Equipping for college – 7 things for easier and cheaper student life

College graduate’s retrospective on the few random things that proved the most invaluable during four years of independent living.

We’ve already talked about how increasing your confidence on tests and decreasing your stress can help you appreciate your college experience more, and there’s plenty of other study tips and anxiety tools on our main program! So let’s have a look at some dorm room must-haves that will further help you relax and aid your concentration!

  • Mini Fridge – while it may seem like unnecessary luxury at first, being able to store leftovers or make a sandwich for later will save a ton of time and money. Sure, you could use the fridge in communal kitchen, but expect half the things you put in there to be gone when you come back (especially restaurant takeout!)
Whiteboard from Walmart

Infinite possibilities…
(Photo from Walmart.com)

  • Whiteboard – between shopping lists, brainstorm space, planners, schedules, study aids and even something for your friends to doodle on when they stop by, I constantly kept finding new ways this simple piece of flat erasable square proves invaluable, while taking virtually no space at all. There’s a reason all classrooms come equipped with one!
  • Portable and reliable Laptop / Tablet – while this is the most repeated advice you’ll see out there, I wanted to stress “portable” and “reliable” – think note taking, powerpoints, school work and emails rather than gaming, and you can find some amazing deals for under $500! And in a pinch, a laptop can also double as a TV, room phone (via Skype), your planner, and many others.
  • Good pot and pan – if you are or your child likes cooking, this is a great tool; if they don’t, it’s an essential one. A durable pot and pan opens up doors for all sorts of stir fries, stews, pastas, scrambled eggs, soups – and endless list of cheap, easy, and fulfilling meals that will save a ton on takeout. And if you got that mini-fridge to stock up for the week…
  • Netflix Subscription – for mere $8 a month you get access to an endless supply of entertainment. If you’re a parent, it’s a good way to show you care not only about your child’s academics but also their well-being and relaxation time! Not to mention watching a movie is one of the best excuses to socialize and bond, and plentiful documentaries and TED talks can prove educational as well.
Bicycle from Target

That $99 Target bicycle might just do the trick
(Photo from Target.com)

  • French Press and Thermos – let’s be honest, half of students run on caffeine alone, and those morning Starbuckses add up fast. The ability to make a cuppa each morning and take more to go will shave off a good amount in long run. And properly home-brewed coffee just tastes better!
  • Bicycle – this one depends on location, but if you’re living in a fairly flat city or spread out campus, a bicycle will significantly speed commuting up, save on gas and bus tickets, as well as keep you in shape. And, like with the laptop, you can be cheap – with prevalent bike theft, it’s actually better to skip the nicer bikes and settle for “good enough.” Keep it tuned and it will last you awhile!

These are the items that I found most invaluable during my education – some you might have already seen mentioned before, some not. But I hope the list and my rationale is useful when starting off on your first taste of independence!

And if you are also looking for more specific study and test-anxiety help, Check Out our online program as well!

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