With the start of classes quickly approaching (and Amazon Prime Day just around the corner!) now is the time to add up that graduation money or check the balance in your savings account and plan for your back to school expenses. Whether you’re moving into your own place for the first time, a non-traditional student making a career change, or buying a gift for a loved one, here are 10 items that will enhance the quality of life of a doctor-in-training.
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1. “Art” supplies
If you’re a visual learner, organizing, color-coding, and even decorating your notes can help cement information in your memory. Stock up on colored highlighters, colored pens, sticky notes, and index cards for some colorful, memorable study sessions.
2. Dry erase board
Drawing out diagrams, processes, and other notes from memory on a white board can help solidify them in your brain. Make sure to have plenty of dry erase markers as well—according to students who swear by this method, you’ll go through a lot.
3. Portable phone charger
While it will be handy to keep your phone from running out of juice before you get home from classes, you’ll be even more glad to have a portable phone charger pack once you hit the clinical years. Between frequently referencing your phone for information and minimal time to stay near an outlet, it will be helpful to have some extra power in your pocket to charge your devices on the go.
4. A durable travel mug and/or water bottle
5. Caffeination method of choice
If you’re a coffee drinker, you’ll want to make sure you have a quality coffee brewing set up. Whether it’s a basic coffee maker, a Keurig, or a fancy espresso machine, choose one that will last—you don’t want to wake up to a surprise broken coffee machine on test day! An electric kettle is also a good option. You can use it to make coffee in a French press or pour over, brew tea, cook instant oatmeal, and more.
6. Noise-cancelling headphones
While they can be pricey, noise-cancelling headphones give you the ability to create your ideal sound environment regardless of your study location. The ability to block out distractions and focus despite the noise of a busy cafe or video game-playing roommate may make the investment well worth it.
7. Slow cooker
Cooking meals while balancing a student schedule is challenging, and it’s easy to blow your budget and your healthy diet when you’re pressed for time. With a slow cooker and some individual meal prep containers, you can prepare a large number of quick, healthy meals for yourself with a minimal time investment. Instant Pots are also popular. Take a look at both and decide for yourself which better fits your lifestyle.
8. How to Cook Everything
While the internet has done its best to make hard copy cookbooks obsolete, this is one you will want to have on your shelf. How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman (and its excellent vegetarian equivalent) is both a quick reference and an in-depth cooking guide. Recipes that take less than 30 minutes or can be made ahead are clearly labeled for easy planning. And if you need to use up the ten pounds of tomatoes your neighbor gave you from his garden or your girlfriend’s parents are in town and you want to cook to impress, this book has you covered there too.
9. Quality desk chair
Especially if you study best at home, you’ll want to invest in a quality desk chair. Your back will thank you for not spending your extensive study hours sitting on your garage sale dining table chair, and your grades will thank you for not studying in your comfy, sleep-inducing, hand-me-down recliner.
10. External hard drive (or cloud subscription)
Whether you sync to a local hard drive or upload your files to the cloud, make sure you regularly back up the contents of your devices. If anything ever happens to your primary computer, you will be glad you have all your notes saved and backed up somewhere else!
What else would you add to the list? Leave your advice in the comments below.
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