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Hi all!

I will be starting SLP graduate school this August. What are some must-haves that helped you get organized, stay organized, or were just GREAT to have handy?

Please share!!! ALL advice is appreciated :) 

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1. Some sort of planning system, whether it's a physical planner or on your phone/computer. There are so many moving pieces in grad school that I can't imagine not using a planner--I'd probably forget about half my deadlines! And this is coming from someone who NEVER used a planner before grad school!

2. A working laptop. Pretty much everyone in my cohort brings their laptop to school every day to take notes or just do work.  It does NOT have to be fancy, just something that is fairly portable and not likely to break down anytime soon, ideally with a decent battery life. If you already have a nice computer, then that's fine, but don't feel like you have to get the latest MacBook Air or anything that will wreck your budget!

3. A clipboard with storage. Mine has enough room to hold miscellaneous papers for 2-3 clients at a time, my audio recorder, and a couple pens. 

4. An audio recorder that ISN'T your phone. Seriously. Most people just use their phone as an audio backup, but some people have had trouble with their phones stopping part-way through if they also decide to record video or use a phone app during the session. I have this audio recorder here:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XFTWCBJ/ref=ppx_od_dt_b_asin_title_s02?ie=UTF8&psc=1 and I absolutely adore it. The sound quality is excellent and it has a USB drive so I can download files onto my computer.

5. Nice pens! You'll be doing a lot of writing, so you might as well use pens that make you happy. I'm partial to Pentel Energels.

6. A lot of people will say a laminator. Honestly, so far I haven't seen the need for it. I've used self-adhesive laminating sheets for the few things I've needed laminated, so I don't think a laminator would have been worth it for me. Also, some schools have a laminator for student use, so I would double-check before you buy anything pricey.

7. I don't think it's worth buying a penlight unless your school/internships have a strict no-phone policy in sessions. I use my phone flashlight and it does just fine. But to each their own, I guess.

8. Maybe this should have been in the top five... Clinic-appropriate clothes! On-campus clinics tend to have stricter dress codes than your placement sites--for instance, I can wear sneakers at my placement, but not in our on-campus clinic. Get a good variety of business casual clothing: pants that aren't jeans, blouses, cardigans, skirts/dresses, close-toed shoes that aren't sneakers 😞 No cleavage, no exposed skin when you bend over or raise your arms, nothing really tight, and definitely wear pants if you're playing on the floor!

9. Miscellaneous office supplies! Our grad room has scissors and tape, but I've had to use my own post-it notes, paperclips, and index cards.

10. As far as any toys/games/materials go, I say skip it unless you're sure that you want to work in a school and need to start slowly accumulating materials. The school clinic and placements should have everything you need. If they don't, just do what your supervisor does and make do. Grad school is expensive enough as it is! Plus, if you're forced to make do with what you have, it makes you adaptable and hones your creativity!

11. A combo printer/scanner/copier (this should also have been in the top five). This one isn't essential, just super convenient. Your school will probably have a printer you can use for clinic stuff, but ours isn't in color, so I have to use mine at home if I want color. Also, some professors are better than others with going digital, so some of them may give you a lot of handouts, and once you scan them you can get rid of them. 

I'll add on if I think of anything else!

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On 7/2/2019 at 6:09 PM, bibliophile222 said:

1. Some sort of planning system, whether it's a physical planner or on your phone/computer. There are so many moving pieces in grad school that I can't imagine not using a planner--I'd probably forget about half my deadlines! And this is coming from someone who NEVER used a planner before grad school!

2. A working laptop. Pretty much everyone in my cohort brings their laptop to school every day to take notes or just do work.  It does NOT have to be fancy, just something that is fairly portable and not likely to break down anytime soon, ideally with a decent battery life. If you already have a nice computer, then that's fine, but don't feel like you have to get the latest MacBook Air or anything that will wreck your budget!

3. A clipboard with storage. Mine has enough room to hold miscellaneous papers for 2-3 clients at a time, my audio recorder, and a couple pens. 

4. An audio recorder that ISN'T your phone. Seriously. Most people just use their phone as an audio backup, but some people have had trouble with their phones stopping part-way through if they also decide to record video or use a phone app during the session. I have this audio recorder here:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XFTWCBJ/ref=ppx_od_dt_b_asin_title_s02?ie=UTF8&psc=1 and I absolutely adore it. The sound quality is excellent and it has a USB drive so I can download files onto my computer.

5. Nice pens! You'll be doing a lot of writing, so you might as well use pens that make you happy. I'm partial to Pentel Energels.

6. A lot of people will say a laminator. Honestly, so far I haven't seen the need for it. I've used self-adhesive laminating sheets for the few things I've needed laminated, so I don't think a laminator would have been worth it for me. Also, some schools have a laminator for student use, so I would double-check before you buy anything pricey.

7. I don't think it's worth buying a penlight unless your school/internships have a strict no-phone policy in sessions. I use my phone flashlight and it does just fine. But to each their own, I guess.

8. Maybe this should have been in the top five... Clinic-appropriate clothes! On-campus clinics tend to have stricter dress codes than your placement sites--for instance, I can wear sneakers at my placement, but not in our on-campus clinic. Get a good variety of business casual clothing: pants that aren't jeans, blouses, cardigans, skirts/dresses, close-toed shoes that aren't sneakers 😞 No cleavage, no exposed skin when you bend over or raise your arms, nothing really tight, and definitely wear pants if you're playing on the floor!

9. Miscellaneous office supplies! Our grad room has scissors and tape, but I've had to use my own post-it notes, paperclips, and index cards.

10. As far as any toys/games/materials go, I say skip it unless you're sure that you want to work in a school and need to start slowly accumulating materials. The school clinic and placements should have everything you need. If they don't, just do what your supervisor does and make do. Grad school is expensive enough as it is! Plus, if you're forced to make do with what you have, it makes you adaptable and hones your creativity!

11. A combo printer/scanner/copier (this should also have been in the top five). This one isn't essential, just super convenient. Your school will probably have a printer you can use for clinic stuff, but ours isn't in color, so I have to use mine at home if I want color. Also, some professors are better than others with going digital, so some of them may give you a lot of handouts, and once you scan them you can get rid of them. 

I'll add on if I think of anything else!

Thanks, bibliophile! What types of clothes are clinic-appropriate? I am bracing myself for cold weather and am not used to that, so I will have to invest in a lot of new warm clothing, including those for the clinic. Any recommendations for clinic clothing options are super helpful!

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, samiamslp said:

Thanks, bibliophile! What types of clothes are clinic-appropriate? I am bracing myself for cold weather and am not used to that, so I will have to invest in a lot of new warm clothing, including those for the clinic. Any recommendations for clinic clothing options are super helpful!

I listed some stuff up above, but basically nothing suggestive/revealing, and NOT jeans (or leggings unless you wear something over them). Khakis or similar cloth pants work fine (a lot of people have suggested Old Navy Pixie Pants). Think of what people might wear in a more casual office, like blouses, no shirts with writing on them, no short skirts. I like shirts that have a bit of embroidery detail but are otherwise plain/solid colored. For shoes, I got a couple pairs of Sketchers loafers that are suuuper comfortable but still presentable. Flats would work, as would other close-toed shoes that are kind of nice. Nice boots would be fine (but not winter boots). I have a couple long-sleeved open sweatery things, plus a couple traditional solid-colored sweaters. One warning for cold weather: DO NOT wear skirts/dresses from about November to April unless you want to freeze your legs off. Layers are key--you want to stay warm outside but not roast inside. Also, as far as cold weather goes, I recommend mittens over gloves and hats with earflaps. Dorky, but sooooo much warmer! 

Edit: I assumed that you're female--in case you're not (and for all the guys out there), clothing is much simpler: Khakis or dark pants, button-down shirt, shoes that aren't sneakers. Easy-peasy!

Edited by bibliophile222

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On 7/9/2019 at 10:59 PM, bibliophile222 said:

I listed some stuff up above, but basically nothing suggestive/revealing, and NOT jeans (or leggings unless you wear something over them). Khakis or similar cloth pants work fine (a lot of people have suggested Old Navy Pixie Pants). Think of what people might wear in a more casual office, like blouses, no shirts with writing on them, no short skirts. I like shirts that have a bit of embroidery detail but are otherwise plain/solid colored. For shoes, I got a couple pairs of Sketchers loafers that are suuuper comfortable but still presentable. Flats would work, as would other close-toed shoes that are kind of nice. Nice boots would be fine (but not winter boots). I have a couple long-sleeved open sweatery things, plus a couple traditional solid-colored sweaters. One warning for cold weather: DO NOT wear skirts/dresses from about November to April unless you want to freeze your legs off. Layers are key--you want to stay warm outside but not roast inside. Also, as far as cold weather goes, I recommend mittens over gloves and hats with earflaps. Dorky, but sooooo much warmer! 

Edit: I assumed that you're female--in case you're not (and for all the guys out there), clothing is much simpler: Khakis or dark pants, button-down shirt, shoes that aren't sneakers. Easy-peasy!

Thank you!! I am not looking forward to this winter weather!

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15 minutes ago, samiamslp said:

Thank you!! I am not looking forward to this winter weather!

No problem! Winter is definitely not my favorite season, but it's doable as long as you have the right clothing. I forgot to mention--they're not clinic appropriate, but I have a couple pairs of fleece pants that are very warm and can work as snow pants in a pinch. I've waited for the bus in single digits and been perfectly cozy. I also forgot to mention the importance of a heavy-duty winter coat. Don't suffer through the winter with a thin wool pea coat because it looks nicer. Get either a knee-length down-filled coat or a nice thick ski parka. I have one I got at Walmart for like 30 bucks that has an outer shell and a removable inner coat. I also have a down coat, but my cheapo parka is warmer.

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On 7/11/2019 at 10:10 PM, bibliophile222 said:

No problem! Winter is definitely not my favorite season, but it's doable as long as you have the right clothing. I forgot to mention--they're not clinic appropriate, but I have a couple pairs of fleece pants that are very warm and can work as snow pants in a pinch. I've waited for the bus in single digits and been perfectly cozy. I also forgot to mention the importance of a heavy-duty winter coat. Don't suffer through the winter with a thin wool pea coat because it looks nicer. Get either a knee-length down-filled coat or a nice thick ski parka. I have one I got at Walmart for like 30 bucks that has an outer shell and a removable inner coat. I also have a down coat, but my cheapo parka is warmer.

Thank you! Do you mind messaging me the brand/type of parka you have?

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39 minutes ago, samiamslp said:

Thank you! Do you mind messaging me the brand/type of parka you have?

I had to go look at my coat to find the brand, since I bought it about ten years ago. it's definitely not a fancy name-brand: it's Athletic Works, if that means anything to you. 🙂 Seriously, though, just go into Target, Walmart, etc and try on some coats. If you can wear one for more than a minute or so indoors without starting to roast, it's not warm enough! If you start to sweat after 30 seconds, buy it!

On another note, this is the winter hat I bought this last winter that's the warmest, best hat I've ever owned: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B077YB5HJZ/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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