5 Things a Community College Student Should Never Be Without

by Chad Agrawal

college-studentRegardless of where you’re studying, community college is an experience abundant with opportunities. Every day is a surprise regarding who you’ll meet or bump into, what you’ll learn and what connections, recreational or professional, you might find yourself making. With professors flooding emails, friends blowing up phones and class starting in five minutes, it’s important to keep these five items close by to better take advantage of every moment in the midst of the organized chaos known as community college:

Phone – No, not so you can text during class or be online to play Draw Something/Words With Friends. Set up your school email on your phone or download your university’s app if they have one so that you can receive alerts and reminders from professors and important information concerning your internship the moment it hits. In the first week of classes, keeping notes on your phone of your schedule and classroom locations can be a life saver; the same goes for exam week, when your dreaded final is taking place in a building you are unfamiliar with. . Smart phones are a handy tool to use when out and about to set up reminders, schedule meets with friends, group project meet-ups, and club meetings. Plus, there are hundreds of apps out there which can be utilized for sharing and organizing information (re: homework, paper, projects, study notes), creating to-do and shopping lists, and more. Check out The App Store for relevant applications for college life!

Watch – There’s a time and a place for cell phones, and it is not when you are talking with others, in the middle of lecture, or at your job or internship. Because of this, a watch is a valuable accessory to always have on you; not to mention, it’s a functional piece which makes you appear professional and organized without even trying. And hey, you never know who will find an excuse to talk to you by asking for the time! Brands like Invicta, sold through ShopHQ, have dozens of discounted men’s and women’s watches ranging from casual and trendy to upscale and luxurious, so you can find a watch for on-campus wear, and/or one that will make a positive impression at your internship.

Notebook and Pen – It's one of those items that you never think you’ll need… until you do. Your schedule can get pretty hectic without you realizing it, so be sure to keep a pen and paper in your bag at all times. The worst case scenario is waking up late, rushing out the door, and winding up in your most important class without a notebook. Chances are you are still have a few professors who are against technology and laptops in the classroom; pens and pencils are your only chance for survival in these courses.  If you take public transportation to and from school, it can also come in handy for creating to-do lists, jotting down upcoming assignments, getting a head start on an upcoming paper, or brainstorming projects and thesis proposals.

School ID – A school ID is basically your backstage pass to your campus and more. Find a permanent home for your ID in your wallet or purse (Amazon has plenty of cheap options) where you can always reach in and grab it; getting into buildings for lectures and finals may depend on it!  Depending on your campus’s amenities, an ID often also gets you access into the dining hall, library, gym, and shuttle transportation, and will often grant you late-night access into tech labs and other facilities. Furthermore, you never know what outside establishment will give out a discount if your student ID is presented!

Resume or Portfolio – Community college, by nature, is a central hub for making connections and opportunities. With an ever-changing landscape and student body, you’ll likely be meeting new people all of the time: in classes, at resource and job fairs, around campus and at recreational clubs. If you get to chatting with another student, teacher, or guest lecturer about work, you should have something tangible to show for it. Regardless of if you’re looking for employment or not, presenting that person with a copy of your well-rounded resume or business card, or giving them a brief look through your portfolio (so long as it’s compact) helps to leave a lasting impression and solidifies the encounter as a part of your network. If this person has something to remember you by or checks out your website or professional social media accounts, you never know who they may share it with or how that opportunity might cash out in the future.

A long day on campus can be stressful when you’re fighting to make the most out of every day in your two years. Making sure to always have these items on you allows for not only peace of mind, but also helps you to bank on unplanned opportune moments to advance your relationships, experiences, and future career.

This post was written by Chad Agrawal

Chad Agrawal is the founder of CCTS, helping students transfer from community college to Ivy League, tier 1 or anywhere else by following this community college guide.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Luna October 26, 2013 at 8:42 pm

Can you give some tips about how to get into your community college honors program, if you were not accepted?


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: