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As both a person who has gone to college as an adult and a mom who is taking her son to his first year at college, I know a thing or two about what you will need. I am getting ready to start my last semester next week, and my son starts his first. Lucky for us its the same community college. There are some things you need for college lots you can skip. Because we attend a community college, there is no housing. No dorms, no need to send care packages. We attend class then drive 30 miles each way back home. Here are some things I simply cannot live without.
- Binder with tabs and pockets. This was absolutely required in both my photography and DMAC classes because you get a LOT of handouts, to the point that you don’t HAVE to buy the book.
- PENS PENS PENS. I am a pen hoarder but seriously someone always needs a pen. ALWAYS.
- Planner – You will need to make sure you have a planner with some horizontal writing space, to make notes on what is due when.
- Backpack – In photography especially we have memory cards and portable drives to take to class. Get a GOOD bag with comfortable straps.
Laptop Computer – This is a must, unless you want to take notes longhand, but even so, every college has a message board system and electronic quiz system so you need one. I went to Walmart with my son to check out the lineup of HP Laptops and look at the most important thing, the processor! Walmart has powerful computers that are actually affordable.
The HP ENVY notebook that I got (HP 15-as014wm) is the PERFECT laptop for my needs and my son’s and here’s why: It’s a game changer, it packs powerful entertainment needs with superb sound and speed, along with powerful working apps for photo and video editing. This is what my son and I needed for college all wrapped up in a pretty silver bow.
It’s light. My last laptop was not light. This laptop being thin with an all day battery (9 hours) that is also thin but powerful means carrying it around won’t kill my back.
It’s extremely powerful for photo editing. This laptop has a 6th gen Intel® Core™ i7-6500OU Processor. That means the peocessor on this notebook is more powerful than a lot of gaming laptops out there. It also has a full HD touchscreen, meaning I can zoom in on my photos and fix things on a fine point level without losing any speed.
I spent last weekend at a music festival out east and needed to edit in Photoshop. I needed full size PNG (portable network graphic) because for some reason when I save to JPG lately, the colors are washed out. Plus I am tired of Facebook killing quality so I know I needed to upload high quality. In my previous laptop, having 15 mp images open and saving them even larger would cause a lag. Imagine this photographer’s delight when I didn’t have to wait for anything to save! OMG talk about a time saver!!!
My son is taking the DMAC program which is digital media, audio and cinema. This program will overlap with mine a little which is why we needed a laptop that is easy to share, has lots of space (video editing and sound editing) and touch screen. My son uses touch more than me but his audio programs have sliders to fine tune things. Right now I just go ahead and let my son install the programs we will need for this year and borrow the laptop to get used to it. When we have overlapping classes I can easily meet him in the food court and hand him the laptop for his homework.
I will say having a touch screen with Windows 10 has been a godsend because we can scroll through right to the calendar apps and input our appointments and dates, or tap on a game for a mind rest, and scroll through the tasks that just take less time. One of my biggest secrets to staying organized is using the website Trello, which is basically a visual representation of a post it visual board, only you can add people and teams and drag an drop a task on their boards. For my BLOG work its invaluable.
So you see, in college, aside from a clear mind, a computer is probably the best investment. The power of the processor will depend on your major probably but the good thing is that Walmart has HP laptops in every price and power range. While “I will be using my HPm Envy a ton in classes, I have absolutely loved having it in my newly redesigned office space, it fits into my chic decor perfectly.
There’s nothing better to stir creativity than a nice, inspired space and a really good computer, and now I have both!
Do you love your HP computer as much as I do? Do you marvel at the speed of pages loading and processing power? Do you geek out when your laptop zips through tasks faster than ever? Be sure to visit Walmart and share your thoughts! And if you don’t have one yet, take advantage of Back to School sales and get one today! 🙂