In my first year of university I could have been ranked the least prepared student. I did not even own a laptop, let alone a computer. Fortunately, my roommate brought a laptop and a desktop computer, and would let me borrow his laptop when not in use. That really helped me during my first semester, and then the following semester I decided to own up and get my own (which lasted not even a full year... Stay away from HP, guys).
Somehow I found myself in a similar situation when I started up in January. The laptop I own is hooked to an external monitor because the screen simply does not work, so it operates as a desktop. So here I am, one week before the new semester starts, looking for a laptop. I began asking around, even taking a wide net to my social networks asking for recommendations. These are a few of the contenders.
And of course there is the option of joining the cult: MacBooks (the MacBook Air has been a widely popular suggestion)
If you're thinking, "pfft. Ain't nobody got time for that-" make time. The reason you'll NEED a laptop/ultrabook is because of the group work involved. There's one class project that requires you to work as a team off-site, and being mobile is so much simpler with a laptop. That's one of the biggest reason I've decided to invest, it allows me freedom to contribute more during group meetings.
I'm still very much in the research stage of all this, so if you have any input on computers please feel free to let me know! I may even name it after you :)
UPDATE: I chose the Macbook Pro with Retina Display 13" and I am super happy with it!