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College must-haves: Everything you need for classes and beyond

Whether you’re finally returning to campus or attending Rutgers for the first time, it’s important to come prepared with school supplies and other daily essentials. – Photo by Sakina Pervez

After over a year of the pandemic, Rutgers is finally opening its doors again and welcoming students back on campus. Some students will be glad to return after so long, while for others, this semester will be their first time ever on campus. Whether it’s your first time here or you just need a quick refresher, here are some must-haves and tips for returning to campus: 

Supplies for classes: 

  • Extra chargers for your electronics: College is all about your laptop and your phone. Some people still go old school and use paper to write while having binders with dividers. Even so, if you do go to any library, the one thing everyone has open is their laptops. Hence why having an extra charger for your laptop or phone at all times is a must. Pro-tip: all libraries actually can lend you both a laptop and a phone charger. 

  • Headphones: This is a must for school supplies! Headphones can block out unwanted sounds and conversations while helping you get in the mood to walk to class, work out or even focus on studying. 

  • iPad with an Apple Pencil: This is optional and quite pricey, making it not affordable for all students, but I recommend it if you can. The iPad, or any form of a tablet, offers the option for you to have all your notes in one place that is not heavy or messy like a binder. An iPad can also become a middle man between your phone and laptop, as in the case where you can use it on the bus to study or slip it easily in your backpack instead of a laptop. 

Phone applications

  • GoodNotes or Notability: For those who will use an iPad as their notebook, these apps will help you to do so. These two apps are very similar, but their uses are the same: to take notes on an electronic device. Both apps offer a place to keep your notes organized and allow you to take notes directly on slides, add images directly from your camera roll and other features. 

  • GroupMe: This app is highly important for communicating with your fellow students. GroupMe makes it easy to make class group chats, send pictures of notes or discuss what tomorrow’s exam will look like.  

  • Genius Scan: Genius Scan is a document scanner app that college students need to help them keep all files in digital format. This makes it easy to upload certain documents to hand in online. 

  • TransLoc: This app is used to track the time and schedule of buses on campus. Without this app, it is essentially impossible to know when the buses you need to get on will be available. 

  • NJ Transit: NJ Transit is necessary for commuters who rely on the train and those who love traveling to major cities near Rutgers, such as Philadelphia and New York City. The app offers a place to purchase a ticket anywhere, even inside the train, instead of going to a ticket booth. It also provides constant updates to the train schedule as well. I recommend taking the train rather than driving just for the purpose of convenience.

Other must-haves for campus life: 

  • Reusable water bottle: Bringing a reusable water bottle is a small item but a major necessity when walking around campus. Since the campuses are filled with water bottle stations, refilling a water bottle is not only easy, but it also helps you avoid spending money at stores for plastic bottles. 

  • Extension cord: For those living on campus, an extension cord is a must. Not all dorms are the same, and many do not have enough power outlets. Extension cords are really useful as they offer more power outlets. Since college is mainly about electronic devices, giving yourself more options is always necessary. 

  • Parking pass: For all the commuters out there, getting a parking pass might relieve some stress. Many commuters try to find free parking by going off-campus, yet sometimes that results in a parking ticket. Getting a parking ticket doesn’t happen all the time, but buying a parking pass might fix that potential issue. Albeit, you might still get stressed out by looking for parking.

  • The Daily Targum’s social media: To stay updated with all Rutgers and New Brunswick news, following Rutgers’ independent student newspaper is more than essential. The Targum will constantly keep you updated with campus and city news every day and help you learn more about what’s going on at Rutgers. 

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