When your laptop crashes on you…


So I have three assignments due soon and two midterms coming up and so of course my laptop crashed. I know it feels like the world is ending but it’s not all THAT bad. I’m back on track with my work but it’s been a rough couple of days for sure. It’s at times like these when it’s very easy to get overwhelmed but you’d be surprised at how the resources are you can be of help. Here are some tips that might be of use — 

  • Go see what the problem is as soon as possible. I can’t stress this enough. Especially if you haven’t created a backup because the sooner you see what the problem is the higher the chance of the store helping you back your stuff up before they fix the problem and all your data gets wiped off! This means you should carry a hard drive to the store when you go so you can get it done immediately


  • Reach out to your classmates! No one understands the fear of losing all your class materials like your classmates do. All you have to do is put yourself out there. Most courses have a Facebook group you can post on but if you can’t find it you can always send out a mass email explaining your laptop situation and requesting your classmates to share their notes/recordings. You can also post on Portal or just ask someone the next time you’re in class! Even if students are hesitant to share all their notes (since they’re more personalized) most students are completely okay sharing the recordings. Alternatively it might be a good idea to get different lecture notes from  a few different people if you’re uncomfortable asking one person for all their lectures notes.


  • Reach out to your professors and tutorial assistants! If you have an assignment deadline coming up that you were preparing for and forgot to backup find out about your course extension policy. It might be a good idea to talk to the tutorial assistant first (especially if it’s a bigger class) to find out how you should approach the professor with the problem. While you could send them an email I would recommend talking to them in person so a reasonable extension can be established. It would be a good idea to send them an email after the interaction confirming the extension date to avoid any future confusion! Note that some courses have a clear extension policy in the syllabus so make sure you keep that in mind when you’re talking to your professor about it.


  • Use Google Docs or Office365 instead of Word. This ensures your work gets saved automatically so when your laptop crashes even if you haven’t created a recent backup, as long as you can log into your gmail account you should be fine. If you do use word make sure to email yourself everything!


  • Breathe. No seriously. Like I mentioned above you have people around you who are happy to help (I can say this with complete confidence based off my experience these last few days). Your classmates, tutorial assistants and professors are all too familiar with technological failures and they will do their best to help 


The most important takeaway is that sometimes technological failures happen and unfortunately  sometimes they happen at the most inconvenient times. If you’re reading this and haven’t created a recent back up yet I would highly recommend it. And if it’s just one of those “life happens” moments and your laptop crashes on you when you haven’t now (hopefully) it isn’t as scary as it seems.

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