College students rely on their phones and laptops as much as they rely on their strong cup of coffee from the 24-hour diner on campus. When the internet connection in your dorm room temporarily goes down during your study session during finals week, it can feel like the end of the world. Tech plays a huge role in college students' lives, and whether you're commuting to school and taking advantage of the campus WiFi to finish up assignments before class or are dorming for the semester, you're sure to come across one or two tech problems. Prepare yourself for your next tech emergency with these 10 easy tech tips.
Keep Calm And Talk To IT
When you've been locked out of your campus email account, you're likely to freak out. But remember that the tech team's staff members most likely consist of student workers just like yourself and they're more likely to help you efficiently if you're calm and collected. Make sure that you've written down the time and place you started having a conflict and any other details that they might need. Tech teams have to ask you what seems like a million questions to get to the root of your problem, so try to write down as many details as possible.
Keep Your Contacts Visible
It's pretty hard to call or email your campus's tech department, financial aid office or the Dean's office when the internet connection in your dorm room is spotty or your computer has frozen. Make life easier for yourself by printing out all your most needed phone numbers and emails to keep tucked away in your planner or hung up somewhere you'll always see it in your dorm. Don't underestimate your ability to forget the 4 digital extension number when you've got study guides, exams, club meetings and tomorrow's double shift on your mind.
Download Your Online Text Books
Paying for textbooks isn't very fun, so when you purchased those online textbook your professors requested, you probably didn't think too much about them. Check to see if your online text book came with the added option to download your books for offline reading. If so, you can browse through your text books on your laptop, phone or tablet during that long bus ride.
Keep An Emergency Portable Charger
As a tech savvy college student, you've most likely already invested in a handy portable charger just in case your phone battery runs low. But take that strategy a step further and store a portable charger with a strong and quick charging power (Anker's PowerCore+ Charger, $40) in the trunk of your car or in your dorm to use strictly during emergencies. Campus wide power outages are pretty common during winter storms or heat waves, so it never hurts to be extra charged—especially if you'll be bored for a few hours or need to contact family members if you happen to lose power.
Run A Speed Test
If the WiFi in your dorm room suddenly becomes spotty, you can save yourself some time. Run a quick speed test using www.speedtest.net or your campus' designated speed test site to get a detailed record of the internet speed in your dorm area. Emailing screenshot of the finished record to your IT team can help escalate your incident since the report can quickly answer any of the basic questions they might ask before they send a technician to investigate your issue.
Have A Backup Internet Connection
Many new dorms focus on building their wireless internet systems, but it's worth checking behind the bed, cabinets and desks in your dorm for those handy old-school internet jacks. If you do have them, request for an internet technician to come by your dorm to activate it. If your laptop has an Ethernet jack, these ports will be total life savers during exam weeks, when everyone is packing into dorms to study.
Don't Write Off USBs Yet
When you've spent hours working on a big presentation for class, small tech problems can add up to huge disasters. These days, your professor might ask everyone to log into their Google Drive accounts to access their presentations, but slow WiFi and password issues can totally wreck your confidence. When tackling a big presentation (like, 30% of your grade big) store important sources, presentations and essays in a USB drive just in case you can't access your materials via the cloud.
Send Quicker Emails
Not feeling well the day of a big exam? Did you get stuck in traffic and now need to miss that Mythology class? Things happen. Keep a few template emails in your drafts folder for common scenarios that might pop up. Instead of having to type up an email explaining why you've missed class, you can just fill in blanks with important details like your professor's name but keep in details that might not ever change, like your signature and that friendly apology.
Extend Your Connection
Outlets always seem like they're available until you desperately need one. Portable extension cords don't have to be bulky and some have other great additions like USB plug-ins. With a portable extension cord, you'll be able to charge your laptop in class despite the closest outlet being out of reach.
Worry Less About Upgrades
As a college student, you have enough to worry about without having to fuss over system and anti-virus upgrades. It's easy to forget to do these things, which can leave your laptop vulnerable to viruses or malware. Downloading a Boost Driver application (Macbooster 5 works great if you're an Apple fan) will help you automatically update all your applications. Depending on your needs, you can also set it to clean up malware and junk files, so your laptop can run as smoothly as possible.