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What should I purchase?

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I will be starting my first semester as a graduate student in just a couple weeks. What supplies or helpful tools should I purchase before the semester begins? 

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This is a reply I wrote for an identical question back in July. If you search the forum I'm sure you'll find several similar posts with lots of great information!

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. 

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1 hour ago, bibliophile222 said:

This is a reply I wrote for an identical question back in July. If you search the forum I'm sure you'll find several similar posts with lots of great information!

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. 

Wow this is very helpful! Thank you so much. I will definitely accumulate some of the little things over time but for the most part I have majority of these items. The only thing thats annoying is having to upgrade my wardrobe 😫

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