Supplies to help you tackle the semester

Aliyah Rodriguez, Features & Lifestyle Editor

With many students deciding to take their classes either completely remotely or in hybrid format, the necessary supplies for classes  have changed. Online learning has changed the game, and students may no longer need traditional supplies such as pencils, pensnotebooks or binders. Now, students may have to consider the necessity of going fully digital with their supplies and how that might impact their learning experience.  

Before the pandemic, laptops and tablets could either be a hit or a miss depending on whether a professor was comfortable with students using electronics in class, but because of the college’s recent COVID-19 protocols, personal laptops and tablets are a necessity. Laptops and tablets provide the ability for students to have multiple productivity aids right at their fingertips. Productivity apps such as calendars, to-do lists and note-taking apps that can be shared across devices could be a great asset to students trying to manage their time. For most laptop models, students can also split their screen so that they can take notes while simultaneously tuning into a professor’s lecture – it’s as close as one can get to the full in-person experience while learning from home.  

Other supplies that could be a great asset to students this semester are USB flash drives and external hard drivesThe difference really depends on the amount of storage space needed based on your courses. Both drives would be a great back-up in case you lose access to the internet or need to use a computer other than your preferred one that doesn’t have your files saved to itWhile Senior Victoria Ricciuti still enjoys using traditional materials like pens and notebooks, she learned from the pitfalls of distance learning last semester and decided that a USB is her best bet for having reliable access to all of her course materials.  

“I think that a big thing that a lot of students should have are USBs just in case your preferred computer crashes or you can’t access Iona’s website or Blackboard, at least you have somewhere to keep all your documents in place,” Ricciuti said. “You need one organized spot to keep everything for the semester. 

Lastly, a tried and true school supply that is often taken for granted is a planner. It may seem like a given that most students would have a planner, but oftentimes students do not. Planners, whether physical or digital, are a great way to organize and manage your time regardless of whether you’re taking classes in person or online. Planners are usually partially customizable, and the best way to get the most out of a planner is if you utilize monthly, weekly and daily spreads so you never forget an assignment or important date. However, not everyone can remain consistent with writing in a planner, so senior Janelle Ruiz has found another way to keep herself organized while distance learning.   

  “Transitioning to classes online last semester was abrupt, but I find that a routine and a couple of supplies can add ease to your experience,” Ruiz said. “For me it’s Postit notes that I place in random areas to give me quick reminders on assignments and questions related to my class work.” 

The potential of moving back to completely remote learning due to COVID-19 is something that we all cannot ignore so it is good to have supplies that can help make that transition easier. With the help of supplies like these, you’ll be sure to tackle the semester regardless of what obstacles may come your way.