What’s in my university bag?

Now that term is just weeks away, I’ve been thinking more and more about my final year at university. It does not seem two minutes since I was a fresher. I remember arriving at my first-year accommodation with my Dad after being stuck in a two-hour long traffic jam unpacking boxes upon boxes of my clothes. I brought way too much and we had to climb up and down the multiple flights of stairs dozens of times. I remember feeling so dazed when I first moved in. I don’t think it hit me until my Mum and sister left and drove back to Leicester that I was actually staying in Newcastle on my own. I remember so vividly being sat on my bed surrounded by boxes of my stuff and feeling so far away from home. Now that I’m settled in my third-year house ready to live with two amazing gals I realise how much has changed in two years. I have learnt a lot. Watching so many of my close friends hand in their dissertations and graduate has made me realise how fast the year goes. Whilst I cannot wait to get a photo in front of the arches in my graduation robes, I think I could easily wait another year to write a dissertation. After speaking to so many people who have recently completed their final year everyone seemed to give me similar advice which was ‘do not leave it until the last minute’. I think now is a good time to be that girl with the colour coordinated lecture notes. My aim for the year is to be organised. I think if I stay organised, I am less likely to have a mental breakdown halfway through the year. So, in an attempt to be organised I decided to sort out the items which I need during a typical day at university. 

My laptop + charger + case 

I am not someone who can hand write lecture notes. I have so much respect for people who can write that quickly. My whole life at university revolves around my laptop so I carry it around with me every single day. I am incredibly clumsy, so I always use a laptop case. The one I’m currently using is an old hand-me-down one from my sister which is from Jack Wills. I also use an acrylic laptop shell which I bought from Amazon at the start of the year for £15. I saw someone in Flat Caps Coffee with this case and fell in love with it. It does make my laptop feel heavier and it is really difficult to take off, however it’s an extra layer of protection from wear and tear. Last year I used to forget my laptop charger all the time. I’d get to the Philip-Robinson library for 9am and realise I didn’t have my charger which meant I either had to walk all the way back home or beg someone to bring it in for me. I always forget to charge my laptop overnight, so I need my charger to hand throughout the day.  

Wallet (discount cards + student ID) + house keys + phone

This is the bare essential trio. Every time I leave the house, I run through whether I have my keys, phone and wallet. You cannot really survive without these three things during a day at university. My current wallet is from Oliver Bonas which I bought from the Jesmond branch during the sale for just £16. I always carry all of my discount cards because I tend to stray into Eldon Square after a day at university. The ones I seem to use the most are my Young Tyneside card which is ideal if you’re between the ages of 16-25 as you can watch any film for £4.50. I tend to use my Paperchase Treat Me card a lot as I am obsessed with stationery. Paperchase give you a free £5 voucher on your birthday too which I think is a useful freebie for any stationery lovers. Finally, I tend to reach for my Boots card as I always use the 10% student discount when I get my eyebrows touched up at Benefit or when I’m stocking up on toiletries. I always carry my student ID with me whenever I leave the house as a lot of places offer student discounts and don’t require a NUS card. Whenever I need to enter any university building, I need my student ID and I constantly need it to check my student number because I can’t seem to remember the digits even after two years. Lastly, I always carry my phone with me to check my timetable or my incredibly low bank balance. 

Pencil case + dual markers 

As I mentioned before I absolutely love buying new stationery. At the moment I am currently loving my boob pencil case from Paperchase’s feminist collection. I recently stocked up on Paperchase’s dual markers which I got for £3 after using my £5 birthday voucher. The combination of fine liners & felt tips means they’re ideal for making your notes look aesthetically pleasing.

Daily planner

I rely completely on my daily planner to stay organised at university. If we get set reading or I need to print something before a seminar I always note it down in my planner. The planner I am currently using is from Urban Outfitters, although you can buy this specific style of planner directly from the brand Ohh Deer. Both companies offer a 10% student discount. This year I opted for the neon orange planner as it was in the sale for £4, however they offer numerous different designs such as leopard print and snakeskin. I love the layout of this specific planner as I have space to write in my timetable, to do lists & doodles so I would definitely recommend buying one. 

Water bottle 

I jumped on the bandwagon and bought myself a Chilly’s bottle last year which I always take to university with me. I managed to get my bottle in the half-price sale just before Chilly’s rebranded their logo. If you’re eager to buy a Chilly’s bottle I recommend waiting for Urban Outfitters sale season as I managed to pick up a pink Chilly’s bottle as a gift for less that £10.  

Knick-knack pouch 

A knick-knack pouch is ideal for keeping all your random smaller items in one place rather than letting them fall to the bottom of your bag. In my pouch I keep the following:

  • Earphones– I always bring my earphones to the library as there is always that one person who blasts their music through their headphones so loudly that the entire floor can hear. Consequently, I try and block out their music with some bangers off ABBA’s gold album. 
  • Portable charger– My portable charger always comes in handy when I’ve got a long day at university. I tend to ware my battery out during the day so by the time I’m walking home my battery is about to die. So, it is always useful to have a charger to hand to save you from a long walk home in silence. 
  • Scrunchie + hair grips + hairbrush– These are for the days when I forget my umbrella and my perfectly curled hair becomes a tangled mess. 
  • Tissues + lip balm + body spray + sanitary pads– These essential items can be lifesavers during a tough day at university. 

All of these items fit perfectly inside my Baltic tote bag which I bought in first year for just £7.95. Hopefully this post was helpful to anyone who is already at university or just about to start & hopefully I can manage to stay organised in my final year. 

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