Whether your first semester at college was harder than you expected or you’re just looking to improve your GPA, you’ll need some new strategies and tools to make your next semester more successful. Once you’ve finalized your class schedule and ordered your textbooks, work smarter instead of smarter with these school-ready gadgets.
Finding a quiet, private place to study on campus can be difficult, and that’s where a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones comes in. With these, you can escape to your own little world while studying. Listen to your favorite study music without the distracting background noise that regular headphones struggle to drown out.
A White Noise Machine
If you can’t concentrate with music playing in your ears, try a white noise machine instead of noise-cancelling headphones. Although some machines are one-trick ponies that generate white noise naturally using air, others rely on recorded sounds. With the latter, you can often choose between basic white noise and relaxing sounds from nature, such as a thunderstorm or ocean waves. You may even find that using a white noise machine at nights helps you fall asleep more quickly and sleep more soundly.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Once you’ve addressed any noise problems, consider upgrading to a cutting-edge phone like the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. When paired with a reliable network like T-Mobile’s, the Galaxy S7 Edge becomes one of the best study buddies that a college student could have. This smartphone allows you to record lectures and look up information online, offers up to 256GB of expandable microSD memory, and resists damage from dust and water.
Make the most of your smartphone with apps like Dragon Dictation for dictating notes and Mint for keeping track of finances. If you purchase digital textbooks from Amazon and download the Kindle app, you can even access your textbooks using your smartphone. Be sure to look for apps specific to your college and classes, too.
An Evernote Smart Notebook
Another college staple that you should upgrade are your notebooks. Moleskine offers smart notebooks designed to work with Evernote, combining the best features of both manual and digital note-taking. These notebooks feature a special ruling optimized for Evernote’s Page Camera, Smart Stickers for tagging and organizing your notes, and a three-month subscription to Evernote Premium. Use the Page Camera app to take a picture of your notes and upload them to your Evernote account, where you can organize and search your digital notes.
An External Hard Drive or Flash Drive
For classes that require you to submit research papers, essays, or other projects, an external hard drive or flash drive will be invaluable. These devices allow you to take your work anywhere. Start writing on your laptop, save to a portable drive, and carry it with you to the library to finish and print. You can also back up your music, photos, and any other important files, just in case your laptop doesn’t survive the dangers of dorm living.
If you’re prone to losing or leaving behind gadgets like these, don’t worry. You’ll get many of the same benefits by opening a Dropbox account and storing your documents in the cloud.
A High-Tech Coffeemaker
Many college students rely on caffeine to get through late-night study sessions or early-morning classes. Unfortunately, not every caffeine-dependent student has the time or money to fetch Starbucks lattes on a daily basis. If you find yourself in that predicament, make a high-tech coffee maker your new best friend. You’re probably already familiar with Keurig’s K-Cup system, but you should be sure to check out some other options, too. For instance, Mr. Coffee offers a smart coffeemaker that allows you to start brewing remotely using the WeMo app.
From noise-cancelling headphones that help you block out distractions to a programmable coffee maker for in-room brewing, the world is full of high-tech gear designed to make college life easier. The list above contains just a few examples of gadgets that can help make next semester your most successful one yet.