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Hi I’m starting college soon and I’m wondering what the classes would be like and if I would need a laptop as I’m worried as I don’t know what I would need to bring
Original post by firefox090
Hi I’m starting college soon and I’m wondering what the classes would be like and if I would need a laptop as I’m worried as I don’t know what I would need to bring

It depends on what you are studying, but I have never come across a situation where you are required to bring a laptop with you (not even for computer science, even though I never studied it in college). What are you studying out of interest?

I would bring what you would need for the day e.g.

A4 notepad

Sketchbook or tablet - if applicable

Large A2-3 carry case and paper - if applicable for design related courses

Stationery - particularly 2-3 spare pens, as they can go missing/borrowed/stolen surprisingly often

Memory stick

Phone with eaphones/cheap air pods and possibly your charger - I recommend having the Notion AI app and possibly the calculator apps if applicable

Calculator, if applicable

Textbooks for your course, if applicable

Revision guides for your specific course, if applicable

A book you're currently reading - because I promote learning in various forms

I wouldn't recommend bringing the textbooks if you can get access to them in the library or if they're particularly heavy.
I would also keep an arch lever file (something larger than a ringbinder) at home to accumulate the notes that you take. For good practice, I would go through the notes often and make sure to keep the notes organised - messy and disorganised notes really does affect your ability to revise properly.
The only time I wouldn't bother with an arch lever file is if all the notes for the course are specifically provided for me e.g. courses for professional certifications.

The only times when I would remotely consider bringing a laptop is if I need it for a presentation (for some reason, and I can't use the local computers) or I have a very large software suite that I need to access and aren't available on the computers in college (never the case in my opinion). In other words, unless your college still use archaic methods from the stone age (e.g. computers older than those int he 80s and can fall apart at any moment) but teach modern subjects, then I would consider bringing my laptop.
If your phone alone is not adequate and the computers are really bad, then you can consider bringing your tablet instead of your laptop. I would make sure the tablet is safe and relatively easy to replace. This is very unlikely though.
The things you would really use your laptop/tablet for would be presentations, word documents, spreadsheets, AI apps for studying purposes, brosweing the net, design apps (if applicable), and programming suites (if applicable). I wouldn't really use them for anything else whilst in college; so you're very likely to have all you need on the local computers in college.

In terms of what the classes are like, it's a lot more indpendent with no coaching, and the tutors/teachers expect you to sort yourself out. The teachers are essentially there to go through the material and answer questions. How you perform and what results you would get is really down to you. So if you don't use the right study strategy and mess up, that's on you not the teachers per se.
It's also independent in the sense you would only have lessons at certain times of the day, and it's up to you to turn up for those lessons. There would be free periods during the day (or you can be free for the rest of the day), and what you do during those periods is up to you e.g. spend time in the library, go home early, arrive later in the day (unless they still have assemblies in the morning), go to work, go to town/shopping, socialise, sleep, etc. If you were to take full accountability for your studies, then you would spend the time in the library to study. (The library because it's probably the place you would know of where you have the least distraction and where you can focus the most on what you are studying, and you can't really study properly if you can't focus or know what to focus on.) A good alternative to the library is the computer room, provided that you actually do work on the computer.
Whilst the college has a record of your attendance, they are not going to send out a search party for you if you don't turn up (you're not 5). If you miss enough lessons without reason, you can automatically fail the course or lose your place in the college.
If you are taking your studies seriously, I would treat the whole thing like a full time job e.g. get to college by 9 and don't leave until 5/6pm when it close (unless you need something that you can only get from home).

For socialising, I would occasionally spend time in the communal areas (or hang out where you're permitted e.g. cafeteria). It's also the second best time to make as many friends as possible (the best time was before you left school), because once you left university it gets progressively more difficult.

The above pointers would also apply even if you are studying at university or studying for professional qualifications. The only time I don't think the above would apply is if you study at a private school where they give you a set timetable, which tend to be very intensive e.g. get up at 8am and study until 9/10pm.
(edited 8 months ago)

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