Do I need a cell phone in college?

Sure you do, but somehow, I managed to make it through high school without having a cell phone. Although I begged for one, my parents didn’t want to pay for it, and I didn’t care strongly enough to shell out $40-$50 a month for a phone bill. Once I graduated high school though, my parents acknowledged that I would need a phone for my freshman year in college, and we went to Verizon and bought a cell phone for me.

When I went to college, I quickly learned that having a cell phone was not only useful, but it was a bit of a necessity if I wanted to stay involved with everything that was going on.

Do I NEED a cell phone?

Well no, not really… you don’t need one. Your academics won’t be affected at all if you don’t have one, and you can pass college without it.

But your social life definitely will be affected. In the last ten years, society has become very mobile — no matter where you are, people are used to being able to contact you quickly. This is especially noticeable in colleges, where it’s almost nothing but kids who have at least some money. The end result is that virtually every student has a cell phone of some sort — in my freshman year, I didn’t meet a single student without one. By not having a cell phone, you will end up being isolated and left out.

Think about it like this: if your friends are all going to go out to eat but can’t contact you, do you think they’re going to wait around until you get back if they don’t know when that is? Probably not. How are you going to learn that your friends across campus are having a water balloon fight if you don’t see them that day? You won’t.

Whether through text message or phone call, I quickly learned my freshman year that anything not planned in person was planned over the phone. If your friends don’t live on the same floor as you, you’re going to miss out on a lot by not having a phone.

Doesn’t the school give you a land line that you can use?

Most schools do provide a land line for students to bring cord phones. Although my school provided a land-line phone, I could only call other rooms (and few people used the land line, preferring cell phones instead) for free, and would need a long-distance card to call long distance. Since most people bring cell phones from home, everyone had a different area code, meaning I would be paying quite a bit to make outgoing calls (incoming calls were of course free). And, since the phone wouldn’t really be portable, it ended up being useless to reach me any time I was out of my room.

But cell phones are so expensive!

This is definitely true, I’m always shocked to find out how much they cost. Try hunting around for different plans that are suited to your needs. Will you text a lot? Do you prefer to talk? Maybe you can find a combination between a land-line and a cell phone — having a cheap cell phone that you use almost solely for texting, but a land-line that you use for talking to people.

Different providers will cost different amounts, and your service on campus may vary. If you’re bent on keeping your costs low, you might check out Metro PCS. Although the service isn’t the most stable, the prices are reasonable and you can avoid a contract. Other “pay-as-you-go” phones may also be worth looking into.

Remember when you started driving, and you felt that your world had expanded? Having a phone is somewhat the same feeling. Once you have one, you really wonder how you survived without one. In college, having a phone is essential to building a strong social life and staying connected to your friends.