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Essential Gear for Surviving Freshman Year

A lidded and vacuum-insulated mug like this one is essential for dorm life, where you’ll be consuming many hot things you want to keep hot and even more cold things you’ll want to keep frosty. The extra-wide mouth on this 14-ouncer not only gives you plenty of room to spoon your late-night oatmeal, it also exposes your scalding coffee to more air, cooling it down to sippin’ temperature much more quickly.

$25

Lenovo Smart Clock

Cera Hensley

Just tell Lenovo’s fabric-covered wedge what time to wake you, and in the morning it’ll play whatever gets you going: news, a podcast, even a YouTube video. Google Assistant is built in, so the 4-inch touchscreen can display and read out answers to spoken questions. (“OK Google, what’s an iamb?”) And unlike many connected bedside devices, it doesn’t have a camera; Big Tech can’t watch you sleep—or whatever.

$80

JABRA Elite 85H

Cera Hensley

It’s hard to concentrate on chemistry when your roommates are rocking Chromeo. Slip on these comfy wireless, noise-canceling cans for up to 36 hours of distraction-free study; mics on each earcup pick up all the noise in the room, then electronics blot it out, leaving you alone with your ambient dub mix. Yes, they’re expensive, which makes them a great gift for an incoming freshman.


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