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From the Archives: Preparing for a New School Year

As you’re all gearing up for first semester in a couple weeks, take a look at some “buried wisdom” from the deep, carvernous archives of Gearfire.

Why You Need to Ask for Help as Soon as You Need It – Definitely something to keep in mind going into the new semester, especially for freshmen. It is super easy to fall behind, and if you don’t ask for help when you are confused, it will only get worse. Talk to a professor after hours for extra help, before your little confusion spirals out of control!

The Dual Screen Suggestion – Most students have laptops these days, with the exception of graphics design or film students. When buying a laptop there is a trade-off between screen real estate and portability. That 17″ Macbook Pro looks great, but it probably won’t fit in your bag, and that 13″ Thinkpad seems really nifty, until you start craving more than 13″ of screen real estate. The perfect compromise is to get an external monitor! No matter what your laptop size, your productivity will definitely benefit from having an additional screen. At $100-250 for most LCD monitors these days, it can make a very good addition to your birthday/Christmas wishlist.

Going Paperless with PDF – As little as five years ago, computers were considered a great creation tool, but whatever it was used to produce, be it word documents, spreadsheets, or flyers, were generally destined to be printed. The tables have turned, and computers are now becoming the primary medium, complimented by paper. Students have little need for large binders anymore, as any informational sheets can be scanned onto their computer, put through OCR (Optical Character Recognition) and turned into searchable text in Microsoft OneNote.

7 Important Factors in Choosing a Good Work Environment – Within a couple weeks at university, most students realize that their dorm room is not a good place to study. Here are some tips on picking a good place to crank out some concentrated work.


How to Take Killer Notes and Cut Your Studying Time by 50% – Starting the year with a solid, well thought-out note taking method is a great way to improve over last year, and to minimize time spent scrambling before a large test.

10 Tips for Highly Effective Brainstorming Sessions – You may not be doing much brainstorming at the start of the year, but as your mid-term essays approach, these techniques could come in handy!

The Pensters – Essay writing service focused on high school.

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