Choosing a good cell phone company for college

If you don’t already have a cell phone, you’re definitely going to want one before college. Cell phones are extremely useful nowadays, and if you don’t have one, you’re going to be surprised at how frequently you’re inconvenienced.

You may already have a plan that you’re going to continue, but if you’re open to the idea of a new phone and/or provider, you should definitely make sure you make the right choice.

Depending on where you go to school, the providers that you believe are best may not necessarily be the best choice. I use Verizon — a network that’s normally considered to be very reliable — yet I get the worst service here. Text messages rarely send and calls won’t always go through. That’s only around my dorm, but that’s still a giant inconvenience.

Try your phone out on campus.

If you’re going up for orientation or just to visit, bring your phone up and try to make a few calls while on campus. Get an idea of how good the signal is. Don’t just count the number of bars you have — actually try out your phone and make sure it seems to be reliable. Walk around different spots. If you have an idea where you’ll be living, try your phone out around there especially.

Talk to current students.

If you know somebody who already attends the school, ask him or her if there’s anything you should know about phone providers before you attend the school. If you don’t know anybody, just approach a random person while on campus or add a random person from the school on Facebook or MySpace and ask them quickly.

Having a phone is very essential, and if your phone never works, it’s just as bad as not having a phone at all. Make sure that you’re going to be getting the most for your money and making the best choice about what plan to have.