Monday, August 18, 2014

College: School Supply Shopping

Shopping for back-to-school supplies was much easier in grade school. There was usually a list detailing everything you needed, or at least a general expectation. Pencils, pens, notebooks, binders, folders, sometimes a calculator or a ruler. In college it's a lot trickier because what you need is determined by you.

I prefer taking handwritten notes because I find that it helps me remember things better than typing or not taking notes at all. I've tried using a single notebook and keeping separate sections for each class;  writing all the notes into the notebook, coding them with the class name, and then tearing out the pages and putting them into individual binders; or leaving them in the notebook and typing the notes into individual documents. I haven't really found any of these methods to be very efficient. This year I think I'm going to just buy a notebook for each class.

The important thing is to find the method that works for you. If that's handwriting, buy notebooks. If that's typing, maybe buy just one in case a professor doesn't allow computers in class.

Pencils and pens are both important. I do the vast majority of my note-taking and classwork in pen, but every once in a while I run into a professor that wants an assignment done in pencil. Usually a Scantron exam.

If anything specific is needed for a class, this will usually be outlined in the syllabus. Pay special attention to those items. You might need them immediately or you might not need them until the end of the semester but they'll be good to have on hand.