Tips for Getting Your Laptop Ready for Community College

by A Guest Author

Transferring from community college to university can take a lot of work, and one thing that any community college transfer student needs is a good laptop. You will spend much of your college years perched in front of a computer – yours, the community college's or the university’s – hacking away at the keys to earn your 2 year degree, then your four year degree and maybe some scholarship or grant dollars along the way. As such, one could argue that your computer is the most important thing you can bring with you on your journey of self-discovery and maturity.

Before you start the new semester, your laptop needs to be ready for the slew of emails, papers, and so forth that it has coming. With that in mind, it’s time to prepare your laptop for the next big thing: college.


Community college and university is like running two marathons a year for your computer, so it’s important to keep everything inside running as well as possible. No one wants to see their data slip into the black hole of a fried hard drive. Keeping it purely technical for now, there are some items to consider:

  • Performance: Consider clearing off memory hogs and other programs that can affect performance. If it has been awhile, consider reinstalling the OS to restore your computer to like-new status.
  • Space: An external hard drive for pictures and music can help reserve space on the hard drive. This simple tip reinforces overall performance.
  • Travel: Free library Wi-Fi is great, but you need to have the right accessories. Make sure you have a good carrying case for your laptop, along with a mouse and any other accessories you’ll need.

After transferring to university, check if your new school offers any goodies, such as free software licenses (i.e. the expensive Microsoft Office suite, or Adobe Creative Suite for those types).

Don’t stop there, though:

  • Put commonly used programs in easy “reach” on your computer.
  • Optimize bookmarks. Removing the clutter can help you work more efficiently. You could also make folders for research projects, as well as adding some commonly used resources (think encyclopedias, research libraries and others along with subject-specific sites) to help your productivity.
  • Think efficiency. Make folders for your syllabi and files. Decide on how you will keep track of tasks (computer, smartphone, or something else?) and calendar-based items. Yes – even create shortcuts to jump-start into schoolwork, when needed. Additionally, there are a number of productivity boosting applications that you can use on your laptop (and mobile device) to streamline research, stay organized and earn that scholarship loot!


Without a doubt, safety is one of the most important considerations in preparing your laptop for community college and university. From malware to a system failure, such items can have devastating consequences on a project.

Imagine what would happen if your computer was lost or stolen. Or, in the event of a computer error or virus, your files were lost. How would you manage without your pictures from spring break? Or, better yet, how would you proceed from the first draft of your 15-page essay?

Backing up your files is the best solution. Thanks to cloud-based services, you can recover your files regardless of what happens to your computer. Cloud-based backup can protect your data from anything. It also makes it easier to transfer documents you already written at your previous school.

Apart from backup, there are the conventional threats – from malware, spam and intruders virtually and physically. Make sure you opt for a full-fledged solution that has it all:

  • Antivirus
  • Firewall
  • Adware/Spyware Removal

The good news is that you don’t need to spend a fortune to get a good security program or two. Plenty of low-cost software, as well as freeware, can do the job. However, be sure to see what your school has –especially if you’re living on campus – as a school firewall could interfere with your security suite.


More than a few considerations come into play when preparing your laptop for your community college transfer. However, with regard to safety and productivity, taking these steps can make the experience go much smoother.

Don’t hesitate to go over these key points with your laptop. You might just find a way to do your coursework much quicker – or save it, should your laptop not fulfill its duty. From backing up your data and antivirus software to improving your computer’s performance and organization, your time is well spent in preparations and will help you in transferring from community college.

This post was written by A Guest Author

This post was written by a guest author. If you have high quality, useful information to share with students, send us an email or click Write For Us to learn more. And in case you're wondering - yes, you can promote yourself in this fancy author byline.

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