Student Email: It looks fun in the beginning. Pretty cool actually. Your own .edu email address! People can email you now at! Awesome.

But what then? You check your email every once in a while and you find out that there doesn't happen very much on it. It took me a month to figure out that I didn't like my student email at all. I received emails all the time sent over the faculty servers (or even the University servers), containing questionnaires or worse. Emails about parties you are going to hear of through another way as well, such things. You find out you actually don't want to go to this inbox all the time, because you will find either spam or useless information!

Student Email: The Problem

As a student you are probably busy. If you know something about Getting Things Done, you know adding another inbox isn't productive and we are all about student productivity right? Another inbox means you need to log in again, you need to check if there is mail and read the emails.

So, that of course is a problem. But the other thing is: you have to use your student email. At my University I only get a response from my professors when I use my student email, emails from students mailing with other addresses are just getting deleted. You are in systems as well with this email address, so if somebody is emailing you, it will be on this address.

But what if you connect your student mail with Gmail?

Student Email: Send it to Gmail!

You are probably using Gmail already in your email system, so we should connect our Student Email to Gmail! Why? A couple of reasons:

  • Gmail works fast. As Google owns a lot of servers, they know how to make their services run (really) fast. Compared to the program your University is using, this is a big relief probably.
  • Gmail is on the internet. This means you can always access it, so you can always see your student mail!
  • Gmail enables you to send from another email address. And this is what we are going for! With Gmail you can send emails from another email address than your Gmail. So you are not only forwarding email to your Gmail address, you actually can react with your student email address as well!

How to Set Up Your Student Email with Gmail

1. Forward your student email to Gmail

This requires a Gmail address of course. Now you can always forward your email in other email systems to another address. My university uses 'Sun Microsystems' and there is an option button which enables me to click on 'local account' - 'forwarding' where I can edit the forwarding address.

As said, every email system has this option, so look for it in 'options' or 'rules'.

2. Go to 'mail settings' on Gmail (through the sprocket up right).

Click on it and you will go to the settings tab of your Gmail.

3. Click on 'Accounts and Import'

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4. Click 'send email from another address'

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Fill in the email address you want to send from. This will be your student email address. Also click the option beneath it, 'reply from the same address the message was sent to', so you will respond with the same email address. This is the key in this process to send email from your own student email address within Gmail

5. Confirm the message you receive (in your Gmail inbox now)

Because you already set up the forwarding of the student email to your Gmail you should receive the email in your Gmail inbox now! From now on you will never have to worry anymore when replying to an email. You will automatically reply with your student email address.

Sending Emails with your Student Email through Gmail now

As said, you automatically respond with your .edu email address from now on, but what about sending a new email? Just go to 'compose mail' within Gmail. Now in the top of your email you can select a 'from' address. Your .edu email address should be listed there now as well! Pretty cool right?

I like two things in this system. First of all: you are using your own system and not a system imposed by the University. You don't have to listen to what you are told to use, just use your own system!

Second, the University doesn't know! Nobody knows you are using this system as you are sending replies and new emails from the .edu email address anyway! So not only are you not using their (expensive) system, you also do this without them knowing it.

With this enabled in the beginning of your academic career, you are good to go. You now have adopted your .edu email within your normal email system, something you can be proud of. And now you may even enjoy using your student email!