The ultimate shopping list for study essentials
1) Pencil case
Fill it with highlighters, gel pens, whatever motivates you to study or helps you to take great notes. Starting a new semester is the perfect excuse to go stationery shopping.
2) Reusable coffee cup
Disposable takeaway coffee cups are so last year. Sort yourself out with a stylish number that will save the planet AND money. There is an extra charge on all takeaway coffee cups on campus so don’t leave home without your flask or cup. (If you do, you can pick up a DUSA reusable cup in the Union when you’re ordering). Mine stays hot the whole day so I fill it up at home in the mornings and rarely have to buy coffees now – saving me around £10 a week. If coffee isn’t your cup of tea, bring your teabags and use the boiling water taps in the library.
3) Music streaming subscription
You need a soundtrack to keep you going through those late night (or early morning) study sessions so make sure you have downloaded a music streaming app. My Spotify premium subscription is worth every penny. A student account is (at time of writing) £5 a month and you can get access to Headspace included. Listen to a motivational playlist in the library and a guided meditation at home. The BBC Sounds app, which provides totally free access to lots of podcasts, playlists, and live radio stations, is worth downloading too.
4) Book stand
I know what you’re thinking; are you serious? Yeah, I am. Once you own one of these bad boys you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. Not just for cookbooks and hymn sheets, these prop up your textbook, handouts, or tablet while you take notes hands free or enjoy a working lunch. Portable, lightweight and totally versatile, save yourself from neck strain and multi-task in style. Pick one up for less than £10.
5) Water bottle
There are lots of refill points around campus so you never have to go thirsty. Stay hydrated and boost your studying (and maybe cure your hangover). Grab one for free at campus events like the annual law fair.
Having a bookmark or two handy is always a good idea. Useful for when you need to keep your place in that 600 page textbook or to keep track of your recreational reading. It’s likely that you will be reading a lot of books during your studies so treat yourself to some accessories. These are cheap as chips (or free if you use train tickets or photos).
7) Bed desk
Ok this is a little bit decadent but oh so worth it. If, like me, you often find yourself working on your laptop in bed or even just indulging in a Netflix binge then you NEED this in your life. You can keep a cup of tea handy too (careful!) but most importantly you save your laptop from overheating. Mine cost around £30 (bougie) but cheaper alternatives are available.
8) Sticky notes
In most law exams you are allowed to bring in statute books with highlighting and page markers, making it easier to find essential info in a hurry. Marking pages makes it easier to plan out your reading too. Sticky notes can be popped on the bathroom mirror, your laptop, wherever you will see them to remind you to take a break or get back to work.
Buying lunch every day can be expensive but bringing a packed lunch is a great way to save some money. There are microwaves on campus to heat up leftovers or bring soup sachets and fill up using the hot water taps in the library. If you’re cheap like me, wash and keep takeaway containers. Otherwise, you can pick up something a bit classier.
Make sure you always have chargers for your phone/laptop/tablet in your bag. There is nothing worse than having to go home because your laptop has died. If you need one in a pinch (and you cannot find a free PC) there are laptops available to borrow in the library. All of the study spaces on campus are set up with plenty of plug sockets but I like to have a battery pack with me so that I can charge my phone on the go too.