When preparing for university, there is a lot to think about! You need to think about what clothes you are taking, choose a range of decorations for your room and even consider what kitchenware you may need! As a result, thoughts about stationery and resources that will benefit you during your degree can often be pushed to the back of your mind. After all, moving to university is a very stressful and overwhelming experience, with so many things happening at once!
If you are unsure about what stationery you actually need to take to university, check out the rest of this article!
Do you need to bring stationery to university?
Many students believe that all of their work at university is done on the laptop! This can be the case for many subjects. However, going back to a pen and paper can also be a useful thing to do on your course.
University is different to high school, college and sixth form. However, you will still be learning and needing to memorise key concepts at university. Consequently, using stationery which used to help you get through previous exams could be extremely useful!
A checklist of the stationery you might need is listed below. Note that different courses may have different stationary requirements. Therefore, it would be useful to check with your course first before deciding what you may need to buy.
1. A planner
Before you buy anything else, make sure that you purchase a planner! This can be in the form of a desk calendar, a diary, or any other version you can think of!
This is because life at university is extremely busy. After fresher’s week, you will be thrown into your lectures, seminars, and tutorials. You may even have peer mentor or tutor meetings which you have to attend.
On top of this, you could have society socials and arrangements to meet up with your course mates. Not only is this a lot to remember, but you also need to make sure that you don’t double book yourself! After all, starting university can be hectic.
Consequently, investing in a planner is the best way forward. I personally have a little desk top planner, which has all the days of the week on, split into intervals, so that I can plan each day.
A useful to do list planner can be found on Amazon if you click here.
Many students like to type their notes on laptops during lectures, classes, and tutorials. This is probably the image you think of when imagining a lecture hall – students frantically typing to try and keep up with the lecturer!
However, a lot of students actually prefer to write their notes by hand. Writing notes out manually can sometimes make them easier to remember.
If you think that you would benefit from writing out your notes, rather than typing them up, it would be useful to bring pens!
Pens are always essential, as they are needed for to do lists, signing things and much more! My go-to pens from Amazon are good quality and cheap – perfect for a university student! You can find them on Amazon if you click here.
As already stated, some students prefer writing their notes in lectures rather than using a laptop. However, if you know that you will be writing lots of notes you need throughout the day, it would be useful to invest in a notepad.
If your degree requires you to do clinical observations of children for example, you will also be expected to use a notepad, as a laptop may trigger safeguarding concerns.
There are plenty of good quality notebooks online. However, in my opinion, no one can top the good old Pukka Pad! You can get a bumper pack of three for a good price from Amazon if you click here.
4. Post-it notes
University is definitely hectic and can even be overwhelming with the number of things you have on! Post-it notes can be very useful for organising your thoughts.
Whenever I know that I have something to do or have to write down something that I am not allowed to forget, I will use a post it note.
As a result, it could be useful to have a pack of post-it notes in your university bag, ready on-hand whenever you have a pressing thought that needs to be written down.
The good thing about post it notes is that they can also stick on walls and not leave any marks!
Being able to stick your to do list on your walls is extremely helpful as a visual reminder. They are also good revision methods in this sense, as you can stick up key lecture notes on your walls by writing them on post-it notes.
5. Flash cards
When it comes to exam season, flash cards will honestly be your new best friends. If you need to memorise key concepts for a test, write questions on one side of the flashcards and answers on the back.
You can then take them with you and test yourself anywhere! This could be on the bus, on your way to a lecture or even when just lounging around in bed.
Flash cards are fantastic revision techniques because they involve active recall, meaning you are more likely to remember what you need.
There are some basic flashcards that can be found on Amazon if you click here. If you are not sure how to actually use flash cards and make them into an effective revision technique, check out this article from Think Student for some tips.
For some degrees, pencils may be useful, as you could be asked to draw diagrams. This is especially true for science-based courses.
It is always useful to have a few pencils in your bag. After all, you may want to pass the time by playing a quick game of noughts and crosses with your friends!
They are also great for when you are writing drafts of essays, as the words can easily be erased! Amazon offers quite a large amount of pencils for a good price if you click here.
7. Paper clips
If you do end up writing all of your notes on paper, trust me – paperclips are a must have. They are extremely useful for keeping all of your sheets together so that they don’t all get messed up!
It can be super stressful to realise that you have lost even one sheet of notes, as they might have information for an essay or exam!
I also find that paper clips are better than staplers, as there are no holes in the pages if you decide that you want to reorganise your papers.
Paperclips are also less bulky and more convenient than carrying a stapler around! Paperclips can be found in stationery shops like WHSmith or Ryman!
8. Ring binders
During your university course, you will have different modules which you have to complete. These modules are completely separate to each other and will be graded on different assignments and will teach you completely different concepts.
Therefore, it can be useful to create a ring binder for each module, so that you don’t get them mixed up and can feel all organised! I find that it helps to get pretty ring binder folders – ones that you actually want to look at!
This certainly motivates me to keep organised. There are some cool patterned ring binders on Amazon if you click here.
Highlighters can be seen as saviours for university students! After all, when you are confronted with a massive block of text, it can be extremely overwhelming.
Highlighters will help you pick out the relevant information useful to you, making the big block of text seem much less daunting. Highlighters are also great to use if you tend to remember sentences better after seeing them in colour.
Assorted highlighters is often a good purchase, as you have a range of colours to choose from. You can check out what a good pack looks like if you click here to go to Amazon.
10. Pencil case
There is no point having all of this stationery if you’ve got nowhere to put it! Pencil cases are extremely useful to have, as they can keep all of your stationary organised and clean.
Understandably, you probably won’t want to have a funky looking pencil case as a university student! However, there are plenty of plain, practical ones out there.
Here is a good pencil case I found on Amazon if you click here.
Regardless, university is still very different to college and sixth form. If you want some tips on how to deal with the transition to the university, check out this article from Think Student.
11. Push pins
If you get a room in the university halls of residence, you are likely to be given a pin board. This allows you to pin up any pictures or pieces of paper you may want to show off in your room.
Many university halls of residence don’t allow students to stick anything straight on the walls. Therefore, push pins are a very useful purchase if you still want to have your pictures from home up in your room.
There are plenty of coloured push pins available on Amazon. You can find a pack that I recommend on their website if you click here.
What other items of stationery are useful at university?
The list of useful equipment detailed above is probably essential for every course! However, there are some university degrees which require students to have extra stationary.
For example, if you are doing a maths degree, you may be required to purchase your own scientific calculator. Many universities supply students with their very own calculator for the degree. However, this is not always the case!
If you want to discover which would be the best for you to buy if you are doing a maths degree, check out this page from the Ryman website.
You may need other pieces of maths equipment, such as a protractor, compass, and ruler! However, this largely depends on each university and each course, so it is best to look into it and research yourselves.
Likewise, Art degrees will require students to use a range of different types of pencils, crayons and paint. However, it is up to you whether you buy this equipment or not. Most universities will allow you to use the tools already there.
If you are thinking about doing an Art degree, check out this article from Think Student to discover which universities offer the best courses for art.
What other resources can help with studying at university?
The classic student look is sitting in a coffee shop with a laptop, typing away, wearing earphones.
Taking earphones or headphones to university could be very useful to help you concentrate if this works for you. A reusable coffee cup could also be invaluable!
You also need to make sure that you remember your charger for your laptop and any other electronic devices.
Your course will also give you a list of essential reading you will be required to complete throughout the year. Many universities will have plenty of libraries which you can borrow books from.
However, if you can only access them online and would really like to have a physical copy, it may be good to consider getting your own!