Dorm Room Tech 101: Solutions to Common Back to School Problems

stay connected over the holidays

College can be hard, even without having any problems with your technology. Between completing your assignments on time, making big decisions about your future, and navigating your social life, the last thing you want to worry about is something like fixing your internet. In my experience, though, tech can be an important part of doing well in school, especially if you take any of your classes online.

In this post, I’ll go over a few college tech issues and how to solve them.

Problem: Your Wi-Fi connection is too weak

It seems like having a good internet connection has become quite important for doing well in school. If your video classes are freezing up, your online assignments are running slowly, or you’re having issues communicating online with other students, it’s going to slow you down.

Solution 1: In many dorms and apartments, the complex will only provide one or two options for internet plans. In some cases, this is actually really high-quality service, but sometimes your particular area is in what’s called a Wi-Fi dead zone. That means that even though the complex may provide good internet service, your wireless connection might run poorly because of various obstacles between your device and the Wi-Fi gateway.

While you can’t always control which internet plans are available in your residence hall or apartment complex, you still might be able to improve the quality of your device connections. To do this, you might want to look into how to use Wi-Fi extenders to help extend your Wi-Fi service. Just make sure you are using a Wi-Fi extender that is compatible with your internet service provider and Wi-Fi gateway.

Solution 2: If you do have the option of upgrading your internet, it’s worth shopping to see what is available in your area. A plan powered by AT&T Fiber, for example, will deliver great speed and reliability, even during peak usage times.1 You can go here to see which AT&T Internet plans are available at your address.

Problem: Your phone dies during the day

If you live a decent distance from where your classes are, there’s a good chance you go to the right part of campus, and then stay there for a good portion of the day. For example, I would take the bus from my student housing all the way across campus, and then hang out at the library between lectures. When this happens, it’s easy for your phone to run out of charge before you make it back home.

This can be irritating, especially if you are trying to keep in contact with friends and family throughout the day. Sometimes, it can even get in the way of setting up office hours visits.

Solution: This problem is an easy fix. All you need to do is buy an extra phone charger and carry it with you in your bag. That way, you can charge your phone between classes at the library. Another option is to pick up a portable battery, so that you can charge your phone no matter where you are. I recommend leaving your portable battery charging at night, so that it’s full each morning when you wake up.

For more tips on making the most of your phone battery, you might also want to check out this article.

Problem: Your roommate makes too much noise

Ok, this technically isn’t a tech problem, but I’m including it, because it might have a tech solution. If you live in a dorm room or a small apartment, there might be a lot of distracting noises from your fellow residents. Sometimes, it isn’t even your own roommates. It’s a neighbor. While most people are nice enough to hear you out if you ask for some quiet, some people can be hard to deal with, especially if you don’t really know them too well.

Solution: I’ve learned from personal experience that some nice wireless earbuds can be a great solution for annoying background noise. You don’t have to worry about wires, and the sound quality can be great. I like to pop in my earbuds and play something soothing, like oceans sounds. It can help drown out loud roommates or neighbors.  You can also find headphones with noise cancelling features.

If the noise gets unreasonably bad, though, or if it becomes a regular occurrence, you’ll probably want to speak to your RA. Dorms and other student housing options aren’t known for being the quietest of living spaces, but you shouldn’t be up all night because of the noise.

Best of luck and happy studying

Hopefully, you found some of these tips helpful. You’ll surely run into a few issues we didn’t touch on here, but one thing I would recommend is to take a deep breath and search online for answers. If you can stay calm, there’s probably someone online who has solved the same problem that you have. A good deal of the time you can fix things yourself without having to hire a professional or a call a more tech savvy friend. Now, best of luck. You should probably get back to studying.

This article was written by Matt Johnsen, a TechBuzz contributor. The statements in this article are his own and don’t necessarily represent the positions, strategies, or opinions of AT&T.


  1. Based on wired connection to gateway.



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