Must-have supplies for the adult college student

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I was thinking about school supplies today. So many families are getting school supplies for their youngsters who are going back to school right now. Many nontraditional students are doing that right now, getting their students ready.

There are many supplies on sale, too, like notebooks, backpacks, and even room decorations at many stores right now. Some sales are mostly geared to elementary or high school students, but you may still find some items you need at these sales.

Younger students have lists to follow from school. But also for nontraditional students, there are things that they may be picking up that are not on a list, but needed. Of course, nontraditional students can have required materials lists that they are getting for each class too. These usually include books (some with CD's or DVD's), paper, notebooks, and other supplies for art classes or science classes, like calculators and other things.

I have compiled a list of must-haves (or would-like-to-haves) for the savvy adult student who is attending GED classes, community college or University classes. This is mainly a list for students who are attending a school in person, instead of online, though some of the suggestions may help them too.

Here they are,  
A must-have list of school supplies
for Nontraditional Students

1. A calendar planner that can be stored in a notebook or purse. This is a must-have to put deadlines in, class assignments, and even class locations. It need not be expensive, but I find the nicer ones are easier to use. These are hard to find on sale when you need them, so if you do see some on sale later on and you can use them later, by all means get replacement pages or a new planner later on.

2. A backpack or wheeled book cart for classes. This will prove so helpful when you have a lot of stuff to pack, and especially for department book sales (like they had once or twice when I was back at school) and to bring your computer. New ones have room for your water bottle, your lunch, CD's, and more.

3. Comfortable but fashionable as possible clothes for school. Look around and see what other, younger students are wearing. You don't have to copy them, of course, but you will feel more at ease if you can update your look a bit. You don't have a spend a lot, just a couple new things may help you blend in more and even get a compliment now and then.

4. A reliable cell phone. You probably already know how handy these can be. And don't forget to turn them off before class. Having cell phones go off (and it may happen) can really annoy some teachers. There is also another reason to have a cell phone. Some universities use them to communicate with their students when there is an emergency situation.

5. A lunch or lunch money - especially if you are taking face to face classes on campus. It is annoying to be very hungry during classes. After awhile, it will become second nature to have snacks and drinks with you to save money too.

6. Paper and pencils with erasers (or stick-on erasers) and pens and a highlighter plus extras for other students. Some younger students (and older ones, too) can be forgetful and will appreciate your offer of extra paper or pencils. You never now when you will need this student to help you with a study group or a last-minute offer to take notes for you when you are sick or have a family emergency. It pays to be nice!

7. Comfortable walking shoes. If you are on campus, you may need to do some healthy hiking to and from class or to the student center. If you are lucky, you will be able to walk to a nontraditional student club or student union, complete with computers, tables, and study areas. It will be hard enough to get back in shape for some students. Some good walking shoes will be a great investment. Some nice sneakers or tennies will do just fine.

8. Accessories - - you may need a hat, sunglasses, a water bottle, a towel and exercise clothing, clothing bag or pillowcase or a mat if you have a student gym at your school, a portable computer, a calculator, reading glasses, an ID holder or wallet, and other things to make your life easier while you are away from your house and at school. Write a list down whenever you see somebody who is using an item to make their lives easier at school.

9. A dictionary and thesaurus and/or a writing guide - you may already have these things from other classes. If you are just beginning, these books will help you a lot with writing assignments. Other handy books you may want to invest in might be How to Write Essays or Thesis books, or How-To books on the proper formatting your teacher wants you to use, like MLA or APA.

10. A portable paper notepad. This will be a small notepad you can keep in your pocket or purse. When you have notes and don't want to lug out your big trapper keeper or class folder, you can just jot things down there. You can use your planner for double-duty, but some planners do not have much room on them. You can always transfer your notes to your computer or a big planner later on. This way you can keep things like classmate's phone numbers and emails with you, and transfer them later too.

I included a personal computer as an "accessory" for this list. I think you must have some kind of computer in order to stay organized too. You can't always count on there being a computer free for your work at school, although many schools have great computer labs, which I always used at a pinch. You can use them, sure, but must put your data on a thumb drive or disk in order to keep it from being erased by mistake. If you do not have a portable computer, this is OK, because you can always use one at home.

Comment after this article, and list your personal "must-have's" for school. I look forward to hearing from you!

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