The laptop could be seen as the college student's home base and lifeline. Everything they've worked on is on it and they use it not only for school work, but also for social interaction. There are a few programs that are key to a great college experience while using a computer.
I will continually be updating this post with different categories, the first one up is backup solutions!
When a computer breaks or you lose a file, it could be a very stressful time until you're able to figure everything out. There are a few things you can do to help mitigate the problems with a broken computer. Seriously, every college student should have a backsup solution in place.
Use Dropbox or SkyDrive (Or a service like these)- These services allow you to save your work to external servers that will automatically sync with all of your connected Dropbox computers. If you save something to Dropbox and your computer breaks, you can still access it through the web. The same can be done with SkyDrive. I'll get more into SkyDrive later as it is part of a whole suite of programs.
Thumb Drives- Are you going to be moving around a lot? Gotta make a presentation? Gotta go to the computer lab? Using thumb drives is another great idea to move your data around. Almost any computer will be able to read from them. This is also another place you can save very important information.
External Hard Drive- Everyone should have an external hard drive. You can store all of your movies/music/pictures and backups of everything on it. It's portable and can hold insane amounts of space. You can also easily automate incremental backups of your whole computer, or just a few directories.
Software Backup Solutions- Windows 8 users can use File History & OSX users can use Time Machine. They are EXTREMELY easy to setup and allow you to restore files from certain dates or even refresh your entire system. This option is great if you screwed up a verison of your report, but you know that a past version is better. Time Machine can backup down to an hour increments and Windows File History can backup down to a much smaller increment.