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LOPEZ-ORTIZ: Headphones are essential to survive college

Column: Food for Thought

Headphones offer one way to avoid distractions during college. – Photo by Tomasz Gawlowski / Unsplash

Distractions are everywhere. They are unavoidable during college. I know that I easily get distracted when I am trying to finish my work for my classes if there is too much noise. Whether listening to music or blocking out noise, headphones are essential during your time at college.

When I started at Rutgers, I had never seen so many people wearing headphones everywhere, all at once. Whether walking to class, in the dining hall or studying in the library, people always tend to have their headphones in. Headphones can provide concentration when doing work.

A Wall Street Journal article found how noise-canceling headphones provide better concentration. Some headphones can be pricey, while others might be inexpensive, though I highly recommend investing in a good pair.

I originally had the first version of the Apple AirPods. They are very convenient when it comes to walking to class and having it around everywhere you go. AirPods are an absolute staple, and they are very popular. Though they can get pricey as the newer versions are released.

The old version that I have does not include a noise canceling feature which is a drawback, but the newer headphones do offer this feature. The sound quality was good, but other than that, they offered little noise canceling. AirPods are amazing, but a downside would be how they can be uncomfortable when wearing them for a long time.

Certain brands of headphones can be expensive. Still, you can probably find affordable ones on Amazon. I had gotten my AirPods when they first came out, so they were less expensive than the current ones are. I had wanted to get over-the-ear headphones, but everywhere I looked the prices were high, especially if they were noise canceling.

Great headphones such as Beats or AirPods Max can be costly. As a broke college student, these prices can seem like a lot, but Amazon has great options to choose from that are slightly cheaper but still of good quality. Some higher-priced headphones can be worth investing in such as Beats or JBL headphones. Their prices are not too out of range for a college student if they choose to invest.

Amazon has a collection of various headphones for half the price. They were very affordable. I got my first pair of over-the-ear headphones for approximately $80. They were JBL headphones and were very convenient to have around with me. Not only did they give me good sound quality, they also were lightweight and gave me Bluetooth function, so I could connect to my phone.

Though the only bad thing was that I could not get it to connect with my computer. The JBL headphones also had a noise-canceling feature, so that was a huge plus for me.

Nonetheless, there can be some downsides to wearing headphones. For example, AirPods can cause ear problems when not cleaned properly. Over-the-ear headphones can be tiring for your ears when wearing them for a long time. Trust me, it hurts. If you maintain your headphones, you'll have no problems: The advantages outweigh the downsides of having headphones.

But besides the point, headphones provide additional support for concentration. It can block out noise and improve your quality of focus. I would go to the library and put on my headphones for extra quietness to do my work. I felt fixated on my work which motivated me to finish it without any outside disruptions. Whether you are in the student center or the dining hall, headphones make studying easy. I also love to listen to music so headphones are a must for me.

Headphones are suitable for anyone’s academic needs and are a must for anyone who is just starting out at college or a current student. Whether they are expensive or cheap, they provide solid benefits for all users.

Daisy Lopez-Ortiz is a sophomore in the School of Arts and Sciences majoring in political science and minoring in Spanish. Her column, "Food for Thought," runs on alternate Wednesdays.

*Columns, cartoons and letters do not necessarily reflect the views of the Targum Publishing Company or its staff.

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