Essential equipment for your freshman year

The excitement of freshman year is calling. You’re looking forward to starting out on a new adventure. Freshman year can be one of the best years of college – meeting new people, learning new things, and gaining true independence. It’s important not to forget the essentials in all the excitement. There are a few things you may have not yet considered. Don’t worry, here are a few tips to get you fully equipped for your freshman year.



Textbooks are the foundation of college education. The options are much greater now with the advent of online or electronic textbooks. These are great because you can highlight, add notes, and insert your own bookmarks. Some textbooks come with online practice exercises too. The only downside is that you generally have to ‘rent’ these textbooks and you may not be able to access them after your payment period has lapsed.

The other option is the good old paper system. If the professor requires you to bring the book to every class, lugging it around can be a bit tedious. That is why many textbooks have the option of buying them unbound, so you can carry pages or chapters as you need them.

Some professors don’t even use the textbook at all. They might prefer to give out note packs. So maybe attend the first week before buying the textbook to get a feel for what you need, or ask the professors before the semester starts.

Laptop or old fashioned pen and paper?

Whether the professor uses the textbook or their own notes, you’ll still need to take down extra notes in class. The decision between doing this on a laptop, tablet, or writing on paper depends on your personal preference. If you type faster than you write, then a laptop may be better. There is the advantage of being able to back all of your notes up onto the cloud quickly and easily. However, a laptop, especially one with a connection to the internet, can be a big distraction. There is also the matter of safety for such an expensive piece of equipment that can easily be damaged or stolen.

If you prefer the old fashioned pen and paper, then it is better to get a notebook compared to using loose paper. A notebook keeps everything together so you don’t lose the odd sheet. Some stationers even make divided notebooks to hold many different subjects together. Guard this book with your life though, and try to make electronic copies to keep the notes from getting lost or damaged.

Accordion file

Lecturers love to hand out pieces of paper with important details of assignments on them. Keep these from each subject in an accordion file. It’s a neat and organized way to keep everything and doesn’t take up too much space.


Stapler or paper clips

Keep a stapler and paper clips handy so that when it comes time to hand in that assignment, you aren’t running around madly trying to put everything together. Simply staple or clip and hand in.


This one may seem obvious, but the reason it’s here is to inform you that a two-strap backpack is much better for your back than a sling-type bag. Packing things in a bag makes transporting them to class much easier and will keep them dry if you’re caught in the rain.