This Dorm Room Tech is Everything
In my experience, it doesn’t seem too difficult to get children excited for back-to-school. The promise of a shiny new pencil case, a Star Wars backpack, or a couple of sparkly gel pens usually does the trick, and they’re well on their way to anticipating their first day.
But students going off to college or university – especially those who are living on their own for the first time in residence – might have a slightly longer list of back-to-school needs. The transition from living at home to living alone or with a stranger (who could literally be sleeping 5 feet away) isn’t always easy, but the gadgets on this list might just make it a little bit easier, or at least a little bit more fun.
If you’re moving into residence, you’re going to need to bring a lamp – that’s just a fact. So why not get a lamp that can do a bunch of things at once? The VARV lamp from IKEA is not only stylish and the perfect size, but it also has a phone charging pad on its base. This means that you don’t need to plug in your phone to charge it – all you need to do it toss it onto the base of this lamp on your side table and doze off to sleep. Because who wants to do extra work once they’ve gotten comfortable in their new little twin-sized dorm bed?
Getting enough sleep is a huge concern for first-year university students. Lectures, tutorials, essays, assignments, part-time jobs, and all sorts of other commitments jump up out of nowhere and make students feel like they’ll never be well-rested again. This is where the Withings Aura Alarm Clock comes in. You may be wondering how an alarm clock could ever help a person get more sleep, but this one has a really cool feature that produces light simulating a sunrise so that the user can wake up gradually and feel more energized when they start their day. It also monitors your room’s temperature, sound level, and light levels, and allows you to make changes to the latter two to fit your comfort level. Of course, it also has a great built-in speaker and alarm clock function, so it really is the complete package.
The Amazon Echo is a device that combines an awesome 360-degree speaker with Siri-like voice recognition and control. However, it comes with a different name – the “personality” of the Amazon Echo is named Alexa, and it will respond to this name if prompted. You can ask it to play music from any of your connected playlists, and can even get it to read you the news, as well as report on weather, traffic, and more. If you connect any outside smart devices (like the examples on our Internet of Things tech list), you can control these through the Echo as well. Basically, it sounds like a tried-and-true central hub to control all of your devices, stay connected, and provide great audio output. And when you’re a student, I don’t know if there’s anything you appreciate more than some seriously effective multitasking. You can order it online at Amazon.com for just $179.99 USD.
Whether you want to drown out your roommate’s snoring, listen to the latest Game of Thrones episode loud and clear, or both, noise-cancelling headphones are a definite “must” while you’re living in residence. Quality pairs don’t come cheap, but they’re a great investment. A few top performers of 2016 are shown below; just click on the product name to learn their specs.
As a first-year student, you aren’t going to have room in your dorm for a large-screen TV (or the money for one). What you will have, on the other hand, is a wall. In fact, you’ll have a few of them. With this handy dandy projector, you can turn any wall into a large-screen TV instantly, which will make your never-ending streaming sessions infinitely more entertaining. It will probably attract some neighbours, too, meaning that you’ll make lots of binge-watching buddies. What fun is procrastinating if you’re doing it alone, right?
This is my favourite thing on the list, although it also happens to be the least techy – it’s just really, really useful. It’s essentially a zip-up tent that goes over your existing dorm room bed frame and mattress to provide you with total privacy from your roommate. As I said, it can be difficult going from having your own bedroom to living a few feet from a stranger, and this device certainly has the potential to take some of the stress out of that. If you need a bit of space, just zip up your tent, and take a minute. Take 45 minutes if you need it – naps seem like they’d be significantly easier in your own little cave of darkness.
So there you have it. If you, your son or daughter, or someone else you know has just moved into residence this fall (like these ladies that just won Execulink's $500 Scholarship), pass these tips along to them to make their first year a little easier and more enjoyable.
Caitlin Feehan, Blogger & Editor
Converse have been my footwear of choice for the past 9 years, I’m convinced that all doors and sidewalks are conspiring against me, and I enjoy sticking my head out of the passenger window on long car rides.