9 Must-Have Gadgets to Start Off Your College Year

Getting ready for a new college year might be stressful and somewhat hectic. There is so much to remember and so much to care about. In such circumstances, it is easy to forget something important. That’s why it is helpful to have a checklist of things to pack.

In the same way, you’d have all your online resources bookmarked, you need to have all the devices and gadgets ready. Preparation is the key to success. Although you might not know when you’ll need academic writing help or a USB hub, it is important to have them close.

So whenever students do not feel confident in their skills or have no time to do something, specialists are ready to help. Having such options prepared saves a lot of nerves when the trouble comes. The same goes for useful gadgets and devices one will need in college.

iphone and macbook

Checklist of Necessary Devices to Pack to College

Some of these devices are essential for college; others are just good to have with you. If you are not sure what will come in handy, here is a list of options.


The first thing to take with you is a laptop. There are plenty of budget-friendly yet functional options out there (one can buy a good device for $300). You cannot go a day in college without a laptop. It helps to do projects, follow courses, do research, and take notes.

If you do not have one, here are some essential tips on choosing a suitable model:

  • Pay attention to the weight and size – you are going to carry it around, so choose a more lightweight model;
  • Check that the battery life is enough;
  • Check the CPU – it signifies how well-performing the device is;
  • Pick a good screen that will perform under the sun and not ruin your eyesight.

Surge protector

It is a small gadget everyone needs to have. Usually, it costs around $20, so it won’t break your budget. This tool protects your electronic gadgets from electricity malfunctions. Often the outlets in the dorm or a rental place are not in the best shape. So adding a layer of protection will eliminate the risk of damaging your goods.

USB hub

As you are going to take a bunch of tools with you, it is a great idea to have more USB ports. Usually, the laptops do not have more than 2-3 of them. This is the best-case scenario. And if you need to plug several at once, this is a problem.

Or, if you only have one outlet, a USB hub can charge several gadgets at the same time. One can buy a reliable piece for around $20. It will feature USB-A (only for connecting) and USB-C (for charging). Choose a lightweight and credible model that is easy to pack.

Portable drive

It serves as a backup for all important files and as additional storage. One can opt for a flash drive as they are smaller. But they are also limited in space. Portable drives are bigger and heavier, but they can hold up a lot more data.

A well-performing and spacious drive costs about $35-60. But it will serve one for a long time. Having a backup is essential in college. It allows accessing all your files even without an internet connection. And it makes sure that if something gets lost on the laptop, you still have it saved on the drive.

Choose a drive that has 1-2 TB memory, which is quite enough for all times of files, documents, and media.

Portable charger

A portable charger is a must-have for responsible students on campus. Imagine you are running low on the battery of your smartphone or laptop when you are in an important lecture or need to send something right now. It is essential to always have a charger with you in case your charge is low.

Because if your smartphone goes down, you might lose all means of communication at once. Chargers help when there are now outlets near or when you are outdoors.

There are plenty of various models and brands one can choose from. The main points of consideration are the charge it can hold and the size/weight of the tool. One needs to be able to carry it around with no issues. Also, pay attention to compatibility – whether it works for both smartphones and laptops.

orange usb cables

Ethernet cable

This tool is crucial for first-year students that are going to live in a dorm. Unfortunately, Wi-Fi in college dorms is not great in most cases. So it is better to stay safe than sorry. Such a cable costs around $8 but can save you a lot of trouble.

It is used to plug your computer into the Ethernet jack. This offers a speedy and reliable internet connection, which is necessary to study, research, visit online classes, or watch a movie.

Glasses that block blue light

Blue light is produced by electronic screens. It is not very healthy for your eyes and sleeping patterns. It can disrupt circadian cycles and makes falling asleep significantly harder. That’s why a lot of people recommend not using any gadgets 2 hours before bed.

As a student, you’ll be staring at the screen a lot. So it is better to invest in good glasses that block the blue light out. Luckily, they do not cost too much. For instance, some models with one year of warranty cost around $10, which is quite manageable. One should wear them when working with a laptop or smartphone.

Noise-canceling headphones

There is going to be a lot of noise around you. The campus and area nearby are filled with people being people. And if you prefer to work in public spaces, like cafes, it is better to eliminate all disruptions. Good noise-blocking headphones give one more privacy and calmness even in the most hectic space.

It can also be incredibly useful for students that share living with roommates. Without any noise, you can easily concentrate and do the job faster.


It is not a strict necessity, but it can be incredibly useful. With a kindle, you can have all your books, materials, and notes with you at all times. So you do not need to have lots of paper books that take up space. And if you opt for Amazon Kindle, there is a huge library of all types of texts, from educational to entertainment.

If you need a specific source for your course, you can buy it via kindle and instantly access it. Ebooks are more affordable and sustainable. And it holds charge quite decently. The screen is also designed to be comfortable for the eyes for long use.

In Summary

There are many futuristic and amazing gadgets out there. But if you are on a budget, it is better to keep it simple and choose only must-haves. This checklist covers all the fundamental needs in college and allows for staying productive in all circumstances.

Technize is a team of tech enthusiasts and experts who loves sharing the best computer hardware, software, and gadgets. We also write reviews on PC Build, networking, computer components, and other related topics. It's our goal to offer you insightful reviews that will help you in choosing your next computer component or gadget.

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