Top 12 MUST HAVE back to school items for college/university

Back to school

Top 12 MUST HAVE back to school items for college/university. Items you may not have thought of.

We are teaming up to share with you school items we think are super helpful and wish we had when we were in college / university.

Watch the full video here!

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If you find our blog or video useful, you can support us by using our affiliate links to purchase the products in or referenced in our blog or video. 

We purchased these products ourselves and are not sponsored by anyone:

1) Laptop stands:

    a) Portable ergonomic laptop stand (featured in this video) →  https://amzn.to/2OxWlJr

    b) Other options:

        i) Longer 8-angle laptop stand  →  https://amzn.to/32CXrMv

        ii) Wider 7-angle laptop stand  →  https://amzn.to/3eBf95d

        iii) Small laptop stand  →  https://amzn.to/2B5RbRQ

        iv) Longer laptop stand (Black)  →  https://amzn.to/2Ot7dIG

        v) 7-angle laptop stand (Black)  →  https://amzn.to/3fEPh9K

        vi) Double deck laptop stand  →  https://amzn.to/2OzoAHE

2) Book stand → https://amzn.to/3ib4kcn

3) Express VPN → https://bit.ly/2Xt4swr 

4) Bitdefender security software →

5) External drive →

6) Manna Double-walled insulated water Bottle 17 oz → https://amzn.to/3gyFBhW 

7) External battery →

8) Pocket LED light →

9) Reusable straws:

    a) Metal straws → https://amzn.to/3c3vrTX

    b) Silicone straws → https://amzn.to/2A3Hse1

10) Smart backpack 13.3″ / 15” → https://bit.ly/2VytOJN

11) Portable over-the-door long metal double hook (pack of two, 17” tall) → https://amzn.to/2DqL23A 

#1 Laptop stand

Staring down at you’re laptop all day can be a pain in the neck… literally. This is why a proper laptop stand is ergonomically important. This one is awesome because it’s so portable you can take it anywhere you go.  It lifts your laptop up to the proper height to prevent neck strain and you can even have it setup for typing when you don’t have much table space.  If you game too, this will allow your laptop fans to cool the laptop more efficiently.  Plus, it looks pretty cool made of aluminum.

We have an in-depth review video on the featured laptop stand (above), 

so check it out for more info!

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Check out these other options for laptop stands:

# 2 Book stand

I used a book stand a lot back in University because I hated having to look straight down at my textbook and strain my neck. This is a portable device as it folds up easily and can be put into your backpack. It’s lightweight, adjustable and can keep your book open to the pages you need.

#3 Hand sanitizer

Be diligent in washing your hands with soap and water. If you can’t access the washroom easily use a liquid or disposable hand sanitizer in the meantime and avoid touching your face to prevent any germs entering your system. You can also attach the hand sanitizer to your backpack or bag.

Use the disposable hand sanitizers to clean any of the study desks you’ll be using as you don’t know if these surfaces get cleaned that much. I remember seeing dust bunnies or ketchup stains at some of the study desks I used at my University’s libraries…yuck!

#4 VPN

Whether you are on campus using free wifi or at a coffee shop it’s important to keep your online communication secure. Free wifi is a great place for hackers to steal your personal info like passwords and account IDs or snoop into your online activities. Worst is that no one is really watching over the network to make sure that nothing bad is going on there. 

ExpressVPN (#` Trusted Name in VPN)
Purchase here

Having a VPN will help secure your online activities and communication. There are many good VPN providers these days that are available for a reasonable price. Do your research or checkout a good one (Express VPN shown above).

Just be careful with the free ones out there. Either you need to do a lot of work in configuring it or they will sell your info or use advertising to compensate for the free service.

Blog_Tech_Top 12 MUST HAVE back to shool items for college university

#5 Security software

From scams, ransomware, adware, identity fraud and more, online security threats are happening more and more. It’s getting easier for criminals to do this without much expertise or money by using readily available tools on the web. So having proper security software like Antivirus, Anti-Malware and a Firewall are important. These all protect you from intruders trying to hack your laptop on the network to protecting you from emails or websites trying to trick you to install malicious apps or steal your login credentials. Windows already comes with a basic Antivirus and Firewall and it is a good starting point. 

To get the most security features for Mac/Windows and iOS/Android, consider getting an all in one security package like BitDefender.

#6 External drive

When you do a lot of work on your laptop, you need to make sure your files are backed up.  Last thing you want is to have a disk failure or your laptop stolen resulting in loss of important files.  So backing up your reports, projects and assignments to an external drive is important.  We prefer to use proper external drives versus thumbdrives as thumbdrives have a greater tendency to fail.  At the very least, don’t use cheap drives as they are likely to have low quality components that fail more easily.

#7 Insulated bottle

When I was in University I purchased a lot of bottled water and drinks and looking back that was a waste of money and impactful on the environment.

Now I use and recommend using a reusable double-walled water bottle. You can refill this bottle at any water refill station on campus. Keep your water cold OR for winter transport hot drinks with you. A great way to spend less, waste less, and stay hydrated!

#8 External battery / Portable Power bank

For your portable electronic devices, don’t forget to bring an external battery / portable power bank to keep your electronics charged just in case you can’t find a power outlet to plug into.

#9 Pocket LED light

We both remember walking in the dark on campus at night after late labs or early in the morning getting to school.  It can be a little scary when some areas are not well lit.  Having a pocket LED flashlight can help keep you safe, allowing you so see better and ward off a potential attacker.  Shining a bright light at a potential attacker in the dark can temporarily blind the person giving you time to escape.

Plus, these flashlights are great to have any other time when you can’t see in the dark!

A good tip would be to buy one that has a higher light output in lumens and also uses AAA batteries or larger.  LED lights that use watch batteries don’t last long so are not that great.

The ones we show also have different modes for low light output to higher output and strobe mode. The low output mode allows the light to last longer.  For example, the premium light uses a premium quality LED for great light output and can last 36 hours on low mode.

#10 Reusable utensils

Eating from campus food vendors is inevitable, especially when I used to have morning to evening classes and labs. There was no way I could bring two meals with me from home.

I used a lot of plastic spoons, forks and straws. To be a bit more environmentally friendly, we recommend bringing your own reusable utensils, metal/silicone straws and a small bottle of dish detergent to wash those items.

#11 Smart backpack

Here are important characteristics to consider when purchasing a school backpack:

  • Waterproof to withstand rain or snow, when you’re walking outside
  • External USB power port to charge your electronic devices that’s attached to your external battery
  • Multiple compartments to store your pens, pencils, calculator, snacks, etc.
  • Laptop and tablet holder
  • Supportive, comfortable, and thick shoulder straps that will equally distribute the weight of the backpack across your shoulders because you will be using your backpack throughout the day

#12 Portable hooks

If you’re going to be living at a campus dorm or at a sorority or fraternity house, it doesn’t hurt to bring extra portable over-the-door hooks. Reason being is that some of these places may not have enough hooks to hang clothes, towels, jackets or bags.

These are also great for travelling and staying at hotels and AirBnBs, because they too don’t have enough hooks.

Have a great and safe school year! 🙂