Prepare Yourself with this Top 10 Checklist

Undoubtedly, the outbreak of COVID-19 has brought a cloud of uncertainty to higher education institutions regarding the 2020-2021 academic year.  While many colleges and universities have announced their plans to reopen campuses this fall, students need to prepare for the possibility of continued social distancing orders, which could once again force on-campus classes to transition to online learning.

As a result, back-to-school shopping may look a bit different this year.  Students will need to consider how to best prepare for the possibility of online learning, in addition to staying healthy while on campus.  To help students prepare their shopping lists, we developed a checklist of items to bring with you this fall in addition to your traditional back-to-school items.

 

10 Items for your back-to-school checklist 

  1. Face Coverings – The CDC recommends people wear cloth face coverings to “cover their nose and mouth in the community setting,” to protect the people around you in case you are infected but do not have symptoms.
  2. Multi-Port USB Charger- Spring 2020 taught us that classes can quickly be converted from in-person to online at the recommendation of governing bodies.  Make sure you are prepared for online learning by bringing a USB charger with multiple ports to keep your phone, tablet, laptop, etc. fully charged.

  3. Hand Sanitizer – Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can help prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Look for a brand that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.

  4. Noise-cancelling headphones – Invest in a good pair of headphones to drown out your roommate’s music or online class lectures.  If you find it hard to study while listening to music, try downloading white-noise tracks from Spotify.

  5. If you need to participate in a virtual class discussion, download a noise-cancelling app to reduce background noise caused by your roommate, pets, air conditioner, etc.

  6. Disinfecting Wipes – Use disinfecting wipes to easily sanitize surfaces, including your phone and computer.  Own a MacBook or iPhone, it  is ok to use a disinfectant wipe on the exterior surfaces of Apple products as long as you “avoid getting moisture in any opening, and don’t submerge your Apple product in any cleaning agents”.

  7. Webcam – your phone or computer may already have a webcam, but if you are not satisfied with the quality or looking to upgrade for virtual class sessions, consider adding an external web camera to the mix.

  8. Blue Light Blocking Glasses – Staring at digital screens like your computer, phone, tablet, and even TV may cause eye fatigue or other macular issues from the blue light emitted.  Blue light blocking lenses are available for glasses of all types, from prescription to non-RX.

  9. Electronic notepad and stylus – Using a digital notepad makes sharing your handwritten work on a math equation a breeze.

  10. Adjustable laptop stand – Whether you use your laptop from your bed, couch, or desk, investing in an adjustable laptop stand can help support your wrists and improve your posture while studying or working on an assignment.  Look for a stand that can be raised upwards to turn your workstation into a standing desk.

 

Finally, it is important to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 these three simple reminders will help in the battle against the spread of the virus:

 

  • Stay at home if you are sick – this rule applies to classes, clubs on campus and social gatherings
  • Regularly clean and disinfect surfaces – make it a habit to sanitize your doorknobs, steering wheel, phone, keyboard, light switches, remote controls, and other objects your regularly touch.
  • Wash your hands often – Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after using the restroom, preparing food, after contact with animals or pets, and especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.