Moving out of your comfortable home and into college dorms can be daunting. For many, it’s the first time you’ll be in charge of every aspect of your life (and that includes cleaning). When you head off to college it’s hard to know what you’ll need, and it’s definitely too easy to overpack. As well as the bare necessities like your clothes and bed sheets, we’ve rounded up some of the most essential gadgets for living your best college life.
This one usually goes without saying, but a good laptop is indispensable for every student. It’s also a good idea to upgrade if you’ve had your trusty computer since before high school. It really is about to be one of your most used gadgets – second only to your smartphone – so making sure you’re sorted out in that arena is definitely essential.
Whether for Netflix, typing up notes (highly recommend), revising, researching or writing your assignments, you’ll be using your laptop daily. Most likely, you’ll be carting it around from your dorms to your classrooms and definitely the closest coffee shop. For ease of use, a more compact pc like the Microsoft Surface GO 2 or Macbook Air might be the best for you. On this note, a bigger battery (aka longer battery life), like the ASUS ExperBook which has a 16 hour battery life. might prove handy. You can also opt to buy a second battery for emergencies. If you’re on a budget, like most college students are, the ASUS VivoBook is a great affordable choice.
Amazon Fire Stick
Speaking of Netflix, when it comes to watching TV, which you’ll do a lot of in the weeks coming up to finals, the Amazon Fire Stick is your best friend. The ‘streaming media stick’ hosts loads of platforms like BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube, ITV Hub, All 4, Disney+, Apple TV and others, so you can have all your faves in one place! This one comes with an Alexa controlled remote, too, so you don’t even have to press any buttons. No freeview? No problem.
Alexa, play Schoolin’ for Life by Beyonce
If you get the Alexa compatible remote, then surely you need to get an Amazon Echo Dot. Having an electronic personal assistant as a student would be ideal, especially for when you’re hungover and can’t bear to move. Alexa can play music for you, turn on the light, order you takeout…it can even help you do your homework!
A bluetooth speaker is another essential for college life – especially if you love to party. Easily portable speakers are great for taking the party from your shower, to your kitchen, to next door with no hassle whatsoever.
Noise Cancelling Headphones
If you don’t like to party, or if your tastes don’t quite match your volume-happy roommate’s bold music choices, noise cancelling headphones will let you bask in the haven of your own music taste. It will also stop you from hearing anything you probably wouldn’t want to hear too, if you know what we mean.
A huge thing no one talks about when it comes to college life is the quickness of it all. Day to day life, especially in the first few months, can be extremely fast-paced and stressful. One of my favourite ways to wind down and escape is into a book. But, remember, it’s really easy to over-pack; save the space in your suitcase and read your books digitally on a Kindle – it’s cheaper, too!
White Noise Machine
When it comes to winding down and relaxing, a white noise machine would be a great addition to your dorm room. These devices play serene, natural noises like the wind blowing through the trees, falling rain or crashing waves. Perfect if you struggle to sleep, especially when schoolwork is making you anxious.
Heated Travel Mug
9:00 AM classes call for one thing and one thing only: coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. If you’re guilty of spending too much money on coffee shop lattes, or you always end up with half a cup of cold coffee, a heated travel mug will save you the waste. Just make yourself a day’s worth of coffee in the morning and nurse it throughout the school day. It won’t go cold!
Alarm Clock Lamp
This next one combines two great essentials into one: an alarm clock (for those pesky 9:00 AM classes) and a lamp for night time reading and streaming. The Lumie Sunrise Alarm Clock interrupts your sleep with a selection of optional noises and a slowly brightening light to help you wake up peacefully. It also has a sunset feature, which mimics a dimming sunlight for winding down at night.
Three-Metre Charging Cable
One of the scariest things about moving into dorms is the fear of the unknown: Will I get along with my roommate? Will I make any friends? Will I enjoy my subjects? Will there be enough plug sockets for all of my gadgets?
Well, chances are, there’ll be enough sockets, but they might not be in ideal places. A three-metre long charger will let you charge your phone from any plug socket (within three metres) and still use your phone! Alternatively, a portable charger will do the trick.
Speaking of plugs, a smart plug is another great gadget for you if you’re having a lazy day. Since you can control them from your phone, you can turn lamps on and off without moving a muscle. You can even make it boil your kettle for when you wake up so there’s limited time between opening your eyes and getting that caffeine hit.
If you’ve got a smartphone, Google Maps is an essential app if you’ve moved to a new state or city for college. Navigating a new area can be really stressful and I don’t know any college students who know how to read an actual, physical map. Google Maps will do all the work for you, whether you’re driving, walking, using public transportation or cycling.
Robot Vacuum Cleaner
Okay… this one is more extravagant than it is essential, but we thought we’d include it just in case anyone is *really* adverse to doing their own cleaning and actually has the funds to get out of it. Introducing the Eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 11S Robot Vacuum Cleaner. This little guy will do all of your vacuuming for you, even getting into those annoyingly tight corners. We said you’d be in charge of cleaning but, with this handy gadget you won’t won’t even be able to use vacuuming as a procrastination device. Enjoy!
So that’s our list of your tech essentials for living your greatest (and easiest) life in college! We’ve got you covered from cleaning to relaxing and, of course, partying.