Good College Investments if Your Classes are Remote Now

School supply shopping has been my favorite part of the back to school season for as long as I can remember. I love office supplies and planning, so I’m always in my element. Now with COVID, schools are offering remote online classes, which makes supply shopping a little different. Here are some great investments you should make to prepare for online classes.

1. Laptop Cooling Pad

If you’re going to be on your laptop all day long for classes, that puppy is going to be hotter than hell, I promise you. My MacBook Pro overheats super easily if I don’t make sure it has proper ventilation. A cooling pad works wonders and it’s super inexpensive in relation to the cost of repairs you’d eventually need if you were constantly overheating your computer!

2. Blue Light Glasses

Staring at a screen all day is torture for your eyes! Invest in a good pair of blue light glasses! I have three pairs of blue light glasses as well as two pairs of regular glasses with blue light treatment in them, so I guess you could say that I’m pretty stocked up in that department. I used to get headaches and eye pain all the time from being on my computer and phone a lot and I swear they’ve almost completely gone away since I’ve started wearing blue light glasses.

3. Lap Desk

Let’s be honest. Some- if not most- of your school days will be spent in bed. So get yourself a nice lap desk so you’re comfortable while getting that education! I love lap desks because they give me a nice surface for writing rather than writing on top of my bed and hoping my pen doesn’t bust through to the other side of the paper.

4. Computer Riser

Don’t have a lot of desk space for everything you’ll need for class? Try a computer riser! That way you’re “building up instead of out” and saving space for all your supplies. You can keep sticky notes, pens, pencils, highlighters, YOUR PHONE, and so much more under there while you’re in your Zoom classes!

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Big Things Worth Your Money in College

I know college is not cheap. Trust me, I’ve tried cutting corners as much as possible. I’ve avoided buying textbooks and used supplies down to the nub to avoid having to spend even a dollar more on things I didn’t think I needed for school. In some cases it was a great decision, but in other cases I was struggling without particular things. I know you’ve been there or maybe you’re even going through it now. It’s hard to decide whether or not to spend the big bucks on items while you’re in the store or shopping online, so I’ve compiled some of the items I knew I wasn’t sure about buying so you’ve got someone to help you make these decisions.

๐Ÿ‘ A Laptop

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but just in case… BUY A LAPTOP TO COLLEGE! You need a laptop for almost everything in this day and age, and college is no exception. You can write papers, take notes, study, and do extra research with your laptop. Wait… why am I even trying to justify buying a laptop? Just do it.

๐Ÿ‘ย A Printer

Maybe this depends on the person, but I really liked having my own printer last year. I’m the type that likes to have printed copies of my work to proof read and take extra notes. I even took a class where material was covered really quickly to fit it into the time slot we had, so it was easiest for me to print out the powerpoints before class and take extra notes during class (I learn better when I write instead of type, don’t come for me). If you can’t get to campus provided printers regularly, they I definitely suggest investing in a printer. Mine also scanned, copied, and faxed, which is something I think is important to look for in a printer. It ups the price a bit, but it’s so much more helpful in the longrun.

๐Ÿ‘ A Coffee Maker

If you’re even considering tackling college without a coffee maker, you’re insane. I needed a cup just to get out of bed and another to sit in lecture. Don’t waste money on coffee from campus shops when you can get your own coffee maker and make things exactly the way you want it to be! If you’re feeling like going all in, you can even opt for the pricier frappuccino maker.

๐Ÿ‘ Comfy Shoes

It may not seem like a huge purchase to some people, but getting a nice, comfortable pair of shoes that can be worn for different occasions is one of the unspoken keys to success. I loooooove my Nike Rosche Ones. They’re great for walking around campus, going to the gym, or just running errands. I’m obsessed. I have the standard black and white pair so they match all my outfits, but the teal ones are calling my name so they might be next on my list.

๐Ÿ‘ A Nice Backpack

People sometimes glaze over the importance of a good quality backpack. I actually invested in a couple nice backpacks (Jansport Big Student, Matein) to serve me for the next four years. I would’ve only gotten one, but I love to switch out my backpack from time to time to spice things up. I saw a lot of students on campus with the same Matein backpack as me so I guess a lot of us had the same last minute thought to buy a backpack from amazon! But anyway, do yourself a favor and get a nice new backpack for college. Look for something that’s a good size and has comfortable straps. I’ve had a few backpacks in the past that have literally ripped the skin off of my shoulders (ouch).

Those are a few of the more expensive things worth purchasing for college. I always recommend looking into big items before taking the plunge. Look up reviews, other advice blogs, and your school’s facebook pages to determine whether or not it’s a good idea for you.

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How I Saved Money on Textbooks in College

Welcome back to my back-to-college series! Today’s lesson is on saving money on textbooks.

Any college student can tell you how expensive textbooks are. They can also tell you how much they regret spending so much money on books they never even used. It’s not fun. I didn’t have a lot of money to spend on textbooks with everything else I was breaking the bank for, so I was on the look out for cheap textbooks.

My number one tip is to wait until you know for sure that you will use the textbook. I’ve spent hundreds of dollars of books that I never even opened. It’s painful. If you absolutely feel the need to get the books before classes start, check RateMyProfessor and see if anyone who has recently taken your class with that professor has said anything about not needing the textbook. Students will be quick to call a professor out and save their peers some money.

Don’t Settle For High Prices

When it’s finally time for you to buy/rent your books, don’t settle for prices that seem a little unfair. Never settle after only looking in one location either. I like to look at my campus bookstore first because I automattically assume that books will be more expensive there. But I want to have a number to start off with. So I’ll take pictures and notes of prices. Used books are often cheaper, so I always head straight for them.

After seeing the books in person, I like to look online at different sites to compare prices and find the best deal. If I’ve already started classes and need my books ASAP, I compare shipping prices and times along with the prices of the books.

Some great websites to check for your books are:

amazon.com

chegg.com

ebay.com

campusbooks.com

slugbooks.com

In most instances, looking online for textbooks can help you find books that are cheaper to buy than rent in your campus bookstore! I always suggest buying textbooks, unlike most students. It’s super helpful to be able to highlight and take notes in the book for me, and that’s not something you can do with rental books (even though I’ve done it a few times, oops).

Go Digital

If you’re one who can stand looking at a computer or tablet screen for longer periods of time, maybe try renting/buying the digital versions of your books! I had a lot of friends do that last year and they showed me all the cool features they had on their tablets that made digital textbooks super managable. The only difference that I found was that you have to stare at a screen. If you decide to give digital textbooks a try, be sure to invest in some good blue light glasses to protect your eyes while you’re studying!

Old Editions

Some textbooks come out with new editions every year and barely change anything. So if you’ve found earlier editions of the textbook you need for cheaper, don’t be afraid to reach out to your professor to see if that book would work instead. Professors understand that college is expensive and often times they will understand when your each out if you keep it professional.

Check Facebook

Some schools have community Facebook pages where students come together for different reasons throughout the year. If you check these pages before the semester starts, students could be selling their textbooks for cheap in order to get rid of them!

Share with Friends/Classmates

If you’re in class(es) with a friend or a group of friends, look into splitting the cost and sharing the book if possible. Make sure your friends are reliable and wouldn’t ghost you if you ever need the book.

Those are my tips for saving money on textbooks! If you have any more, let me know in the comments! Let’s swap!

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The Ultimate College Moving Checklist

Hellooooo everyone and welcome to the first post of my back-to-college series! Of course I’ll be posting a lot of college-related content all year round, but with school starting up in just a couple months, it seems like a good time to start a series!

When I was planning out what to take to my first year of college, I went to pinterest and started pinning tons of checklists and photos for inspiration. I felt prepared for the move, but it turned out that I forgot a few important things. Not only that, but I also brought tons of things I didn’t need or even use once. Now I’m here to make sure someone else benefits from my mistakes. This list can also double as a shopping list so I decided to post it first in our series so you guys can use it to make sure you’ve bought everything!

The Ultimate College Moving Checklist

Bedroom

  • comforter/quilt
  • pillows
  • husband pillow
  • body pillow
  • pillow case sets
  • fitted sheet
  • sheets (2 sets)
  • mattress pad
  • mattress protector
  • throw blanket(s)
  • bedside table (unless one is provided)
  • bedside lamp
  • decorative pillows
  • lap desk
  • desk (unless one is provided)
  • chair (unless one is provided)
  • desk lamp
  • laundry basket
  • whiteboard
  • full length mirror
  • bed risers (if needed)

Kitchen/Dining Room

  • refrigerator (unless one is provided)
  • microwave (unless one is provided)
  • waterbottles/thermos
  • tupperware (microwave safe)
  • bowls (microwave safe)
  • plates (microwave safe)
  • chip clips
  • ziplock bags
  • can opener
  • bottle opener
  • silverware set
  • dish towels
  • dish sponges
  • bottle brush
  • bakeware
  • pots
  • pans
  • pot holders
  • keurig
  • k-cups
  • mugs
  • dish soap
  • trash can
  • trash bags
  • drinking glasses
  • strainer
  • pitcher
  • placemats
  • paper towels

Bathroom

  • toilet bowl cleaner
  • toilet brush
  • toilet paper
  • bandaids
  • neosporin
  • asprin
  • ibuprofen
  • cold medicine
  • washclothes
  • bath towels
  • hand soap
  • hand towels
  • bath mat
  • shower curtain
  • shower curtain rings
  • feminine products
  • makeup organizer
  • shower caddy (for communal bathrooms)
  • bath robe
  • shampoo/conditioner
  • body soap
  • face wash
  • makeup
  • makeup brushes
  • deodorant
  • hair ties
  • toothbrush
  • toothpaste
  • hair dryer
  • straightener/ curler

Living Space

  • picture frames
  • small decorations
  • tv table
  • coffee table
  • coasters

Clothes

*remember that you can change clothes out as the seasons change*

  • basic t-shirts
  • crew neck sweaters
  • hoodies
  • jackets
  • leggings
  • workout clothes
  • sports bras
  • bras
  • underwear
  • pajamas
  • shorts
  • business casual outfit
  • cardigan
  • rain boots
  • snow boots
  • slippers
  • flip flops
  • sneakers
  • booties
  • sandals
  • slides

Laundry

  • laundry detergent
  • dryer sheets
  • scent beads
  • tide to-go stick
  • bleach
  • stain remover
  • lint roller
  • steamer
  • sewing kit

School Supplies

  • backpack
  • notebooks (one for each class unless otherwise informed)
  • binders
  • whiteout
  • index cards
  • black/blue pens
  • colored pens
  • pencils
  • highlighters
  • markers
  • stapler
  • 3 hole punch
  • scissors
  • calculator
  • flashdrives
  • planner/calendar
  • post-its
  • paperclips
  • earbuds

Cleaning Supplies

  • lysol wipes
  • Mr.Clean magic erasers
  • swiffer
  • handheld vacuum
  • trash cans
  • trash bags

Misc.

  • rugs
  • fan
  • umbrella
  • extra phone charger
  • curtains (unless one is provided)
  • curtain rods (unless one is provided)
  • thumb tacks
  • lightbulbs
  • batteries
  • command hooks
  • weekend bag
  • printer (unless easily accessable on campus)
  • television
  • extension cords
  • air freshener
  • perfume

Did I forget anything? What are you most excited about bringing with you to college? Any new great finds I should look into? Leave a comment below!

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