1. Use online backup.
Online backup programs like SugarSync are instant and secure ways of protecting your PC, Mac or mobile device. There’s a 30-day free trial with 30 GB of storage. After the first month it’s $4.99 a month.
2. Save when you start.
Save the document before you even type the first word. That way, in case of a crash, Microsoft Word can automatically recover your file.
3. Work with a friend.
If you’ve got to stay up late working on an assignment, find someone on your wing or in your dorm that is up also. This way, you can keep each other motivated and, if computer problems occur, you’ll be able to think more rationally than if you were alone in your room at 3 a.m.
4. Send to e-mail or use a school computer.
This gives you the opportunity to access your paper or homework from any computer. Plus, your dorm’s computer lounge is an incredible place to be in the middle of the night.
5. Avoid late nights.
If at all possible, get your homework done early so the “late-night freak-out” isn’t even a possible problem. As Chaplain Van Oort said, “There’s a problem with lack of sleep on this campus.” Be as responsible of a student as you can.
All students know the feeling. Your homework is due in less than five hours, but you no longer have it.
Technology has beaten you again. Learn from these freshmen and heed the points above in order to (hopefully) finish your year off strong.
Technology shows no mercy.
In early November, Micah Czirr had a paper due for Biblical Studies. Knowing it’d be the smart thing to do, he saved it to his flash drive as he worked on it throughout the day. Unfortunately, as we’re all guilty of from time to time, he simply pulled the flash drive out of the computer without “safely removing it” from the desktop first. The file crashed, alerting him with an “encrypted error” message the next time he opened his memory stick. His five-page paper was due the next day. He stayed up to rewrite until 3 a.m. and woke the next morning at 5:45, completing his paper in time for class and learning a very valuable lesson in the process.
He admits that, although it was a tough lesson at the time, he wrote a “better paper because God helped me notice some of the areas where my arguments were weak.” His advice? Besides using technology the proper way, “eat breakfast if you didn’t get sleep, because you actually have to do stuff the next day. It was the only way I stayed alive.”
Ask for help before it’s too late.
Alex Price was writing a paper for Basic Writing. She’d been experiencing those beloved “technical difficulties” but kept working until her computer had just had enough. It shut down on her and she lost most of what she’d written. What she found when her computer started up “was definitely not my finished paper. I had to put more time and effort into it to finishing it – not something I was planning on doing that night.”
Although Price knew that her computer was acting up, she took the chance of using it for homework and ended up kicking herself for it in the end. The lessons she learned were save, save, save. And if your computer doesn’t work, switch to one that does.
Frustrations were rising but she knew technology was no excuse for not completing her assignment. Her advice sounds simple but it’s something to take into consideration. “If a computer is broken, you should get it fixed.”
Computing Services is open each weeknight until midnight. Brace yourself for the bitter walk over and get some computer help if you need it.