I know that for so many people September is the month of new beginnings and new starts. Nearer the end of the month I will be packing up my belongings and shipping them to Brighton to start my second university year. It’s normally around this time of the month I start to think about all the items I may need to buy, i.e kitchen utensils, socks, room spray (lifesaver) and printer ink just to name a few. With just a quick Google search you will have thousands of websites that give you free printables and lists of everything (and more) you will need to be packing with you and they’re definitely worth having a read, but today I thought I would focus on my personal favourite; stationary.
I know that you can use the countless amounts of technology and their apps for a calendar/diary but I think it’s also handy to have an actual diary to write dates down. I use my iPhone/Macbook diary for everything – social, rent payments, lectures, due dates and most importantly, the dates where student loan magically arrives but it’s really useful to keep a separate diary just for university related dates. Bring it along to your lectures and tutorials; you’ll be given loads of dates to write down and it’s really useful to have one book to refer to.
A rather obviously one but you’d be surprised at how many people walk into the first induction without one. My top tip is to have two notebooks (or more), one small for scribbling notes down in lectures; I don’t have the time to write neatly or efficiently structure my notes so I use an A5 sized notebook to quickly scribble the information down. I then use an A4 sized notebook to copy the notes down neatly and structured (and colour coded yay). This notebook is what I then refer to when it comes to revision and coursework. I also use another notebook to take down my reading notes.
Ring Binder /
You will most likely be given lots of important pieces of paper you’ll want to keep. Ring binders and plastic wallets are so incredibly useful for this. You can also get these really cheap if you shop around meaning you can pick up more than one without breaking the bank. I use one for all my super important documents (think house/halls information, student finance information, university important numbers, maps etc) and then I have a folder for every module which stores all the loose bits of paper such as lecture notes, reading lists and mock papers etc.
USB Flash Drive/Memory Stick /
This will most likely become your best friend throughout university. No seriously. Please don’t be one of those students who forget to back up their work; it causes me genuine heart pain when people don’t back up their work. Use a USB stick to keep copies of your work on and use it to transfer work from a university/library computer to your home computer; you never know when you’re going to need one. Just don’t loose it…
It’s not 100% essential but if you have one it’s definitely worth bringing it along. I use mine so much (at least once a week) it works out cheaper than paying to use the university printers in the library. If you search around you can also find ink cheaper than the original price, try eBay or local selling sites and also keep an eye out on your university noticeboard, I remember seeing a few times that some students were selling printer ink!
Those are the main items that should definitely be going with you to university but more than will be so useful include post-it notes (I use these for everything), a stapler, sellotape, highlighters, paper clips, hole punch and possible even a calculator! Stationery doesn’t have to be expensive either, Paperchase does some lovely items but at a little bit of a higher cost so you can always check out your local corner shops, supermarkets can have some nice pieces and of course, your university shop. A word of advice: Don’t rely on your university shop, just because the shelves tend to clear around the start of semester and exam time!
But most of all, I wish you the very best of luck if you’re off to university this year! It’s an incredible experience that you will take with you for the rest of your life. It’s going to be a blast!