College: no longer are you expected to live as you did under your parent’s roof. That’s the idea at least. You make your own choices. What to eat and when. What to wear or not. Whether to go to class…or turn in that paper. You work hard. You’re one of the able-minded, caffeine-infused, youngish people of the nation stacking words and ideas one on top of the other as if to build a foundation for your future. Theses, Blue Books, hypotheses, defenses—you’re in the minor leagues, now. And your ideas, believe it or not, are worth something. Don’t lose them. But, of course, you can’t lose them, right? You have everything saved to your laptop. Then your computer crashes. Your iPhone gets stolen. The university deletes your email account. Your professor loses the one and only version of that 30 page masterpiece. Gone, gone, gone. Flash drives, external hard drives, CDs—there are a lot of well-known storage spaces for your data. But you might consider the cost effectiveness and security of cloud backup when it comes to the vast amounts of data you’ve built up with your music, books and school projects. Flash drives get lost. External hard-drives are expensive. A cloud data backup guarantees you won’t lose your information for a reasonable price. Some cloud backup options:
- Amazon Cloud Drive (free up to 5GB, then $1/GB)
- iCloud (free up to 5GB except iTunes match, then $2/GB)
- Dropbox (free up to 18GB, then $2/GB or $.80/GB)
- Google Drive (free up to 5GB, then $.60/GB)
- Microsoft Skydrive (free up to 25GB, then $.50/GB)
When that first position opens up the summer or fall after you graduate, you can be assured the company will ask for experience, for examples of your work. You might not have work experience per se, but you have spent the last four years creating and thinking about that field. So what do you have to show for it? With cloud backup, you can easily organize and access your portfolio into a presentable form your future employers will value. On top of that, a personal cloud backup system engages you early on in an important part of the corporate and professional world—data management and technology.
Whether you’re after a degree in business management, engineering or English, you have those big-timer icons in the back of your mind—the CEOs, the Robert Goddards, the Margaret Atwoods—and, if you look into any one of their histories, you’ll find they valued their ideas at early ages. That’s why great writers have cabinets full of every draft of each story they’ve ever written. That’s why we’re able to recount each step of Steve Jobs’ professional life. Why, when Hemmingway lost a suitcase of stories on a train, he considered the loss to be the worst calamity in his life.
There’s a balance here between the old and the new. No, you no longer need filing cabinets to house the forests of trees you’ve morphed into great, mediocre and terrible academic essays. But you do run the risk of losing important digital data. Not only essays, but also music, books and emails as well—the things you’re going to want to remember. Those aren’t always replaceable.
What cloud backup service do you use to save your files?