There are a few school supplies that are no-brainers for students—stuff like pens, pencils, and notebooks are pretty much a given. But if you think that’s all you’ll need to get through your freshman year of college, think again! There are plenty of useful tools that may have flown under your radar, but thankfully we’ve picked them out for you.
Here are the top 5 school supplies every incoming freshman should buy:
1). Graphing Calculator
Unless you’re a mathematical savant like Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting, chances are you’ll need to take at least one math course in your general education studies. If you’ve been rocking the ol’ scientific calculator since your freshman year of high school then it’s time for an upgrade. Whether you’re taking economics, statistics, or advanced mathematics, you’ll need the right equipment to crunch the numbers.
One of the stark differences between high school and college is that you’ll be responsible for your own college textbooks. While it’ll require some time (and money) to pick them up, there is a plus side—you can write in them! Pick up a few multicolored highlighters to make the most essential information stand out.
3). Adhesive Page Markers
Similar to the tip mentioned above, making your textbooks as efficient as possible for your learning habits is a key element to success. Next time you walk down the office supplies aisle grab a pack of adhesive page markers; these little strips will allow you to bookmark certain pages without having to dog-ear any corners. BONUS TIP: Use different colors to indicate certain topic points for easy reference.
4). External Hard Drive
In the course of your college career you will amass an INSANE amount of computer files—digital handouts, syllabuses, essays, class notes—the list can go on forever. No matter how much memory you have on your computer, it’s always a smart idea to keep a backup. You can pick up a decent sized external hard drive (around 500GB of storage) for under $100, and the assurance that all your work won’t be lost if your laptop breaks (or gets stolen) will make it worth every penny.
5). Cork Board
So this may not be an item you can keep in your backpack, but that doesn’t make it any less valuable of a school supply. Sure, you can keep track of your schedule on your phone and set up all the alerts you want, but at the end of the day nothing is a better reminder than having things literally right in front of your face. Consider investing in a cork board and pinning your “to-do” lists, lingering projects, or even receipts to it. Make sure to hang it somewhere highly visible (above your bed or on the back of your door) so that you’re always aware of what you have going on.
What school supplies are you bringing this year? Which would you recommend to an incoming freshman? Share your knowledge in a comment below.