By Karlie Mickanuik

It’s back-to-school season and during this time we are usually packing our bags for the first day and making sure our back to school outfits are perfect, but this year is going to look a little different.

With NAIT’s classes being primarily online this year, back-to-school necessities have shifted.

There’s no longer a need for a sturdy backpack to take to school everyday if you’re staying at home. Still, there are a few things that you may need to buy to make the best out of online classes.

Bluetooth Headphones

These are going to become your best friend during online classes. I often found myself forgetting I actually had class and quickly jumping on the Zoom call while out in public. Instead of putting the volume on low and holding your phone up to your ear, invest in a good quality pair of earbuds or headphones. If they are wireless you can move around as much as you like without struggling with a tangled cord. Good pairs of these can run a little higher in cost, but are definitely worth the investment and you’ll get your use out of them.

Fun Zoom backgrounds

Why be just a name on a grey background when you can turn your camera on and be on a beach, in outer space or in a mansion? Zoom backgrounds are completely free. Head to Google and find images you like and change them to your zoom background. This is a small detail, but any little bit of fun you can have in these challenging times is well worth it.

A Decent Laptop

This is a must for online school. Not only are classes going to be on your phone or laptop, but you’ll likely be spending hours completing assignments, projects and labs as well. Although the NAITSA Computer Commons (W203) will be open as of Sep 8, only students with scheduled labs and shops will be permitted on campus. Without regular access to the computers at NAIT, it’s a good idea to invest in a laptop that will get you through, and hopefully past, this year. A Chromebook is a perfect option. It’s durable and affordable.

Back To School Outfit

Even though you can’t show off your new fit in all its glory, buying a new outfit is a great way to practice self-care, and add a bit of normalcy to your routine. Don’t feel comfortable shopping in person? There are tons of local businesses offering local delivery or pick-up. This is an interesting time for a lot of us and finding opportunities to smile are well worth it. Plus, now you’ve already got a new outfit ready for your next socially distanced hang out or any in-person classes.