So you are heading off to college, and you want some advice about what kind of computer to get, what software you might need and what extra equipment you ought to convince your parents to buy for you. The Tired Donkey has some experience in these areas and will offer you the advice you seek. But don’t take this advice as comprehensive; you will need to adjust based on your specific circumstances and the way you like to work.
First, should you get a Mac or a PC? The Tired Donkey believes in Macs, and the advice in this post is geared toward Mac users. So if you have a Mac already or have decided to buy one, read on. If you are still undecided and want some Mac v. PC advice, try here. Or here. As you peruse these links, understand that you will have no problem using either system on any college campus for anything you need to do in college from turning in papers electronically to email to entertainment. Whatever you chose, don’t even think about getting a desktop machine; if you get anything other than a laptop, you’ll regret it.
So. Your new computer is great for entertainment, but never forget it is primarily a tool to help you succeed in college. Get off to a good start by using the summer before you leave for college to get organized, to think about how you are going to study, how you are going to structure your days and how you are going to succeed. It won’t happen by accident, and you don’t want to blow your first semester by feeling your way into college. Show up prepared and kick ass. Remember: the more organized you are right from the start, the more time you will have for enjoying the non-classroom aspects of college. Take care of business first, and the rest will follow naturally.
This post makes some recommendations for you, but there are plenty of resources available on the web if you just run some searches like “best mac applications for college students,” “succeeding in college,” etc. Use these resources (some of which the Tired Donkey lists at the end of this post), and don’t just waste your summer.
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