The back-to-school season seems to have started a little early with some smaller sales occurring. But the bigger back-to-school sales we’re used to likely won’t start yet. Either way, here’s a list to get you started filled with tips, hacks and must-haves.
Some links on my blog are affiliate links, where I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. The disclosure policy can be found here.
For those of you going into High School or College/University, I think your first move is to figure out how you’ll write notes best; digitally or manually. I’m personally good with either option, but I do get a lot of hand cramps when having to write excessively by hand. Digital note-taking has become very very popular on social media, so I do recommend looking into it.
Know your student discounts, and look up student pricing!
If you are preparing to buy electronics for back to school, and are enrolled in an eligible college or university you can get apple devices at a discounted price. I’m not sure if this will also apply if you are enrolled in high school though. You can find more info on this by googling Apple Education Pricing, though I’m not sure this is widely available everywhere though.
I have personally purchased through this pricing program twice; an iPad and an apple pencil. Overall, it saved a bit of money but it was still a bit pricey. But with a purchase of certain products (like my iPad) you can get AirPods, it’ll be the original style ones and you can pay a bit extra to upgrade to the other upgraded charging case or get the AirPod pro.
I stayed with the original AirPods and ended up giving my old set to my mom, who now also has a cute avocado case with it. On another note, if you are on the fence about dishing out $100-something for the apple pencil, there’s also the Logitech crayon you can consider.
It doesn’t have the touch sensitivity thing (I think you can’t tilt for thinner or thicker lines) so it won’t be great for artists, but it’s a cheaper option to consider at $80.
If you’re looking for a laptop, consider specs for the long run and not just the brand!
A lot of the time, I see friends and classmates opt for a classic mac or MacBook but their laptop can’t handle what they want to do. And I get it, it seems like everyone these days has some sort of apple product and having a Macbook looks nice. But if you don’t have the money to buy one with higher specs, it may not run the games or software you want (along with some other stuff, because some apps and etc will require you to purchase an IOS version or won’t have one available for apple products).
My suggestion is to wait for a back-to-school sale from Bestbuy or Staples and buy a gaming laptop. The minimum RAM I would suggest is 12GB. I got my gaming laptop with 16GB of RAM years ago and it’s run really well when I need it to, choosing courses? Got you! Playing an intense game? Got your back! Youtube? You bet!
The cost is about the same as a basic MacBook (the newer models), but you will likely have to compromise on laptop size and weight. My laptop is bigger and heavier than the average one and it can be difficult finding a backpack or laptop bag to fit it.
If you got yourself an iPad, great! Now comes the part where you decide on cases and etc. I won’t be telling you how to choose the right case for it (or if you should get one at all) because that’s your own choice. But I do recommend getting a screen protector at the very least, and an iPad stand if you think it will be useful.
The case I have for my iPad can also act as a stand for it, but I use an actual stand for it at home. It’s the best one I’ve had so far and I also would highly recommend it. It’s stable enough for the iPad Air 4, and you can also use it for your phone as well.
For those who are artists, I’m sure you’ll be looking into getting a paper-feel-type screen protector. I would also recommend either getting extra apple-pencil tips or a tip protector to slow down the tip degrading, which I hear is a big problem when using the paper-feel screen protectors.
For those with new laptops, I’ll also recommend getting a Bluetooth mouse for convenience. I have one from Logitech that I got when I started high school and they are still pretty good at the moment.
Now, this is another tricky topic since it’s very much based on personal preferences. For me, I like fine and thinner pen tips. So I’ll always opt for 0.5 or ‘F’ Bic pens, which can be harder to find but Amazon will have some. If you are into a smoother writing experience, Muji pens are the cheaper option.
I’m not much for spending a lot of money on pens so Muji ones are probably the most “expensive” brand I’ll buy. Staples also has some great pens in stock in stores, I have one of the Sarasa style pens and the writing quality is so nice! But at $3~ a piece, that’s the only one I’m buying.
Apart from pens, scratch pads and note pads are necessary to have around when you’re in high school and post-secondary. Sure you have your phone for notes but sometimes you’ll need something to write on when you’re ON your phone.
More than once, I’ve been on my phone and struggled to take note of something because I didn’t have something handy around. So for the sake of your own sanity, grab some scratch pas/note pads from the dollar store the next time you’re there.
Anyways, I hope this is helpful for those starting school soon!