From a University Graduate!
University life can be a stressful experience, especially when it comes to studying for exams or writing difficult assignments, Trust me I’ve been there!
But with the right tools and techniques, you can make your life easier and more organised.
That’s why as someone who’s attended university for over 5 years and achieved two university degrees, I decided to share the top 3 tech items I recommend for university…
1. A Decent Laptop
Thinking about it, I didn’t really want this to be the first item on my list, you’ll understand why later in this blog post.
But a decent laptop that won’t let you down is still important, it will be the device you do the majority of your coursework on. The good news is that unless you are studying towards a degree that requires you to have a high-spec laptop, they don’t have to be expensive!
I was studying Computer Science and at the very beginning of my degree, I purchased a second-hand Toshiba Tecra Z50 for just over £100, the laptop came with an Intel i5 processor, 4GB of Memory and a 500GB hard drive.
Me, being me, I decided to upgrade it to 8GB of RAM, a 500GB Solid State Drive and Windows 10. The entire cost of the laptop and the upgrade was around £160 which was still an epic deal!
The laptop lasted me a long time!
When it comes to picking a good student laptop, I would choose a laptop with at least 8GB of RAM, and a 500GB Solid State Drive.
Last year I purchased a Huawei Matebook D15 with 8GB of RAM, a 500GB Solid State Drive and an Intel i5 Processor. This laptop continues to surprise me to this day it just performs so well!
The Huawei Matebook D15 is a perfect example of a decent student laptop that I use for video editing and writing blog articles. I was even able to easily install Ubuntu on it for those who are interested in using it with Linux.
2. Active Noice-Cancelling Headphones or Earbuds
The second thing I wanted to add to the list is a decent set of active noise-cancelling headphones or earbuds.
It really does make a difference, especially when you are living in loud student halls and just want to sit down and get on with studying.
After taking the Soundcore Liberty 4 NC on a trip to Poland and daily driving them for an extended period of time, these have now become my daily drivers.
Priced at £79.99 at the time of writing this article, they are seriously worth it, especially in terms of sound quality and active noise cancellation.
If you prefer to spend your money on a decent set of over-ear headphones, the Edifier WH950NB, which I reviewed around 4 months ago remain a great choice! You can check out my review here.
I’ve been primarily using the Edifier WH950NB for working from home. They allow me to switch off and concentrate on work.
3. An iPad
Ok, I admit it, Before starting university I was always an Android fan, I had several Android tablets and smartphones until I started to see the full potential of using an iPad.
I’m not saying that Android tablets are bad because they’re not. I just really liked the apps that were available for the iPad as well as the idea of the Apple ecosystem.
So I decided to get an iPad. Initially, I got a second-hand iPad on eBay for under £100. I believe it was a 1st gen iPad Mini, but it served me well. I later purchased a brand new standard iPad, I believe it was a 2018 model, which I then replaced with my current 11-inch iPad Pro 2nd generation.
The iPad was everything to me, it was my notetaking device, with the help of the Apple Pencil, I was able to take handwritten notes and annotate academic papers as well as books, which brings me to my next topic…
I used my iPad as a mini library for books, which I could annotate without damaging an actual book. It also meant that I was carrying less in my bag when going to lectures or the library.
Now that I have finished university for the foreseeable future, I use my iPad as my primary device for most things. Its size makes it ideal to take with me everywhere I go and even create content!
The iPad was honestly one of the best investments I made during my time at university!
University life can be difficult, but the 3 tech items I talked about above have seriously improved my time as a university student.
I mean theoretically, you don’t need any of them, as most universities allow you to use the computers in the library, headphones and earbuds can be extraordinarily cheap and an iPad is just an extra.
But believe me, when you are spending the amount of money I’ve spent on tuition fees as well as university life, these items are seriously worth the investment. After all, you are studying for your future, you deserve to have decent equipment!
But in all fairness, these are just 3 tech items, maybe it’s from my time working in IT Support at the university I was studying at, but I highly recommend purchasing a portable hard drive as well as a USB flash drive for backing up your work.
The idea is that you back up your work on at least 3 different storage solutions, the cloud, a USB Drive and weekly backups onto a portable hard drive.
For my long-term backups, I used a basic 1TB Toshiba Canvio Basics portable hard drive, which still works today! These hard drives are often available on offer, as they are at the time of writing this article and I’m recommending this drive based on my own experience with it.
I don’t like USB Flash Drives, they tend to have a high failure rate, and they’re easy to lose and damage. Believe me, I’ve seen many USB Drives fail in my time working in IT!
Put it this way, I wouldn’t use them for the main version of your work, that’s what the cloud is for!
USB Flash drives such as this SanDisk Ultra 128GB drive, are great for daily backups which you then copy to your portable hard drive at the end of the week.
Maybe it’s overkill, but trust me, you don’t want to be in that position where you are unable to submit work due to file corruption, seen it happen many times and it’s always difficult!