Back Your Way Into Peace of Mind

Five reasons that might actually convince you to do what you should have been doing your entire life.

By Katie Sanchez, University of Texas at San Antonio


All I wanted to do was uninstall a program on my laptop.

I did not, on the other hand, ask for most of my personal files to disappear, leaving my once-crowded desktop empty.  I sweated for hours and clicked my mouse millions of times, while my eyes flared with anger as I tried to recover what was lost. Nothing worked.

I decided to take my file-less laptop to the Microsoft Store, and they said they could try to recover my lost documents. My heart jumped with glee, only to hit rock bottom a few seconds later.

They needed $149 to get my files back.

Back Your Computer Files Up or Die

I was desperate for what I lost, so I glided my debit card across the money-taking monster. Just like that, both my precious files and hard-earned money disappeared.

Moral of the story? Back of your files.

But the truth is, you’re probably not going to do that. You’ll probably laugh and think, “That sucks!” and move on with your life. Even though your computer’s vulnerable files aren’t backed up, my lamentation will just be another sob story about how someone lost their files.

However, backing up your computer’s data is totally worth it, and here’s why.

1. You’ll Impress Your Parents

As a college student, getting grades good enough to impress your parents is difficult. But if you were to backup your files, you’d impress your parents very easily. They would be happy to know that you did something responsible, and maybe think that you’re starting to get your life together.

I don’t know about you, but my father would always tell me to back up my files. I never did (obviously). I’m pretty sure it would bring a smile to his face if I were to tell him that I finally fulfilled his recommendation.

2. It’s Easy!

Literally, highlight, drag and drop. Backing up your files is so easy that after you finally do it, you’ll wonder why you never did it before. Plus, there’s different tools you can use to store your files.

DropBox: This is probably the cheapest way to ensure the safety of your documents (if you take the free route). Basically, DropBox is an online database. You can create folders if you want to organize your files, or just drop them in.

DropBox allows you to store up to 2 GB (gigabytes) for free, or you can buy a Pro membership for $8.25 per month and you receive 1 TB (terabyte) of memory. 1 TB is equal to 1000 GB of storage, which is a lot of space.

DropBox is a good tool for college students to use because it has two main functions: storing and sharing files. DropBox allows you to send and receive documents that won’t fit as attachments with other students, clubs/organizations, maybe professors, friends and family. If you take the DropBox route, not only are you going to be able to store your files, you’ll also have the chance to share large files with other people.

Nevertheless, all you do is drag and drop—simple.

USB Flash Drive: The best part about a USB is that it’s portable, which means it’s also easy to store. USB storage can range from around 1 GB to 512 GB or higher, so the number of files you have will dictate which one you should buy.

If you have a lot of files, then it would be wise to buy a USB that has a good amount of storage space. If that sounds like you, look for a thumb drive that can hold around 256 GB or 512 GB worth of space. Depending on which brand you look at and where you are going to make your purchase, this can cost from $19 to $200. Of course, a cheaper flash drive would be better, but it is equally important to look at the reviews and make sure what you are buying is legitimate.

No matter what choice you make with which USB you’re going to buy, backing up your data will still be as easy as drag and drop.

3. You’ll Save Money

I could have $149 still in my pocket if I had backed up my files. That money could have helped paid for my books, groceries or electricity bill. Especially as a college student, money is tight. Students need to pay close attention to their bank accounts, because we don’t want to spend money we don’t have.

4. You’ll Never Be Without a Computer

If you don’t back up your computer’s files and something happens to them, you’re probably going to have to take it to someone to fix it. Based on what the people at Microsoft told me, data recovery can take four or more days. In my case, I’ve been computer-less for a week…and counting.

Not having a computer is a struggle, especially if you’re a student. Whether it’s for essays, research or studying, computers are essential for college, and many classes require computer access. Not to mention your sanity: They’re the source of games, Netflix and more.

If you’re a college student and you don’t have an easily accessible computer, you are going to have a difficult time finishing your electronic assignments. Yes, universities have libraries that should have computers, but chances are, most of the computers in the library are already in use, so you have to walk around multiple times until you find someone walking away from the machine you so desperately need.

When you have your own computer, you don’t have to deal with that. Plus, nothing beats studying in the comfort of your room.

Dealing with inconveniences are never fun, so back up your files and avoid all of the struggles of not having a computer.

5. You’ll Avoid Debilitating Anger

As I witnessed the loss of my documents, I felt little daggers stabbing my heart and brain. My heart was breaking because I was witnessing all of my memories and years of academic work fall into oblivion. My brain was pulsing because my mind kept telling me, “You should’ve listened to your dad!”

Thank you, mind. Yes, I know. I should’ve listened to my dad.

My whole day was ruined because I lost my files. I was a total grump, so I snapped at people for every little thing. I was so frustrated that I kept sighing and felt my blood turn to lava. Even as I write this article, I feel a rush of frustration.

Why be angry? After all, you don’t have to be. If you don’t want to be burdened with anger, back up your files.

If time travel is real, I hope my future self visits my past self to save myself from this chaos. Not only would I have saved $149, but also been spared the tedious task of trying to accomplish academic work with only a smart phone. One can look at a tiny bight screen for so long.

Please don’t let this be you in the future.

Again, it’s just drag and drop.

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