At the beginning of each college year, you can roughly bracket every Freshman student into one of two categories in terms of their preparedness. The first we will broadly describe as being 'over-prepared'. They will, on their first day of college, emerge through the morning haze, nearly bent double by the weight of their bag which contains every conceivable book on their reading list, as well as some choice secondary reading which they think might be relevant. They will also be followed closely behind by an accompanying pack-mule which will be laden down with enough pens, pencils, notepads and assorted other office materials to open a reasonably well-stocked stationery store - that also features a now redundant donkey.
The second type will turn up to their first lecture, be asked by the lecturer to take some notes and, will instantly start turning to those around them to ask to borrow a pen.
To help strike a balance between these two extremes we've compiled a list of student essentials so that you may glide through the college year, effortlessly prepared, without being overly prepared.
During the early days of computing, in th 1940s and 50s, if you had told those involved that one day you would own a computer that you could fold in half, they would have had you sectioned. However nowadays foldable computers, or 'laptops', are commonplace and a vital part of every student's arsenal. During your time in college your laptop will be both a servant and master, a tool for productivity and distraction, simultaneously allowing you to leave projects and assignments until the last possible minute before completing and submitting them, and the cause of you leaving your projects and essays until the last minute.
Ideally, you should get a laptop that is just powerful enough to perform the basic tasks required by your college course, but inept enough that it struggles to play videos. If this is not possible, simply try embrace your tendency to procrastinate without being too hard on yourself.
2) Waterproof Bag:
An inevitability about life on this earth is that, occasionally, it will rain. Climate change-deniers are doing their utmost to ensure the earth's atmosphere is damaged to such a degree that all rain will become a thing of the past. However, until this comes about, we're just going to have to continue to deal with it. As such, investing in a good waterproof backpack is vital. There are few more despairing experiences in this world than, having trudged through some torrential rain to get to college, opening your bag to realise that all of your books and notes have become so waterlogged they've congealed into one unified pulpen mass.
3) Flash Cards:
Everybody overtime develops their own unique way of studying that they find works best for them. However, until this time arrives, you will almost certainly notice hordes of people in your respective college library using small index cards to help itemise and memorise individual pieces of information. Given that the people using these flash cards always look like they know what they're doing, you may as well get some for yourself so that you too can give off the impression of self-assurance while studying. They are also genuinely helpful for studying.
4) Emergency Cutlery:
If you're sharing a house or flat with other students, you will soon come to learn that the cleaning and re-depositing of cutlery into the communal cutlery drawer ends up being very far down on everyone's list of priorities. This fact will almost certainly become painfully evident at the worst possible time, such as when you've just made a bowl of soup, and, having being confronted by an empty cutlery drawer, you've resigned yourself to the fact that you will have to lap at your bowl of soup like some minsterone-crazed dog. While hoarding cutlery in your room may sound like the actions of deranged lunatic, it is almost certainly something you will appreciate when this situation comes to pass, simply having a spare fork, knife and spoon handy is something you'll never regret.
5) Spare Bedding:
It is truly staggering the amount of people who will pass through each year in college with only one set of bedclothes. For all that is holy, should you ever like to hold the respect of another human being, please, get at least another pair of bedclothes so that you can actually rotate them through the term and wash your sheets.
6) A Big Coat To Sleep In:
During life in college you will become incredibly adept at falling asleep in the most incongruous of locations after a night out. There are old, dilapidated sofas in students houses up and down this country where you will, at some point, take up residency after a night out. As such, having a large, comfortable coat that can double up as bedding will be a life-saver. While this will undoubtedly prove the least glamorous point on this list, from experience, it is as solid a piece of advice as any.
7) Plausible Lookalike To Replace You In Classes:
At several points during your time in college you will find yourself missing classes. This could be for a whole host of reasons, from laziness, to forgetfulness, to a simple shirking of responsibility as you try to avoid a tutorial you failed to prepare a required presentation for. It is therefore advisable to find yourself a plausible lookalike to take your place when these situations come to pass. Should you not know of any doppelgänger off-hand, simply peruse the books of some local talent and extras agencies to find a suitable lookalike that you may hire for the day to take your place in these scenarios.
8) A Knowledge Of Cheap Travel:
While you and your friends might spend time waiting to look for flight sales and deals to help pay for any holidays you're planning, a great and simple way to save money is to ensure you make use of Iarnród Éireann's student discounts. Whether you're simply heading home for the weekend, or heading off on an impromptu trip away during reading week, ensuring you're saving with Iarnród Éireann's student discounts will save you money for the important things - such as paying the appearance fees for the lookalike you've hired to go to tutorials in your stead.