It’s amazing how many times I go to a lecture and have people ask me across the table if they can borrow a pen to sign in or a sheet of paper to take notes. And I can’t explain to you how annoying it actually is. University is a major step forward in terms of work and effort. It requires you to be organised and pretty on top of life. So, since I’ve been here three years, I thought I would share with you guys a list of everything that I feel is necessary for everyone to keep on top of work at university or even college. If you want to see what I use everyday, check outer Whats in My Bag, university edition, here. But, until then, enjoy.
In this modern day, it’s basically impossible to not have a computer or laptop at university. Every essay that you have, will not be accepted unless it is typed, most will also need to be handed in online. Trust me, life will be a lot easier with a laptop. You’ll need it for research, reading, communication with your tutors and lecturers and for assignments. It’s vital. Now you don’t need a really expansive mac or the top-class HP. Honestly, I have plenty of friends who got their laptop handed down from their family or they bought it second-hand from an electronics store. You just need to be able to use Microsoft, Adobe Acrobat Reader and the internet.
Now, if you really don’t have the money for a laptop, there are always computers available to use at the library. In this case the most important thing you need is a USB or flash drive. Honestly this should be second on your list anyway. It’s so important to back up all your important documents on a USB, or at least in hard copy.
So, this may seem like a given, but you really can’t go to university without notebooks. I would highly suggest having one for each module you take. Even if you plan on taking the majority of your notes on your iPad or laptop, like myself, you should always take some notes by hand. It’s a well proven fact that by writing down notes by hand consolidates them better in your brain than typing or highlighting. You may even find that you end up in a class that you really can type up notes in.
Last year, I took a class in Middle Egyptian Language, which required me to literally draw out the hieroglyphs to make notes on them. Yes, the notebook may not be the neatest, but that’s why I usually copy out notes before any exams, into a second book. The second book is the one I keep, its neater and full of all my notes, sometimes with extras; while the first book is usually messy and sometimes even falling apart.
Similar to Notebooks, Folders should be a given. I found this especially as I type up most of my usual notes up and print them around exam time. Folders will keep all of your work together and structure. As I say, organisation is so important! I usually get a big folder, one of those lever arch folders, for one whole year, with dividers. I usually have sections for each module, Essays (with a copy of the essays) feedback and university guides. It just helps me feel more organised, and when revising I just gather everything together. Some of my go too, to get some are Paperchase, Amazon and WHSmith’s.
Pens, Pencil’s and Highlighters.
It sounds so silly, but it’s so important to remember to bring pens and pencils to university. There are so many people out there that totally forget to bring anything to write things down by hand, and honestly it gets annoying when you pen ends up at the back of the lecture theatre because people didn’t bring one just to sign in. I always keep one at the bottom of my back, just in case. I could also suggest that you have a small pencil case with a black pen, red pen, pencil and highlighter in your bag at all times.
Highlighters are also important, especially if your lecturer gives out notes or print-outs. We have a literature class that gives hand-outs in the class, which almost always ends up with me having to highlight sections or words and make notes along the side.
Stapler, Hole Puncher and Scissors.
They may seem silly, but staplers and hole punchers are a must for any kind of filing and organising. I have mine hidden away in my drawers and only bring them out when I need to file away my weekly notes. And I bet your sitting there now thinking that you really don’t need a stapler, surely you can just bore one for the library. But I can guarantee, the time you look of one, they won’t be there. They have a real habit for disappearing. Having your own makes life so much easier, and you can get them super cheaply off amazon or at Wilko. Likewise goes for scissors. They really seem like the kind of thing you won’t need. Until the one time that you do and they you have to go buy some from the nearby Sainsburys, where you need scissors to open the new ones. Seriously! Why do they do that?
Last but not least, for the stationary essentials, you really do need a diary. It doesn’t matter if you use your phones calendar, or one on your laptop; you need to keep a diary of your lecture timetable, your meetings, deadlines, reading schedules and literally everything else in the world that is going on. It’s crazy how busy your timetables get as soon as you go to university. And not just by ‘work’ related things either. Clubs, socials, sports, family; It’s all going to take up your life. It just makes life a lot easier if you write it all down. Plus, you won’t forget anything! I love my diary and generally couldn’t survive without it.
Is there anything else you think is important stationary wise for university? Let me know in the comments below what you need to keep organised. Thanks for reading xxx