Your time as an undergraduate taught you how to study, while balancing a social life, part-time job, and extracurricular activities. Graduate school teaches you how to further your career through education. Whether you are transitioning straight from an undergraduate program to a graduate one, or you are starting school again after a long hiatus, you may need a refresher on your school supply needs.
Many of the items you need for your graduate program can be found at Walgreens. Save even more by checking Groupon’s Walgreens coupon section for digital and physical discount codes.
Compose a list of all your basic school supplies: pens, pencils, paper, folders, and etc. Buy your pen and pencil supplies in bulk. Amazon is a great place for bulk supplies, e.g, as of 2017, a 144 box of pens sells for only $12 on the ecommerce giant.
For notebooks, invest in a couple five-subjects notebooks. They are a little more expensive than buying individual ones, but they save space and keep you organized. All your course notes are kept in one notebook with separating tabs or covers.
Buy a binder for every subject: ones that have pockets and spiral rings. Label the binders with easy to remove tape, so that you can recycle them for next semester. Include highlighters, staplers, paperclips, hole-puncher, and sticky notes on your final school supply list. Also include a planner to stay on top of appointments and assignments. A refillable water bottle is also a university requirement.
Review your course syllabuses for any required extra supplies.
The Business Appropriate Items
One of the perks of attending grad school is that it provides an abundance of networking opportunities. Therefore, you always want to present your most professional image to university staff, fellow students, and any seemingly casual encounters.
Start with attire. Buy a backpack that carries all your supplies, including a laptop, and showcases your personality but stays business appropriate. The tiniest detail could give the wrong impression. Next, make sure that your class outfits are comfortable but also tells a story about your professional personality.
Have a go-to blazer, pencil skirt, and pair of trousers in your wardrobe for any and all networking and professional events. Keep a set of business cards handy. Carry at least ten with you at all times. Use sites like Vistaprint and Moo to design and print affordable business cards. Groupon coupons also come in handy when ordering from Vistaprint.
If your laptop is older than three years, it may be time to upgrade, especially if it’s not functioning with perfect accuracy. Splurge on this laptop. Buy a high-end pc or mac that lasts the entire grad program.
Find out if there are any specific hardware requirements for your laptop, such as software, storage space, video capabilities, operating system, etc. Check trusted sites like CNET and TechRadar for reviews and recommendations.
Pick a cheap but effective mobile device. A smartphone may provide all the security you need as an additional workspace, or add a iPad or tablet to your list of supplies. Smartphones and tablets make it easy to work on the go. If you work part-time or full-time while in school, a tablet is the perfect solution for finishing homework or doing research on your lunch breaks.
A printer, power strip, portable power source, eReader, and voice recorder are other must-have tech devices for grad students. A few other things to purchase are additional external memory, like a memory card or external hard drive, and noise-canceling headphones.
Avoid buying new textbooks when possible, instead buy or rent used books. Start your textbook search by checking Amazon and eBay. Then move your search to used book sites like BigWords, Chegg, and Textbooks. Use Amazon and Book Renter to rent your textbooks.
Use your ebook reader to find cheaper e-versions of textbooks; you may even be able to borrow ebook textbooks at your local or campus libraries.