About me: I'm 26, finishing up my last three quarters at UCSD this fall. I'm studying engineering. As far as gadgetry goes, I have: 13" MacBook Pro Classic iPod Touch 16GB (The no-camera one) Nexus 4 What should I throw in my backpack? What has made college easier for you? My contribution: Japanese highlighters! http://www.jetpens.com/Zebra-Mildli...hlighter-Pen-5-Cool-Refined-Color-Set/pd/4867 You might be asking, "Dude what's wrong with regular highlighters?" Well these are easy on the eyes. They also have unique colors like brown and grey. The other cool thing is, they have a very subtle hue to them so it makes it like you printed the page with a colored background on the writing. Here's an example picture of traditional highlighters (Credits to loving-each-day.com blog): http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5096/5568672798_9f611ce4da.jpg And the Japanese Zebra Mildliners: http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5138/5568673672_808828b96e.jpg As you can see, the Mildliners are subtle, easier on the eyes, less glowy but definitely give you the notion of importance. My second recommendation: Cheap laser printer- Dual sided printing? No. Color? Also negative. So what's the advantage? Cheap refills. Even on $1500 industrial grade stack printers with the university, you have issues with dual sided printing. It's annoying to print dual sided and have a paper jam or some error in the set up. 90% of the stuff you print for assignments doesn't require color. But what you DO get as an incentive, is a refill for your laser toner for about $4.50 which gives you literally over a thousand pages. Look into either the Brother 2240 or if you can find one, a used Brother 2140. Requires modifying the toner cartridge and a starter kit, but single handedly the best investment I made in the last four years of school. I bought a Brother 2140 for $49.99 and I've refilled it twice through college: I've taken three writing classes, three lab classes which require printed reports, and I've printed every syllabus, class schedule and other peoples' assignments as well.