There are a lot of gadgets that are available in the market for the college students. Most of them are marketed as ‘Essential Items’ promising to help you keep your life organized and make your studies go extra smoothly. One look at the price tag and the single mom who is going back to school may wonder if she will be able to afford to be a successful student.
The task is never simple for a single mom, managing finances for home, kids and college that are a lot to cater for. Everything you find at the stationers or all supplies recommended to you as ‘Essentials’ on different websites are actually not stuff that you require to buy. Keep it simple, mom. Your real needs are probably no more extravagant that those of your kids. And, you probably won’t have to invest in a box of crayons or spend a lot of time writing your name on all of your purchases. Stick to supplies that you just cannot do without and buy all additional stationery when the need arises.
Stick to the Basics
Possibly the most important thing that the single mom will need as she adds college classes to her busy schedule is a planner. Look for a size that is easy to carry and gives you enough space to keep a track of your kid’s activities as well as your own deadlines for assignments and dates for quizzes and tests. Do not go in for a very expensive one, instead look for something that is practical and easy to use. After all it is needed for simply keeping a track of everything and does not fetch you any extra credit during your assessments. Add each task to the planner immediately so that nothing is overlooked. Get into the habit of referring to it often and you’ll find that it will reduce your anxiety about the loose ends in your life, no matter how full it looks.
You would probably need a decent laptop if, you already do not have one. Look for functionality and not just good looks or brand name. Laptops have different processor speed, battery life, screen size and weight. When considering and comparing the features of different laptops remember that you would not gain from any extreme features which you will never use. They will only increase the price and upset your overall budget. And, do keep it in mind that technology is changing every day, what you buy today will soon be outdated anyways. Allocate a certain amount that you are willing to pay for this gadget and try to stick within your means while getting a decent machine that will be good enough to serve your purpose.
If you have a laptop and will be carrying it to campus or to the library, it will be worth the money to invest in a case. You don’t want to take the chance of damaging it during your commute. It will also be easier to carry. If the case is large enough to carry a notebook, pen and power source, so much the better.
Make sure that your printer is in working order and that your supply of ink or toner is sufficient. Stock up on printer paper. Running out of paper in the middle of the night when a project is due the next day is a stress that the single mom/student doesn’t need in her life.
Unless you are taking classes that need special tools like cameras or art supplies, the following list will get you through your student days:
• A 3 subject notebook for each class
• Note cards
• Pencil Sharpener
• 3-Ring Binders
• Stapler and staples
• Personal organizer
• A sturdy backpack to carry it all in
Some instructors would want specific items to be carried to the class, so put those items on hold when going in for purchasing your college supplies. For maths and science you may require carrying a calculator and for languages a dictionary or a thesaurus may be needed, wait till you get instructions and guidance from your instructor. Do not rush into buying things that you may never use, after all for a single mom student ‘Every Penny Counts.’