Grad School Must Haves

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It is Summer B semester currently and the freshman are back in full force. This will be the first time that colleges will have people back in full, at least here in Florida at least, and that might be scary for a few people. I honestly don’t want people to come back because the gym gets overcrowded. For those coming back to campus, whether it’s for grad school or undergrad, I wanted to put a list with links to stuff that I find very helpful. This will be a short list because I don’t want to be one of those bloggers that post something like “33 must have items to survive grad school” or something like that. I’ll keep the list fairly short but these are all things that I have found to be the most helpful.

List of Grad School Must Haves

Now, before we get started, I want to start off by saying that everyone’s experience will be different. This list consists of things that have helped me out significantly, especially in the first few years of grad school. Towards the end of grad school, my list has changed a bit. I am still grateful for what I have bought to help me and still use them too.

If you are just starting grad school, this is the list for you. For those who have been in grad school a while, you have probably already gotten some of these items. If not, then it might be in your favor to grab something from this list. So let’s get right into the list, shall we?

A portable monitor to connect to your laptop

grad school must haves

So I bought one of these additional monitors that connects to my laptop so I can work literally from anywhere and have two screens. This was a game changer. I use it all of the time when I am out of the office. It’s super helpful for presentations, writing, having multiple tabs open at once on different screens, etc. There are cheaper ones but this is the one I got.

The main reason I bought this was to be able to sit outside and do work. Gainesville is an extremely pretty place, especially in the fall, and working outside of my office has really helped my mental state. Currently, I have it at home, on my desk and use it as an extra monitor when I am working from home. If you are the type of person that can’t sit still in an office and needs to go outside to do work, I suggest buying this model.

2. Good pens.

grad school must haves

Ok these pens may be cheap on Amazon but they are by far the best pens that I have ever received, and they are cats. They write so well and they give you a ton so you can share with your friends…if that’s what you want to do lol. I have been using these pens for almost a year now and they haven’t run out of ink! They are phenomenal. Other pens to consider are these Gel Ink Pens from Amazon.

Getting a good set of pens can really be extremely helpful. You might be pretty stressed out and a bad pen might just make you more upset. Trust me, it happens. Getting a good set of pens that are reliable can make all of the difference in your day. I suggest the cat pens because they just make me smile each time I use one.

3. A “to-do” list/Planner

grad school must haves

Out of all the grad school must haves, this is the one you need the most. You are going to have a ton of work to do and you will have to meet deadlines. Your phone can be a helpful tool for this, but something about writing it down just really makes it stick in your brain. Getting a to-do list or a planner is one of the most essential things to get. You don’t have to get a super complex one. Something super easy and simple is all you need. You can go out and buy a fancy one but I like simplistic planners. I personally bought this one and use it every day since I forget to do stuff constantly.

You can also download a template online for a planner. Some people even sell you templates. I find this kind of tedious and a bit of a waste because you have to use your ink, and ink is super expensive. Hop on Amazon and just get a simple planner like the one above. I guarantee you’ll find it well worth it.

4. A good water bottle

grad school must haves

This is a must have, especially on campus when you are running from class to class. I was buying water bottles from the vending machines and wasting so much money and plastic. I bought a water bottle, the space one to be exact, and have been quite happy with it. It is a bit difficult to clean so you may want to shop around for an easier one to clean.

If you find yourself wanting to up the amount of water in your day, I suggest trying this one out. I bought this for my office and fill it up each day. It is a gallon of water, so be prepared to run to the bathroom every five seconds lol. It does the trick though. I have significantly increased the amount of water in my day and am constantly hydrated. If you have a desk that you sit at all day, I highly suggest getting this bottle.

grad school must haves

5. Last on the list of Grad School Must Haves, a Watch or Fitbit

grad school must haves
grad school must haves

Ok I apologize for this grad school must have. These are quite expensive so they really don’t follow my grad school on a budget lifestyle so you may need to wait until there is some money to use to get one. I received the Active 2 for Christmas and it is probably the most important thing I have on me, other than my phone. Since I am a personal trainer, this has been extremely helpful. If you are trying to lose weight, I would say the Fitbit is the way to go.

Either way, it is probably good to invest in a good smart watch. Something that can keep you in the loop when you are getting texts and emails all day. I have my emails set to show up so I don’t have to look at my phone every five seconds. I also filtered what I wanted to see so I gon’t have my arm shaking with email notifications every second.

Final Thoughts

I hope this list was interesting for you. These are just essential items that I have that have helped me survive this long in grad school. What things should be added to this list that has helped you? I would love to know.

If you haven’t checked out my blog about gifts for grad students (link here), I suggest you do. There, you can find gifts that grad students would love to have. Those gifts can also be part of this list too!. As always, I hope you all have a wonderful day and I will see you in the next one. Peace.

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