A Student's Review of the Google Chromebook


Whether you’re a college or high school student, a laptop or computer is an essential. With so many different types of laptops, computers, and now even tablets on the rise, I’d like to give some attention to the Chromebook. I am a Chromebook user at school and I own one as well. They are a more affordable alternative and effective as well! So all of you who are interested in purchasing a Chromebook or are looking for an affordable laptop, this list of pros and cons are for you!

Pro: Affordable

I purchased my Chromebook, an Acer Chromebook , for about $180. This low price is what really got me to buy it. I’m currently a junior in high school, and I was planning to purchase a well-equipped laptop before heading off to college in about two years. I wasn’t ready to spend a lot of money on a laptop I wouldn’t be using for a long time, so a Chromebook was an excellent option for me. My school also provides Chromebooks in class because they are so affordable. Most range from a price of $150-300. For anybody who has a low budget but needs something that can get the basics done, I highly recommend a Chromebook.

Con: Limited Abilities

In the case of Chromebooks, you get what you pay for. Chromebooks run on Google’s Chrome OS. This means that when you turn on the Chromebook, you can log in using any Google email address/account. Through this, you can easily access your Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Mail. In exchange, you can’t run programs like Microsoft Word or Open Office. This is a disadvantage that is manageable, but bothersome. For example, when I download some files off of my teacher’s websites, it downloads as a Microsoft Powerpoint document which I then have to convert to a Google Sheets file in order to open it. The Chromebook is also unable to download other programs like Spotify and Skype. I have to use Spotify through their in-browser web player, which gets the job done, but crashes frequently. As for Skype, I also use the in-browser beta version, and cannot use my webcam or see other people’s cameras. If you plan to use programs like Skype, Microsoft Office, and video editing software, Chromebooks are definitely not for you.

Pro: Portability

Not only are Chromebooks portable because they are lightweight laptops, but they are portable with being able to resume anything you were doing previously on a different device. You can log into your Google account on any other computer, whether it be a Chromebook or not, and have all your files accessible. I use this a lot when I want to add pictures from my phone to a document. I can simply go onto the Google Document on my phone and add the picture directly from my phone, and it’ll be ready for me to use in the document when I’m on my laptop. The whole Google OS system is very convenient for people who are always on the go.

Con: Printing

Ever since I’ve switched from a traditional laptop to a Chromebook, I’ve had to print all my pictures and documents using my phone. The printer I have, which is fairly new, is unable to connect to my Chromebook because it doesn’t offer Google Cloud Print services. This isn’t an issue for me, since I can print from my phone using an app. However, I imagine it would be a huge problem for college students who have to print in a library or the likes. Being able to print is a necessity, and the fact that Chromebooks have very limited printing options is a huge detriment. For those of you who have older printers or rely on library printing services, be sure to contemplate how important it is for you to print! This is something that definitely slipped my mind completely when I first bought my Chromebook.

Overall, a Chromebook is best suited for more casual computer users who have basic needs. I can definitely recommend the Chromebook to most high school students, but for college, I feel that the cons begin to outweigh the pros. But deciding on a laptop or computer is a big decision, so it’s best to consider all options and not out rule the Chromebook!



Choosing Clubs and Extracurricular Activities in High School: How Not to Do Everything


A lot of students choose to participate in extracurriculars for a variety of reasons; whether it is to continue a childhood passion, make new friends, or uncover new interests, here are a few tips to keep in mind as you select which clubs and activities to be a part of during your high school career.

Do What You Love

When it comes time to filling out college applications, many students feel that their extracurriculars must relate to one another in order to be considered noteworthy. I identify personally with the student who has varying interests across many fields. I am involved in Future Teachers of America because I love to work with kids, Drama Club because I love to be onstage, and DECA because I love to exercise my public speaking skills through business terminology and posh professional wear. With that being said, it is okay to let your interests lead you to clubs that may have little to no correlation with each other. High school is supposed to be a time of self-discovery and exploration; do not limit yourself to a status quo. For example, if you want take a cooking class and be a part of the science club, you may later find that it opens doors for you in the field of food science.

Find a Balance & Prioritize

Take some time to carefully evaluate your daily class schedule and fix your extracurricular activities around it. Voluntary clubs and activities should not heavily interfere with your academic priorities. I, for example, am taking Honors and AP classes this year, complete with dance and Spanish electives. Because I know that I will be completing classwork and studying on a consistent basis, I have a more mindful approach in making outside commitments to time-consuming extracurricular activities. From there, I can narrow my number of extracurriculars to a few time-consuming activities that fulfill and excite me, rather than a plethora of activities that I will only wound up exerting little to no effort in. Ultimately, you should evaluate for yourself what you consider to be a want or a need, fit or unfit, in your daily schedule. Do not feel pressured to include certain extracurriculars into your regime if they add unnecessary stress. Not only will you wind up overwhelmed and unmotivated, in most cases, poor academic performance and civil participation can lead to termination from your activities.


Quality over Quantity

If you find that you only have room fit in your schedule for one school-oriented club, be rest assured. You do not need to stretch your time over a wide range of clubs in order to be involved. It is far better to be involved in a singular activity than five. Here is why: when you are wholly devoted to one or few clubs, you have extended opportunities to connect with the club advisors and advance to higher positions/rankings within the club. As a DECA participant for three, going on four, years, I can speak truthfully that the best part of being involved DECA for so long is being able to clearly see my personal evolvement as a strategist, business intellect, and person since being a freshman in high school.

Do Not Follow Your Friends

You are taking personal time out of your day to attend to clubs and extracurriculars. If you do not feel wholly passionate about the activities of the organization, you should not feel pressured to serve additional time to it. To those with friends who may be pushy or misunderstanding of the matter, be sure to communicate with them, in whichever way necessary, that you feel your time together should be spent elsewhere.


Create Your Own Club

Many students often forget about the opportunities to create their own clubs within the walls of their school. If you have an idea or passion that seems to generate interest among a number of students, do not hesitate to reach out to your school advisers.

Just Join!

At the end of the day, extracurricular activities are available for your benefit, not to fulfill a requirement. Always check with yourself to ensure that you are happy with whatever it is that you decide to do. You will find in high school that your mind will change constantly as you try new things and become curious about others. Allow that change to happen within you and go with it. Best of luck!