9 Essential Gadgets for a Freshman

The first year of college is one of the most challenging in terms of getting used to a completely new routine. A lot of students start to live on their own for the first time as well. And it is hard to predict all things one might need. But when it comes to gadgets, there are essential ones that every freshman needs to have.

It is simply a matter of getting your resources ready. The same goes, for example, for online learning resources. It is much easier to complete assignments when you know where to look for information. It is also important to know where one can get help in case of need.

This is something a lot of freshmen disregard at first. But the college curriculum is pretty tough, and there is always a lack of time. There will be times when one is so overwhelmed with essays or research papers that it is almost impossible to do things right. That’s why it is great to remember that there is a professional paper edit platform that can assist with polishing your paper. It is fast, simple, and allows eliminating any possible imperfections or mistakes.

Sometimes an outside perspective can save the day and grades when you are too tired to edit or proofread well. The same principle applies to gadgets. Of course, it is possible to go along without an additional charger but having one will save lots of time and effort, especially in stressful situations. So here is a list of essential gadgets every freshman needs.

Budget-Friendly Laptop

It is impossible to study in college without a laptop now. But there is no need to go overboard with choosing the most advanced one. Great if you already have a laptop, but if not – buying a budget-friendly option is reasonable just like you did for your barcalounger. You can get a well-performing laptop for about $300.

Look for lightweight models – you’ll probably carry it around a lot. Also, pay attention to the battery and CPU.

Surge Protector

A surge protector is a necessity because it helps to protect your gadgets from electricity malfunctions. The outlets in the dorms or rental might not be the best ones, and there is nothing worse than frying a computer on an important day. A good one can be bought for around $20, so it is worth the investment.


The number of USB ports in a laptop is usually pretty limited. It can be a real pain when you need to plug several gadgets in. Having a good USB hub beats this issue. When choosing the exact gadget, pay attention to:

  • Number of ports – you need as many as pluggable gadgets;
  • Weight – so you can always bring it with you;
  • USB-A ports are for connecting;
  • USB-C ports are for charging only.

A reliable tool with four ports costs around $20, but there are some cheaper options as well.

Flash Drive or Portable Drive

One can choose the tool they prefer. Flash drives are small and cheap, but they are much more limited in terms of memory. A portable drive is a more reliable, spacious, and expensive option (around $35-60 depending on the model and memory space).

Students need it to take their files with them, especially when they have no internet connection. And to have a backup in case something gets lost. You always need a backup for all important documents. It is also nice to have more storage space. One can store files they do not immediately need there without slowing down their laptop.

If you decide to go for a portable drive, look for the one with at least 1TB of memory space to make it matter.

Portable Charger

There is nothing worse than running low on battery on a smartphone or other gadget. It feels like all the means of communication have been cut off. And it always happens when you need your smartphone the most. That’s why having a portable charger is crucial in every student cabinet. The free outlets are not always present or available, so it is always great to have a charger with you.

There is a multitude of brands and types of chargers on the market. When choosing one, consider its size and weight – you’ll need to carry it around a lot. Also, look for compatibility options, some work not only for phones but also for kindles or watches. It is great if there is more than one USB port so you can charge two devices at the same time if needed. Of course, pay attention to how much charge it can hold.

Ethernet Cable

This one is for freshmen heading to a dorm. The Wi-Fi there is not great usually. It is better to buy an Ethernet charger for around $8 than to watch a YouTube video load for 10 minutes. Internet speed is important when you do research, have an online class, or just want to catch up with your favorite TV show.

So plugging your computer into the Ethernet jack on the wall is a reliable solution to that.

Blue Light Blocking Glasses

Blue light from screens is not very healthy for human eyes in huge amounts. Students do spend a lot of time with their computers. Blue light can cause tiredness and mess up the sleeping schedule. That’s why it is recommended to not use gadgets 2 hours before sleep. But we all know that this is not going to happen.

Invest in good glasses that block the blue light. You’ll be happy with this purchase. Do not worry; it doesn’t have to break the budget. For example, Cyxus glasses go for around $10 and have a one-year warranty.

Wake-Up Light

Waking up early can be more pleasant. This tool simulates natural sunshine to make you wake up easily with increasing brightness. This sounds like some futuristic technology, but it’s a reality. And there is also an option to add sounds to that. Natural light helps to stay more energetic during the day.

Some tools also come with sleeping help, which means they offer various noises to help you fall asleep. For example, the HeimVision wake-up light has such a feature. It also comes with an app for simple control and adjustment.

Noise-Canceling Headphones

Colleges are not particularly quiet. The same goes for dorms, cafes, or public spaces. Whether you need to study, concentrate on a job, or simply rest from all the distracting, noise-canceling headphones will get you covered. There is nothing more annoying than being unable to focus because of the background noise.

With this tool, you won’t need to head to the library to get away from your neighbors. It is a perfect tool to have a little bit of private space in terms of sound or the lack of.

In Summary

Gadgets make our lives easier and better. Some of them are for entertainment and enjoyment, but these are for making the first year of college productive and less stressful. They cover the needs in terms of available resources to study or work. They also protect your documents; allow you to always be online, and help with getting things done faster.

Of course, some students might also need printers, kindles, Bluetooth keyboards. The number of gadgets is immense and depends on personal needs. But this list covers all the necessities for every freshman.

Jack Palmer

Jack Palmer holds a PhD in Education from the University of Oxford and has been influencing the field of educational research and policy for 10 years. He joined our editorial team in 2019, enriching readers with insights on educational trends and teaching methodologies. Jack’s prior experience includes a professorship at a prestigious university and a policy advisor role in education reform. He is a passionate advocate for lifelong learning and enjoys playing the piano in his free time.

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