Study Space Toolkit for Online Students

What's in your study space toolkit?

As you’re getting ready to go back to college this fall, here are things that every online college student should have on hand in their study space. Stocking your study space toolkit will prevent you from interrupting your wasting valuable study time to deal with a crisis. You won’t even need to leave your desk! Besides using the restroom, of course…

  1. Surge protector with battery pack. If you’re putting the finishing touches on your 10 page essay assignment and the power goes out, do you have a plan B? Instead of hyperventilating trying to remember whether you pressed Ctrl S to save, having a surge protector with battery pack will prevent your computer from shutting down on the spot. It will also give you about an hour of buffer time until the power comes back on. (Though if you decide to save your work and take a break and snuggle with your beau till the power comes back, we won’t tell.)
  2. Wrist support. Love your wrists by getting a wrist support for when you’re typing. If you use a mouse, it’s not a bad idea to have an additional wrist support for the mouse, too. And if that doesn’t work, listen to these tips from a Physician’s Assistant about what to do to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis as an online student.
  3. Canned air. If your space bar or mouse suddenly stops working during crunch time, a couple sprays of canned air into the keyboard may be exactly the solution you need.
  4. Food and water. Some online colleges have live streaming sessions that are mandatory. Having snacks on hand will not only help you stay awake and alert, but will prevent you from having to get up and miss an ‘a ha!’ moment.
  5. Disinfecting Wipes. If said food and water end up all over your desk and computer, disinfecting wipes will help clean up the mess. Plus, did you know that desks apparently have more germs than your toilet? Yeah. Don’t skip on these ones!
  6. Squeeze toy or punching bag. If you get a bad grade and need to vent your frustration, having a stress squeeze toy or punching bag will offer welcome relief.
  7. Webcam. Your computer may have a webcam built in already, but if it malfunctions right before a Skype appointment with your college professor, having a standalone webcam will save the day. 
  8. Batteries. Anyone who has a device that is battery-powered knows that they could give out at any time. Have extra batteries on hand so if your mouse suddenly dies and no stores are open at 2am to restock your batteries, there’s no need to panic.
  9. Speakers. Everyone knows study time is more enjoyable and goes faster when you’re listening to music. Turn it up.
  10. BONUS: Phone. Professor Ellen Bremen from Seattle, AKA Chatty Professor, added a telephone to the list. We know, Gen Y hates the phone. But seriously, when was the last time you left home without it?

What can’t you live without in your study space?

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About Sarah Ward

Sarah is a social media manager and image consultant originally from Vancouver, Canada. After executing her first makeover in the seventh grade, she has been helping people look and feel their best ever since. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys practicing yoga, shopping on Etsy, and watching Grey's Anatomy.

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  • This was a witty and helpful piece. As a long-time prof who has taught online quite a bit, I’ll add one more: The telephone. Seems very old school, but there are times when technology and communication fails… and getting your prof on the phone will solve a lot of frustration and save time. Ellen Bremen, M.A. @chattyprof

    Comment by Ellen Bremen — August 8, 2011 @ 9:41 pm
  • Great addition, Ellen! I was just reading an article yesterday that said how much Gen Y hates the phone, but that said, I don’t go anywhere without my smart phone. Thanks for the comment.

    Comment by Sarah Ward — August 9, 2011 @ 1:51 pm
  • Good article with great tips. Nothing worse than a crisis. Most profs expect you to be prepared!

    Comment by Rachel — August 9, 2011 @ 4:57 pm
  • Thanks for your feedback, Rachel. There are very few good excuses anymore!

    Comment by Sarah Ward — August 9, 2011 @ 5:07 pm

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