The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

What every first year needs to survive

This fall, expect plenty of incoming first years to be more tech-savvy than ever. To welcome in the Class of 2012, I put together a list of essential electronics.

The average college student will have an iPod, a flat-screen TV, an iPhone or BlackBerry, and most definitely a Facebook account. If you have no idea why you would want all of these things, don’t worry – you’ll learn.

Last month, I had the unique opportunity to attend the world’s second-largest computer trade show. Taipei Computex is basically a marketplace where companies shop for parts to the products we will eventually buy. This year’s products had a heavy focus on WiMax mobile broadband, super small notebooks, GPS technology and green products.

Despite these technologies continuing to improve our lives, they still don’t have robots that will do your homework or automatic cars that will fix Dallas’ rush hour traffic problem.

Knowing what technology exists to make your life easier is important. This list is not comprehensive, but enjoy!

Top Ten Tech Gadgets for College:

10. A digital scale: Helps keep you away from that Freshmen 15.

9. All-in-one scanner printer: You probably got one for free with your new laptop. Now you can make copies of your friends’ class notes when you get sick or take an early flight home for the weekend.

8. Water filter container: This one is pretty low tech, but it will save you a lot of trips to the store. Plus, you’ll feel good about not spending money on something free.

7. A refridgerator: This one complements No. 8. You can rent three different sizes during move-in day or buy your own, but make sure it’s not more than 3.1 cubic feet. A word of caution: one fridge per room.

6. USB drive: Don’t go to the library without it – just because Fondren Library is open 24 hours doesn’t mean you can procrastinate on that paper all night long. The computers reset at 4 a.m. – which means, if you aren’t saving your work to a USB drive, tough luck.

5. Digital camera: How else will you share your latest collegiate escapades all over Facebook?

4. MP3 player: While this is still a luxury, almost everyone has something these days – an iPod, Zune, whatever. Especially crucial for those late-night cram sessions in Club Fondren, or when you just want to tune out and run at the awesome Dedman Center.

3. TV: I think this one is self-explanatory. The flat-screens seem to fit snugly into those residence hall rooms. Those with the built-in DVD players are pretty handy.

2. Laptop: While professors hate students who sit in class playing online poker or Facebooking, a laptop is probably the second best thing you can purchase. A built-in webcam will help you stay in touch with friends and family, too. If you ask me, I’d go with a Macbook. Plus, you get a free iPod touch when you purchase one this summer!

1. Smartphone: Probably the one thing we can’t live without – cell phones. But just having a cell phone isn’t enough these days. Go for a smartphone – it’s made for college students with a built-in camera, MP3 player, cell phone, calendar and e-mail!

Since college is all about having fun, I’ve given you five fun things to jumpstart your freshman year. Consider this part of your freshmen orientation.

Top Five Fun Electronics to Bring:

5. Strobe lights: Essential for random dance parties in your dorm room!

4. Speakers: You can’t have a dance party without good speakers. Just watch out for those noise violations.

3. TV Tuner: Alternatives to TiVo are great when you’re in college. The EyeTV Hybrid is a great tuner for Mac users. Now you can watch your favorite shows on your own time.

2. Game console: Pick your favorite flavor – and yes, old school Super Nintendo is in!

1. Rock Band: You can’t go wrong with this game – throw a rockstar party starring you, your roommate and those cute girls or guys across the hall from you.

So there you have it. Hope you’re feeling more prepared for college. At least you’ve got something to talk about during those awkward moments during AARO when you’re feeling shy, right? Just turn around and ask, “What are you bringing with you to college?” I’d love to hear what you’re bringing – just e-mail me.

Daniel Liu is a graduate student majoring in engineering management. He can be reached at [email protected].

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