Can You Survive Without a Computer for College?

Computer
Can You Survive Without a Computer for College?

If you’ve read any of the Technology reviews on Niche, you may have noticed that most students report bringing a laptop to campus.

But what if you just don’t have one or it’s just too much money for your budget right now? In this day and age, can you survive college without a laptop? Given smartphones and free amenities from universities, it’s possible. Let’s look at the pros and cons of not having a computer on campus.

Pro
Many schools have computer labs all over campus. Libraries and residence halls often have labs open 24 hours, so students can have access to computer and printing needs whenever they’d like.

Con
It can be a pain to walk to the library or 24-hour lab, especially if you live across campus. Plus, if students realize they have a paper due in the morning and it’s 1 a.m., they don’t have the luxury of doing this last-minute assignment in their room. Also, some schools don’t have 24-hour labs, which means students may have a definitive window to complete assignments.

Pro
Students don’t have to worry about someone stealing their laptop because they don’t have one.

Con
Students may become that annoying person who frequently asks to borrow a friend’s laptop.

Pro
Not having a computer will force students to interact with people on a face-to-face level. Instead of Gchatting the person down the hall about their chemistry notes, students can stop by and chat in person instead.

Con
Students will miss out on the time-honored tradition of Gchatting with a roommate while they’re in the same room.

Pro
Many libraries have laptop loan programs where students can rent out a laptop for a period of time.

Con
There’s no room for procrastination when you don’t have a laptop or computer, so it requires students to make every assignment time-sensitive.

Pro
If you have a smartphone, you pretty much have everything you need in terms of social-media life (Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, texting, etc.), so even without a computer, students aren’t totally out of the loop.

Con
If a smartphone is your only technology, it becomes like another appendage, allowing you to procrastinate and forget that the library closes in 10 minutes and you still haven’t printed out that paper.

Pro
Some professors don’t allow laptops in class, so it’s not like you’re really missing anything.

Con
The professors that do allow laptops in class may talk really fast, making you wish you had a laptop to get the notes down faster.

The Bottom Line
Not having a computer for college is totally doable—you just have to plan carefully and be diligent in your study and computer habits. In many ways, not having a computer can feel like a heavy burden lifted from your shoulders—literally—since students won’t have to lug around a laptop or worry about it being stolen when they need to use the restroom at the library. On the other hand, having a laptop is a great convenience, and if it’s money that’s the obstacle, many school bookstores offer computer discounts.