Posted By: Sheila Pan on July 13, 2010
Q: I was wondering what kind of laptop you got first year. I’ve been looking at a few computers, but I’m not a techie so I have no idea if they would be good purchases or not!
A: I bought an HP Pavillion laptop that I bought the summer before first year. I got mine custom made (aka customized to my needs) on the HP website. If you want my honest opinion, buying a laptop isn’t really you can consult other people. You know what YOU want in a computer and no one else can tell you that. Since I don’t know your preferences when using a computer, eg. do you want lots of harddrive space for movies/music/pictures? or do you want something with lots of RAM because you play computer games etc. Because I can’t tell you those things, I can’t tell you if a computer is “good” or not. I would highly suggest looking at your usual practices when it comes to going on the computer and then deciding what you need. If you get it customized through the company web store then I definitely recommend that; I know Sony and HP both offer those options. Its much better than buying one through Futureshop or whatever because you know exactly what you’re getting for the price you’re paying. One thing I do recommend though is buying a good quality computer. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just well made. You will learn that when you speak to people who are currently using laptops and asking them what they think of theirs.
When you start classes you will hear tons of stories of people whose computers crashed during essays or exam time and lost all of the data. Its never happened to me before with my HP and I’ve had it since first year. Also, depending on your financial abilities, you may or may not need to update during your 4 years. I never had to buy a new computer as this one works fine, but I know some people have had to because their computers broke down even just after a year.
And one more thing, you don’t need that many hours for battery, only if you think you will be outside studying all day. Libraries, Goodes and most ArtSci buildings have outlets you can just plug in your cord. And as for getting a small/light computer. Keep in mind you’re going to be working on it basically ALL of your waking hours, so make sure you’re getting a computer you’d feel comfortable using for hours and hours and hours. I hope that somewhat answers your question…
Q: Would you recommend an on campus job first year? I got offered the work-study program and apparently I’m allowed to chose the hours I want to work. I have had one through my gr 12 year and personally I love having extra money on hand, but I’m not sure if it would take away from my academics, if I kept the working to 4-6 hours a week?
A: I’ve never had a part-time job in university, but my housemates both have and they seem to be doing well. Plus the hours that you’re putting into work really isn’t much when you sum up the number of hours in a week. You can definitely make a part-time job and school balance out well.
Q: Any key things you wished you brought into residence first year? I’m making a list!
A: Two things I recommend: a mini-fridge and a fan. And get both during the back to school sale at the end of August/beginning of September. I thought I didn’t need a mini-fridge so I didn’t get one during the sale, but come October/November and I wanted to keep food in my room for midnight snacks, I wasn’t able to, so I went out and bought a super expensive fridge. And a fan is a must because no matter which res you get put into (unless its the nicer ones like Watts or Leggett), ventilation is almost nonexistent.