- Education and Science
What You Need for College Classes
A Laptop or Computer
Unless you feel like taking a trip to your library every time you need to type a paper, you should invest in a computer- whether it is a desktop or laptop. You may need it to write up papers or there may be documents that your teacher posts online that you need- there may even be some online quizzes or tests. You don’t have to pay $700+ for a laptop. You can buy a cheap laptop on amazon.com. I personally recommend eMachines e725 since it has last me for 4+ years and is on the cheap side.
Most of my professors either want a hard copy of a lab write-up or essay, or they prefer that they have a hard copy AND a copy submitted online either via a dropbox or email. A printer is pretty much an essential, unless your college has printers in the library or some computer center, that students are allowed to use and print from. This however, gives you less time to complete an assignment, since you have to set aside time to travel and print. It took me an hour to leave my room, go in the library, work on opening the document and printing it and return to my room or go to my class. I cut that time down by buying a printer. I took me a little bit to initially set-up the printer, but printing takes me about 30 seconds to 2 minutes, depending on the document. Life is much easier with a printer.
Yes, you need your textbooks. Other students may say you can totally get away with not buying a textbook, but do you really want to chance it? You don't know what kind of grades their receiving without the use of a textbook and you do not have their brain. It is safest to just buy the textbook and have it so you're prepared. Professors are not required to have a textbook- so if they have a textbook among their required materials, you better get it.
Notebook, Pencils, Highlighters, Erasers, Folders, Binders, Post-its
All of the classic materials. Most of my professors prefer that I do not take notes with my laptop. Unless you have some sort of disability that would make it easier for you to just use a laptop, you should be using a pencil and piece of paper to take notes (depending on the class, of course), Highlighters are good to go through and review your notes. Try not to highlight your textbook that way you can sell it back for a good price when the semester is over. Extra erasers, aside from the one that is on the pencil, will be useful in your math and science classes. Folders, binders and post-its will keep all your documents organized.
Planner, Calendar, or Whiteboard
Invest in either a planner, or a calendar or a small whiteboard to keep track of all your assignments- you’ll need it. They even have a whiteboard calendar and a calendar wall decal that’s removable. I personally use a whiteboard that’s a little larger than a piece of paper and write down everything I have to do for a few days. I will even use the sticky-note feature that’s on my Windows 7, to keep track of the really important assignments.
A book for you to read for pleasure. Yes, you’re going to need time to study and read material for you school- and of course, you’ll need time for relaxation and play. You should put aside time for you to read a book for pleasure- preferably a non-fiction book. It’s a good way to use your brain and helps to encourage information retention.
A good attitude
A good attitude makes a world of difference when going into your college class. Going into class with the right attitude will be encouraging to you to do well in your class. If you go into class with a negative attitude, assuming that you're going to do poorly, that is going to reflect in your grades. To ensure you have a good, positive attitude, always make sure you eat a well balanced diet, don't skip breakfast, make time for exercises and get an adequate amount of sleep.