Back-to-School Shopping List for Pharmacy Students

Long ago before recorded lectures were the norm, some pharmacy students took matters into their own hands and recorded lectures using their own microcassette recorders. Yes, the little black Aiwa handheld recorder was definitely needed if you ever wanted the chance to relisten to a lecture. There’s a legendary story from my alma mater about a student who couldn’t afford one of these innovative devices, so he used a small boombox which fit regularly sized cassettes. His nickname was “8-track.” [Only some people will understand that]


Back in the day, as the professor entered the room, 5-10 students would run up to the platform/stage/table/podium, hit record, and run back to their seats. We called them ‘runners.’ When I was struggling to keep up with many intense classes at once, I invested in one of those recorders. I no longer cared what anyone else thought and I became a runner myself. When I listened to the recordings while going over my notes, I was surprised at how much I missed the first time. Surprised because I was a fast writer and I thought my audio-to-written word coverage was off the charts (n=1). It helped my grades and I finally saw the value in listening to a lecture more than once.


Today you don’t need to add a recording device your back-to-school shopping list. This fall we can expect multiple ways to ‘go to class’ virtually. Interestingly, some items you have on your list may have matched mine, despite advances in technology: a calendar, highlighters, good pens, backpack, desk lamp, post-it notes. Things that are probably on your list that weren’t on mine: a laptop, strong wifi, apps, hand sanitizer, and multiple sets of headphones and chargers.


Think about your e-learning in Spring 2020. What could you add to YOUR shopping list to make this academic year easier, better, more efficient, and more successful? Make this fall easy on yourself. Start thinking and shopping for what you need before you need it.

List one item on shopping list in the comments!


For similar articles on student success, check out these recent blogs: There Are No Winners and Losers in Pharmacy and Networking: It’s Not Just About You.


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