The Hi-tech Way To Set Kids Up For Life On Campus
Keep their grades and spirits high with handy tips for that first year at university
What I wouldn’t give to relive my uni days with today’s tech in tow. A lightweight laptop or smart pen could have saved me hours writing up lecture notes, and I’d have happily handed over my brick phone for a smart one loaded with study-savvy apps. I’d even have been tempted to swap my sandwich toaster for a soup maker! Whether you’re sending offspring out into the big wide world or you’re a mature student learning later in life, the fact is that when it comes to gadgets, the class of 2016 is spoilt for choice!
Given that most students will use their laptop to watch TV, listen to music, video-call home and shop, as well as tackle coursework, you can’t underestimate the importance of getting them the right one. I’d recommend a hybrid that can be used as a laptop for work and a tablet for play. Other invaluable tools are the Livescribe smart pen, as recommended by Katie Paterson, editor of student
finance site savethestudent.org (see below), and REFME, a free app that helps create and organise references for essays and dissertations.
LEARN TO BUDGET Loot’s smart banking is made for students and their parents. Open an account and they’ll get a pre-paid, contactless Visa debit card that can be used anywhere that accepts card payments, as well as at cash machines. It’s tied to an account number and sort code, so money can be transferred to the card easily. Sync the card with the Loot app and transactions will be sorted into categories, helping to set saving goals – invaluable if they are budgeting for the first time.
RENT A ROOM
If your kid isn’t in halls, they can use apps and websites to track down the perfect digs. Visit easyroommate.com and whether they’re alone, in a couple or part of a group, they can search for a house share by location, rent amount and moving date. You can list a room for rent here, too! Tools like Rentr will also take the potential sting out of finding a property and dealing with a landlord for the first time.
EAT RIGHT Ask any student what they miss most from home and I’m willing to bet 99.9% will say a good meal. But being holed up in halls needn’t lead to a diet of takeaways. A soup maker will take up hardly any space and can turn out a healthy meal for pennies (and with little culinary skill required). Similarly, a slow cooker will transform cheap cuts of meat into delicious casseroles while they’re out. Oh, and because caffeine is a student’s best friend, getting a coffee maker will save them heaps on Starbucks.
FACT! 20% OF FRESHERS HAVE NEVER WASHED THEIR OWN CLOTHES, 25% HAVE NEVER BUDGETED, 69% HAVE NEVER PAID A UTILITY BILL AND 14% CAN’T BOIL AN EGG SOURCE: SAINSBURY’S FINANCE/OPINIONPANEL
HELP THEM START THE NEW TERM KITTED OUT IN STYLE WITH THE LATEST HI-TECH GADGETS