5 Essential Tech You Need For College

5 Essential Tech You Need For College

Essential tech you need for college

There are many items that your teen will need when they get to college, but a few of the most important items are the tech that will be necessary. This post breaks down the five essential tech items you need for college. Without these items, college is pretty impossible these days!

As your freshman heads off to school, there are a few essential tech items they will need FOR SURE!

I will break down what these are and why they are so necessary for college in the post below. My sons and their friends helped me come up with these most important five items! *This post may contain affiliate links. I also participate in other affiliate programs. My full disclosure policy is here.

Pin for later!

Essential tech items for college

What are the essential tech you need for college?

Power brick -Portable chargers are so handy! If your teen can remember to keep this thing charged, then they can keep it in their backpack to carry along with them in class for their laptop, phone or whatever. (See post about what to carry in a college backpack)

Headphones -There are so many options for this. Wired, wireless, earbuds, sound silencer, the list is endless. Make sure that your teen has a set that will work for them. My sons both have wired and earbuds. They use them for different things. Some are really inexpensive and others are really pricey. With a lot of online classes now, the wired might be a good choice besides the earbuds. Here are a couple of choices below.

If my sources had to pick, this was what they felt like was the most important “essential tech items you need for college…”

A laptop, “… give(s) students the flexibility and freedom they need to work on academic assignments anytime, anywhere,’ this is according to the University of Toledo. Even with computer labs on campuses, the likelihood of a desktop computer being available when your student needs one, is iffy. I know that my boys both said that when they would walk past the computer labs at their different campuses, every computer was often occupied.

Check with the college before making this purchase.

Be sure to check with the college before you make a purchase. They may prefer that your teen purchase a particular brand, and always make sure that they take advantage of student deals!

Price on laptops can vary by a large amount. The price can be determined by the amount of bells and whistles, the brand and many other variables, so some research will be involved!

Here is an inexpensive choice. Here is a medium expensive choice. And, here is a more expensive choice.

essential tech items you need for college

External hard drive -This will give your student the peace of mind that they can back up any device and know that their information is stored. The model below is good for Mac, PC, PS4, and Xbox. Make sure that your student doesn’t leave home without this!

Watch -This is another one of those things that your teen will have to decide what kind they want. It is always good to have some sort of device to tell time besides a phone. There are apple or other smart watches. There are paracord watches. There are dressy or professional watches. There are basic watches.

Why only 5 items of essential tech you need for college?

It was really hard to limit this list to five “essential tech you need for college”, but I like a list that doesn’t overwhelm, so I kept it to five. There are so many more items your teen will need for college, but remember that if they are living in a dorm, the choices that you all make will need to be smart and space-efficient!

Be sure to check out my post about your teen turning 18, there are some really important things to know legally that you will want to go over with your teen!

Weekly dose of parenting encouragement

Other related posts:

What does your teen need in their college backpack, What will my freshman need in their dorm room,

I would love to stay in touch!

Make sure you subscribe to my Parenting High Schoolers newsletter below for a weekly dose of love from me about surviving and thriving with teenagers. Simply enter your information below and you will be all set! You can also like my Facebook page, and follow me on Pinterest and YouTube! I look forward to seeing you again!❤️

Pin for later!

Essential tech items for college

Ideas For Parents in July: 5+ Wins

Ideas For Parents in July: 5+ Wins

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Ideas for Parents in July

What I’m learning and loving in the month of July, is where I talk about a few things that I am learning and loving in my life right now. This may include recipes, books, movies and gadgets, etc. Here are some ideas for parents in July. Please know that I am thinking of you in these hard days, and will try to find fun and useful things to share with you each month! (Here are the posts for April, May and June) Let me know what you are learning and loving so that I can add that to future posts!  Without further ado, here are my ideas for parents in July. *This post may contain affiliate links. I also participate in other affiliate programs. My full disclosure policy is here.

Pin for later!

Ideas for parents in July


Did you know that the federal direct loan interest rate was lowered on July 1, 2020 to 2.75% from 4.53% last year? This will last until June 30, 2021. This is huge! Even if your child doesn’t really need this money now, it might be a good idea to take a loan out, start repaying it while they are in school, and get ahead on repaying any other debt that you may have accumulated at higher interest rates during this crazy pandemic. (Please note that this will not affect previous loans.) As of June 6, 2021 from the Federal Student Aid site:  (To provide relief to student loan borrowers during the COVID-19 emergency, interest on most federal student loans has been temporarily set at 0%. The 0% interest will last from March 13, 2020, through at least Sept. 30, 2021.)

There are two types of loans for students

Federal direct subsidized loan interest rate:

These are available to undergrad and grad students with financial need. The school determines how much the student can receive. The student will get a grace period of up to six months after graduation to start paying. The Department of Education will pay the interest until graduation.

Federal direct unsubsidized loan interest rate:

These loans are available to graduate and undergrad students regardless of financial need. Again, the school will determine the amount that a student will receive based on scholarships received and the cost of attendance. Interest will accrue during the years of college.
Remember that this is just an idea. Talk with your teen’s financial aid office to see what your student would qualify for. Then talk it over with your spouse or significant other and your financial advisor. This is good money available at a really low rate. Your student would also benefit from starting with good credit even if you are the ones paying because the loan would be in their name. Please know that under normal circumstances, I don’t like the idea of student loan debt, but this is a little different circumstance. And, please consult someone with more wisdom than me! Do you have young adult power of attorney for your teen? This is not a subject any of us like to talk about, but having experienced this problem myself, I highly recommend you take care of this before they leave for college or wherever! Check out this blog post for more information: Things You Need To Know When Your Teen Turns 18.



My youngest son and I have been watching all of the Marvel movies in order since the pandemic began. We just finished, and it was so fun!  We have now just started the show The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. It’s on Disney+. Here is a link to the trailer.


Milk frother – This little gadget is cute and fun to use. I just stayed at my girlfriend’s house, and she has one of these to stir her collagen into her coffee each morning. (Collagen has many benefits for those of us over 40- read more here!) My son used it to whip his cream into his coffee, and we both loved using this. This would be a fun gift for your teen to froth their coffee or tea!


The Book of Lost Friends -Wingate This book was wonderful! It is set in two time periods. The first time period is Louisiana in 1875. Three young women (Hannie- a former slave, Lavinia -who Hannie had previously had to serve, and Juneau Jane -the illegitimate half-sister of Lavinia) are connected in multiple ways, and who don’t get along for many reasons, find themselves on a journey to to hopefully right some wrongs. Along the way, some really terrible things occur, and they find out that they really need each other. They all have their own reasons to be on this journey, and the entire time you are wondering whether things will work out or not. The other setting is Louisiana in 1987. A young woman, Benny, is a first year teacher in a tiny community at a rural school hoping to pay off her student loan debt. She tries desperately to reach her students and to make a difference in their lives. She uncovers a book with clues about the three young women from 1875, but some local townspeople do not want that information to come out. This sucked me in, and I could not put this down! I love Lisa Wingate’s books.


Did you know that July is National ice cream month?? Yum! National Postal Worker Day (1), Independence Day (4), National Fried Chicken Day (6), National Video Games Day (8)-REALLY???, Peach Ice Cream Day (17), National Ice Cream Soda Day (20),


Cause a little bit of summer is what the whole year is about. —John Mayer Don’t you just love summer? Even though this one is certainly a strange one, there are so many things that can only be enjoyed in the summer! So, take time to “smell the roses”, and enjoy this time with your teens! Here are 50 things for teens to do this summer for both fun and for college and life prep. Weekly dose of parenting encouragement

Ideas for Parents in July

I hope that you like my ideas for parents in June! Some other posts that might be helpful this time of the year: Father’s Day Gift List That Teens Can Afford Best Conversations to Have With Your Teen, Help Your Teen Set Up His or Her First Apartment, Backpack Essential for High School and College,

I would love to stay in touch!

Make sure you subscribe to my Parenting High Schoolers newsletter below for a weekly dose of love from me about surviving and thriving with teenagers. Simply enter your information below and you will be all set! You can also like my Facebook page, and follow me on Pinterest and YouTube! I look forward to seeing you again!❤️

Pin for later!

Ideas for parents in July
5 Steps to Avoid Losing Your Cool With Your Teen

5 Steps to Avoid Losing Your Cool With Your Teen

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

5 Steps to Avoid Losing Your Cool With Your Young Adult

My good friend Shannon Hale at www.skiptomylife.com has kindly written this guest post letting us know how to avoid losing your cool with your teen. She has some great ideas! It’s tough to remember exactly where the burning sensation started. Perhaps I mistook it for a hot flash. Before I knew it, I was excusing myself from the room, muttering something to my husband about this being HIS son.

Pin for later!

Avoid Losing Your Cool with Your Teen!

When Your Darling Child Comes Home From College…

What could my rising freshman possibly have said to stir such emotion, just moments after hugs and welcome-homes from his first year at college? I’m going to tell you. Because even though I’m not usually a betting kind of gal, I’d be willing to place cash on the barrel that you will hear some version of these two sentences come from the lips of your sweet child in the coming weeks:

“You never knew what I was doing when I was away at school. Why do I have to tell you where I am now that I’m home”?

How to avoid losing your cool with your young adult

Whether you’re launching a graduate or welcoming one home this summer, the routine you’ve settled into over the school year is sure to change in the coming days. And, surprise! The dynamics between you and your young adult may have morphed more than either of you are expecting.

Learn from me, friends, and top off the volcano of unrealistic expectations before it erupts. Just a little planning on your part and a short discussion with your student can make the difference between a frustrating summer and one you’ll cherish for years to come. Don’t worry; I’ll walk you through this process step-by-step.

Living with young adults feels a little like walking a tightrope over the Grand Canyon. It takes a lot of balancing to trust our kid on one side while requiring their personal responsibility on the other. That balancing act can leave us, as parents, a bit wobbly. Add to this the fear of major repercussions for slipping too far to either side, and we are quickly set up for a very stressful summer. 

Avoid Losing Your Cool with Your Teen

Avoid Summer Slump

“Summer Slump” is the term coined to describe the post-semester blues that result from a combination of factors:  change in daily routine, distance from friends, and unforeseen conflict in family and romantic relationships. About 1 in 3 students described themselves as depressed as a result of this phenomenon.

Quote:  “Without our rigid schedules where our days are planned down to the minute, we begin to feel like we don’t know who we are anymore.” (Post-Semester Depression, Kaitlyn Skye Hipple, Odyssey, May 3, 2016)

As the busyness of the school year comes to a screeching halt, don’t be left frantically navigating how your teen will fill their summer days. Take just 30 minutes to talk through some simple strategies and set a plan in motion, and you’ll see major pay-off in the coming months. Here’s how you’ll spend that half hour.

5 tips to Avoid losing your cool with your young adult this summer

1. Get out the calendar

Young adults are notorious for misunderstanding time constraints. Pull out the calendar and start by figuring out just how many weeks are unaccounted for this summer. It may be fewer than you, or your student, think. 

Next step:  post any dates that are already scheduled, such as family vacations, weddings, deadlines and social events. These events will serve to break up the perception of monotony of the months stretching before your student.

Click here for a free printable summer planner.

2. Take time to dream

Give your student permission to dream about what they’d like to do this summer. During my son’s last summer before college, he and his cousin organized a cross-country road trip to see their favorite band. 

Although I was tempted to say “absolutely not” when he first presented the idea, the planning and responsibility he showed won me over. Put a lock on your lips and just listen. You may be surprised to see a new side of your kid.

How can you avoid losing your cool with your teen this summer?!

Once they’ve had their say, it’s time for mom and dad to share their dreams for the summer. This might include something as simple as visiting the local snow cone stand or as epic as a major bike ride. Your summer will be so much more fun if you don’t lose your cool with your young adult!

3. Discuss guidelines

Learn from my mistakes, my wonderful friends. Don’t assume your student knows what you expect from them this summer. You are making the transition from parenting to coaching, from living with your child to living with another adult.

It’s tough. It’s awkward. But we can do this. Setting simple guidelines about household chores, curfew, communication, use of car- will keep you from so many rolling eyeballs and slammed doors.

Remember that they have, indeed, kept themselves from dying over the last several months. Give them credit and very generous limits.

I grew up in a home with one bathroom. Not one full bath and one half bath- one toilet, one sink, one shower. So many battles could have been avoided and so many tears could have been saved had we just sat down and figured out a schedule. But then my sisters and I wouldn’t have near the stories to tell, right?

4. Provide options

In the event that your teen’s answer to question 2 is “play video games on the couch”, here’s some help. You, dear parent, will come to this conversation armed with some ideas for summer options. Here is the beauty of taking 30 minutes to have this planning session in early summer versus waiting until mid-July.

Avoid losing your cool with your teen this summer!

As you probably know, but your teen may not, now is the time to apply for and pursue a summer job, schedule an internship, or sign up for summer classes. I know, I know, you’re afraid this revelation will push your already-overwhelmed kid into overload. But here’s where your pre-work will pay off. 

Show them support by offering to temporarily take something off their plate so they can have a couple of hours to fill out an application online or schedule a meeting with a local business owner.

5. Celebrate and model self-care

Summer is a great time for students to catch up on sleep, get into better eating habits or start an exercise program. But we can’t very well encourage them to do those things if we’re not doing them ourselves.

Choose a few goals you’d like to work on this summer. Your son or daughter will be more motivated by your actions than by nagging. Plan to celebrate reaching a weight or fitness goal as a family.

Now that another school year is in the books, push the easy button and set aside some time for summer planning with your student. You’ll be glad you did when fall rolls around and you’re waving goodbye once again.

Here is another post about dealing with students home for a break by my friend Dana at Parenting in Real Life.

Tools to help:  how to avoid losing your cool with your young adults 

Shannon created a free printable summer planner that will walk you through the 5 steps above.

Thanks to Shannon for all the great ideas for ideas on how to avoid losing your cool with your young adults. This is our first summer that our boys are NOT coming home, and that is a whole other story! 

Pin for later! 

Avoid Losing Your Cool with Your Teen!

Here are other blog post links…

Great Books to Read With or Without Your Teen,

7 Things to Know If You Love a Teenager,

Great Games to Play With Your Teens Anytime

I would love to stay in touch!

Make sure you subscribe to my Parenting High Schoolers newsletter below for a weekly dose of love from me about surviving and thriving with teenagers. Simply enter your information below and you will be all set! You can also like my Facebook page, and follow me on Pinterest and YouTube! I look forward to seeing you again!❤️

Thrive Through High School

Join our mailing list to receive your high school survival kit. Stay organized with the necessary information required when applying for colleges, scholarships and future employment..


You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest