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With my second “baby” heading off to her first year of college, we’re focused on purchasing everything she needs to be successful and comfortable in her dorm room. Tackling her college technology shopping list has been our focus this past week. We’re not the most techy family around, but after already sending my oldest baby off to college two years ago, we have a good idea of the must-have and nice-to-have technology-related items that we’ll be purchasing.
Every college has different requirements, but we learned some important lessons in what technology-related items we needed to purchase when we sent our first baby off to college. It was a learning the hard way experience.
To make our planning and shopping easier this time, we created our college technology shopping list and broke it out into must-have items and nice-to-have items. You can download your own copy of my free printable College Technology Shopping List.
College Technology Shopping List
Laptop – Check with your student’s college and see what they recommend. Some schools and some academic fields favor a Mac or a PC and you’ll want to consider this in your purchase. Also, some schools want you to purchase directly from the school and others don’t care where you make your purchase.
Laptop Padded Case – You may want a case for your student to carry her laptop around campus. If your baby will be traveling home for the holidays, you’ll definitely want a case to protect your baby’s laptop while she’s en-route.
Graphing Calculator – Even if your student is not taking a science or math program, she may still need a graphic calculator for some required courses. Check into what courses your student will be required to take and whether she’ll need a calculator or not.
Printer – We learned when we sent my first baby to college that we should have purchased a printer. Both of my babies’ colleges provide a set number of “free” printed pages each semester. That sounded great and since it was “free” (or already paid for), we did not purchase a printer for baby number one. By the second month, we were rushing out to purchase a printer for my baby. She found that it was really inconvenient to go to the printer location to pick up her projects late at night or during bad weather. She also ran through the allocated number of printed pages quickly. Knowing that baby number two needs a printer allows us to make a more purposeful purchase (rather than a rushed and panicked purchase like the one for baby number one).
We picked up the HP Deskjet 3636 printer because it’s an affordable all-in-one printer that my baby can use right out of the box to print, scan and copy. It prints from your PC, tablet or smartphone and comes in three super cool colors – Vibrant red, Dragonfly Blue and Sporty Purple. With the high cost of college, we appreciate that it provides high-quality and affordable printing, printing up to twice as many pages with original HP high-yield ink cartridges.
The space-saving design means that the HP Deskjet 3636 is light enough that my baby and I can carry it up way too many flights of stairs by ourselves. Since I have to move my baby into her dorm room by myself, this makes me as happy and I know my baby will appreciate that it doesn’t take up as much room as other printers in her way too tiny dorm room.
On one of our many and frequent back-to-college shopping trips, we found the all new HP Deskjet 3636 printer in the electronics section of Walmart. Notice the three colors available.
Laptop Lock – Let’s be brutally honest – you don’t always know who your baby’s roommate will be. Let’s hope your baby won’t have any issues, but you just don’t know. Having a laptop lock is insurance…. just in case.
Warranty – We learned the hard way that we should have purchased a warranty when my first baby’s brand stinkin’ new laptop died in the third month. For your peace of mind, consider a warranty, even if you don’t usually buy warranties.
Cooling Pad – When your baby is working for hours on end burning up the laptop, a laptop cooling pad may come in handy. And if your student has the habit of sitting her laptop on her bed quilt where air can’t circulate under the laptop, a cooling pad is helpful. (Frustrated and knowing mom face.)
Noise Cancelling Headphones – These can be a lifesaver depending on your student’s study habits and roommates’ habits.
My baby is almost ready to head off to college (although I’ll never be ready for her to go). How are your college preparations going? Don’t forget to add an affordable, dependable printer to your baby’s college technology shopping list.
I’m a mom of 3, a veteran and military spouse. I’ve moved into 20+ homes all around the world. My passion is helping busy people make the space and time for what’s really important to them.