For those heading off to university, what to pack seems obvious. New students spend thousands on laptops, tablets and perhaps even a new wardrobe.
Yet many overlook essentials that could also save you a huge amount of money and trouble.
One example is a screen protector for your phone. We all drop them, and if you’ve been lucky enough so far not to have to try and decipher messages through a shattered screen, until you can stump up the cash to get it fixed, then a decent screen protector is one of the smartest investments you can make.
An external hard drive should also be right at the top of the shopping list. A spilled cup of coffee is all it takes to ruin a laptop and, more importantly, all the work stored on in.
Get yourself a reliable external hard drive. It doesn’t have to be large enough to contain everything you download, nor does it have to be a fancy wireless model.
However, you do need to get into the habit of regularly backing up your work.
Professors aren’t going to be very sympathetic if you can’t hand in work because you’ve apparently destroyed your computer. It sounds like an excuse, even though it might not be.
Now you have to think about how you’re going to get all this stuff around.
While you think it might look flash to stuff everything into the latest Michael Kors, doing so can cause long-term back problems
And, as the average university student carries way more stuff than they would in high school, a bulging bag is easier to pickpocket.
Invest in a work appropriate backpack.
Now you need a dependable alarm clock. For many students, university is the first moment when they must rely on themselves to manage their time.
While it may be tempting to roll over and hit the “snooze” button instead of going to that early lecture, particularly if you were up later than you should’ve been the night before, the cost of doing so is significant.
You might miss key ideas from your course, your absence is likely to be noted, and with tuition fees potentially costing hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, the financial impact of skipped lectures can also be significant.
Lastly, a portable mug might be a wise investment, particularly if it is insulated and can keep beverages warm and cool.
Recent research indicates that we spend the equivalent of over HK$20,000 in coffee shops!
Sure, if you plan to stay for a few hours, enjoy a tasty drink and get some work done, a relaxing cup of coffee can be a nice break, but for that first-thing-in-the-morning brew, it hardly seems worth it.
Fill your mug at home and look after the pennies.
© 晉博教育中心 Brighten Youth Education Centre