Textbook, school supply tips to enhance classroom experience

In early August, superstores fill with frantic families picking up the necessary supplies that schools across the nation require before starting a new year. School supplies have become a staple in elementary, middle and high school-aged students’ lives. Color-coordinated folders, binders, pencils and pens wait to be exhumed on the first morning of classes by children all over the nation.

School supply necessities drastically change during college. No, you will not be handed a list that tells you what color highlighters you have to have and how many Post-it notes you need to buy. School supply decisions here go hand-in-hand with the whole college mentality — you’re on your own.

Some professors will have supply requirements and almost every class will have mandatory textbooks. However, deciding what to bring to class on a daily basis is really up to you.

A laptop is a necessity to make your life easier. Whether you take notes on your computer in class or decide to keep it tucked away, you will need it eventually during the next four years. If a computer isn’t in your budget now, it’s OK. Almost all of the resident halls on campus have their own computer labs as well as many libraries across campus. Printing is also available at these labs for a small cost, but many people opt to have their own printer for convenience.

Although technology always seems to be our generation’s support system, many students still choose to bring a notebook and pen to class. This method is a lot easier to take notes of tables, graphs or diagrams. It is also always a safe bet to carry extra paper with you when a teacher decides to give out attendance points or offer a little extra credit.

As a college student, you can spend up to $1,200 a year on textbooks. Trust me. That sure is a lot of money. Before heading to the Illini Union Bookstore or T.I.S. to load up on books after syllabus week, check out some prices online. Digital versions of textbooks tend to save money when compared with purchasing the actual book. There are many websites that resell them for a lower price, helping to cut costs. Some professors will even tell you where you can find the book online, but it is always beneficial to do some of your own research before deciding.

The items that college students need during class are usually on the heavier side. Most students choose to carry backpacks. It provides the easiest and most convenient way to get to and from class with everything you need. Some girls choose to carry bigger purses or tote bags that also work perfectly fine.

Like a lot of other aspects of college, decisions are up to you. And even if it’s something as silly as picking out what color notebook you want, college gives us a sense of a newfound freedom. So really, the decision is up to you, test it out for a few days and figure what works with your schedule.

Emily is a junior in Media. She can be reached at [email protected]