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Due to the pandemic, everyone has essentially been forced to utilize their technology devices throughout the past year. As the world is slowly but surely reverting back to reality, some are looking forward to going back to “normal”, but others, like myself, are continuing to embrace some of what they have adapted due to COVID. 

Being forced to complete my freshman year of college online, I got quite comfortable using my laptop for basically everything. Using technology in an academic setting was something I decided to continue doing as I learned it is the easiest way to keep myself organized. 

For the 2020-2021 school year, I challenged myself to go paperless. The only physical paper items I decided to use throughout this school year were my planner and textbooks that I was lent. Other textbooks I decided to download on my iPad through iBooks. Other than that, it was just my MacBook, iPad, and Apple Pencil and me. 

At the beginning of the Fall semester, it was a bit odd and my backpack felt super light and unnecessary at times because all I was bringing to class was my laptop, iPad, and planner. As time went on, I gravitated more so towards using my purses to hold my school supplies because there were fewer of them. 

One app that made my paperless experience way better is GoodNotes. This app has allowed me to create folders and notebooks on my iPad for each class. This app is also linked with my Google Drive so all of my notes are going to be saved virtually forever. Through this app, I was also able to download class readings and presentations and highlight them. This is something that I have found to be extremely useful throughout the year and has saved me a ton of time and paper because I have not had to print out these documents. 

As the end of the semester is quickly approaching, and it is time to start preparing for finals, I feel as though this will be even easier for me to do this year because all of my course materials are in one place. In the end, I am glad that I stepped outside my comfort zone and went paperless. It was an adjustment at first, but it has become entirely normal for me now and is second nature. I am glad that I am being more environmentally friendly and using less paper this way, and it is definitely something I recommend everyone tries! I have been much more organized and am excited to continue on with my paperless journey next school year as well.

Rayana is a Sophomore at Lasell University studying Communication with a concentration in Journalism and Media Writing as well as Marketing. Rayana works in the Undergraduate Office of Admissions as a Blue Key Society Ambassador, and is a senior writer for the university's newspaper, The 1851 Chronicle.
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