The BIG 5: (Serious) Student Life Essentials

The BIG 5 blog posts are 5 item lists that I deem interesting, necessary, or awesome. To find more of my BIG 5 posts please click here.

Well… it’s January and you know what that means: BACK TO SCHOOL. In preparation for the Winter semester, I decided to use my first post on the topic of something useful for every student. If you’re anything like me (example: disorganized by nature), then you NEED the following 5 items.

1. Academic Planner

Every student NEEDS an academic planner. Trust me… you’ll take a buttload of stress off your shoulders by taking the time to find one of these bad boys. Make sure you take the time to write down all of your important due dates! You can find these pretty much anywhere you can buy office supplies. I got mine from Target for around $12.00, but you can also find them at Staples and Walmart. NOTE: My student’s union makes a FREE one for students (it sucked this year but still), so check around your uni to save yourself a few $!

Academic Planner by Mead

2. A pair of sweatpants

Because let’s face it… no one wants to study in jeans.

I prefer to call them “getting comfy as shit pants”.

3. A reliable laptop (obviously)

Now… I am not a technological genius but from experience APPLE over EVERYTHANG. I started out my first year of university with a HP laptop (Windows 7), and it crapped out on me… twice. One time it overheated (sitting on a desk) and the hard drive bricked… and THREE essays had to be rewritten. I cried for a week. Any who, I invested in a Macbook Pro and its been sweet to me ever since. Here’s a few suggestions depending on if you decide to go with Microsoft or Apple.


– My computer repairs didn’t cost me a cent for 2 years because my parents bought my laptop from Costco. I recommend looking into the computers at Costco if you have a membership because their warranty kicks ass. You just have to call the Costco warranty number and BOOM presto… they know exactly what purchase you made just by looking up your name.


– Decide which macbook is best for you based on a few things – memory & speed.

– NEVER opt for Apples’s versions of the Microsoft office software. I’ve tried it and it sucks and never converts 100% the way you want it too.

4. Refworks

Ever get tired of trying to type out your references? You’ll love Refworks. You need a log-in for the website, but many universities have access to it. Try going on your school’s website under the library section or you could try and find where your library is on campus (wait… we have a library?).

This website essentially uploads and saves all your articles to your account, and can auto generate a bibliography in multiple formats for you. NOTE: make sure to use a proper formatting manual just in case! This website is pretty accurate, but can sometimes get confused about the type of source your reference is.

5. A study space

I used to study all over my house, but I was always distracted by everything going on around me. I finally invested in a desk and put it in my room, and its awesome! I stopped using my bed to study because I couldn’t sleep on it anymore without thinking about homework (how depressing I know).

I found my desk at Target for less than $200. It’s an okay size, but I wish I had some drawers to store my textbooks in!

Tip: Keep an eye on… they often post one day deals on expensive items like desks and printers!


One thought on “The BIG 5: (Serious) Student Life Essentials

  1. Pingback: The BIG 5: (Not so Serious) Student Life Essentials | How To Millennial

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