus.
I might also add, why stop at a personal defense item, you’re at a college so why not take a self-defense class or two just to be safe.
For many people the “Freshman 15” is a very real thing. We all need to be a little healthier and what better way to remind and motivate yourself that you need to be active than a bit of plastic and silicon tech. Fitness trackers come in all shapes and sizes as well as budgets to fit your needs. It really comes down to what you are willing to wear and what your fitness needs and goals are. Another plus beyond the health, is they can be a great way to socialize with new and old friends through challenges and competitions.
Norton Anti-virus Software
Remember that awesome new computer you got last year or just bought for this year? Well, whether it’s brand-spankin’ new or a year old, you need to protect that investment, as well as your cellphones and tablets, as they are more and more vulnerable to hacks and viruses.
On college campuses, your electronic devices use public (though somewhat protected) networks to access the internet. When you visit your local coffee shop to work on a group project, you use the cafe’s unprotected Wi-Fi. Your information, files, and data are important and need to be protected.
There are many free anti-virus and web-protection software services out there, but none of them will be as thorough and all-encompassing as Norton Security Premium.
Norton Security Premium works on up to 10 PCs, Macs, smartphones or tablets and defends against viruses, spyware, malware, and other online threats. It works to safeguard your identity and any online transactions as well as protects your home network with a smart firewall. The Premium subscription even automatically backs up your photos, financial files and other important documents of your choice on your Windows PC, and includes 25 GB of secure cloud storage for your PC with the option to add more.
The Premium subscription even includes the family-friendly features of Norton Family Premier (so you can install it on your kids’ – if you have any – devices as well) which is great so you can make the web safe to navigate, and set limits for your own online usage (aka prevent Facebook access during the school day so you focus on school, not your newsfeed). The Family Premier can be purchased on its own too.
Your laptops, phones, and tablets are useful, fun, and expensive to replace, so make sure to protect them, back up your files, and monitor your own usage. Right now is a great time to purchase or renew your Norton Security. as their Standard (1 device), Deluxe (5 device), and Premium (10 device) subscriptions are up to $30 off.
With these five useful back to school college items in your possessions, chances are those anxiety stress dreams of starting a new school year will lessen. At least, that’s what I’m hoping.