Nothing turns me on more than the very thought of stationery shopping, and frankly I don’t care if I’m on my own on this one. I've shopped for most of these things (with the exception of those I've had and kept from previous years) early in August because apart from being overly excited, I wanted to make sure I get this post published to show you options and suggestions before you head out and venture into buying things you might eventually dislike. So, whether you’re a pen and paper person or a digital demon, I’ve compiled some of the best (IMO) stationery essentials and accessories to make sure that you are the envy of the library and study in style. (Side note, expect to find mostly monochrome and minimalistic items - if you're into floral/animal/colourful prints, this may not be for you. Soz.)
This expanding file has been with me since the beginning of 5th year, 3 years ago, proving both its durability and recyclability. I don't feel the need to explain its importance, unless you're a reckless student who simply dgaf then by all means, skip ahead pal!
3 Pack A4 Sketch Book - Easons | €5.99
Plot twist: I did not need sketch books. So I had this ideal look I wanted for A4 copies for taking down lecture notes this year (black, paper back-covered and non-spiral), but I was left dismayed. With Easons being the excessively cheesy place it is for stationery (notebooks especially,) it didn't help that all they had were black A4 hardbacks and soft cover A4 copies (that obligatory blue and red copy in the 3-pack KILLED it, so rudely ugh), so I wasn't gonna settle for those. What I didn't know, was that in the end I was coming home with yes, black, paper back-covered and non-spiral A4 copies, but unruled. They came in a pack and it was only until I opened it at home that I discovered it had only 40 pages in each book, each page textured thick with that of a sketch book. I guess I can live with it being unruled, I can write steadily straight enough, and with it only being 40 pages, that's okay too because have you seen my handwriting? Yes. But yeah if these accidental favours don't apply to you I suggest you carefully read the little synopsis note when buying a pack of notebooks you can't openly examine, and don't give in immediately because of the cover..
Moleskine-esque Journal - Lidl | €lessthanaFIVER
As well as making you feel like a 19th century author, nothing says class quite like a moleskine notebook. Mine is a dupe of the classic Moleskine, if you may call it. Bound in coated paper cardboard, with an elastic band to hold the notebook closed, a sewn spine, ivory-coloured pages, rounded corners, a ribbon bookmark and an expandable pocket inside the rear cover - for less than a fiver. C'mon now. As seen in the picture, this was meant to be my 2015 daily diary but ofcourse we discovered that ain't nobody got time fo' dat so.. it's become my scribble-your-random-thoughts-all-over-me diary. Again if you're able to write neatly in blank pages and are looking for something A5-sized, this may be for you. It's from Lidl though, so I can't promise they'd still have it.. :)
So aesthetically apealling. Mmmmm.
Also available in Pink and Apple Green. I definitely recommend Ikea (although it's a trek for many, online shopping is an option) for stationery and general home office needs. They're all so neat I want them all.
A6 Notebooks - UCD SU shop | est. €2
For those of you attending UCD this year, the SU shop located at the library building is great for all your necessities. I could've just waited until the term started to do all my shopping there tbh because everything is so affordable but yano, I like my specifics..
MORE ISSUES THAN VOGUE Daily Journal - TK Maxx | €6.99
"Sorry where did you get that journal from? Are there any more or is that all there is?"
"I just found it here, I don't think there's any more sorry"
"Ow alright it's okay"
*fake smiles because internally hurting*
*5 minutes of awkward fake diary hunting later*
"Here you can have it, I have plenty of notebooks just sitting at home anyways"
Dee: 1. That woman: No Issues Than Vogue. I won. Bless that woman though. Really.
I don't pay visits to TK Maxx often at all because I can't hack the order of the place, but if you're chancing your arm looking for something specific, they probably will have it, or something like it. And boy did they have it. Although it says daily journal on the cover, it doesn't actually have dates printed on the pages, just red lines. I realised I probably won't ever write in it because it looks too sacred to scribble on, but if anything obviously it will be In The Deetales related, duh. If you're interested, check out C. R. Gibson (they don't seem to have this specific one on their site anymore but they have other nice journals and planners!)
With my selection of notebooks, I'm not disregarding the practicality that all-in-one class books or project books offer. They're ideal for those who have jam-packed timetables weekly, but I only have like 3 lectures on an average day so it's unnecessary for me to be adding that much more weight into my bag (especially when I have to bring my heavy block of a laptop, send help..)
2015 · 2016 Planner - Easons | €14.99
My fave stationery purchase of the year tbh, I cannot stress how I literally call this thing MY LIFE. Like it literally holds my life. Like, literally. Did I say literally enough? I've gotten used to using diaries when they'd give us journals back in school to take down homework, and the habit has obviously carried through with me to College. Every professor will supply students with a syllabus that lists assignment due dates and test dates, and trust me you'd want to record these dates straight away before you lose track of your life! Beyond the excitement of your first day, your planner will become your knight in sexy leather armour. Atleast I know mine is. I found this gem in Easons but incase you don't find it there, you can order it from Letts. However if you're not so much of a pen and paper person, make use of your Notes, Calendar, and Reminders app - hit the App Store if you're feeling fancy shmancy and find something maybe a little bit more appealing or that maybe offers some additional features. Whatever does the job.
Straying away from things to write on, let's have a look at what I like to write with: Black Gel Pens I got for €2.60 (YASSS for all four of them) - Decobake Bachelors Walk was having a 50% off sale two weeks ago (not sure if they're still on now), but how great is that!! These pens I love because apart from being ridiculously cheap, it features a slick 0.4 mm needle-point tip that somehow just makes my handwriting magic. Any pen not 0.4 mm, I'm not a fan of. As for that gold reptile pouch, I kinda just found that laying around my house so I don't know where it's from.. but I'm looking to find a much smaller black one to fit just my four pens, because realistically that's all I'll be bringing to college.
Unless I really get my sh*t together this year and start making revision notes in the library, these funky boys will stay at home. But if you're studious outside the comfort of your bedroom, then you'll need to bring highlighters along. Come revision time, these old school highlighters should be a staple in the arsenal of every student. Mine are just Eason brand, and they'd do, but if you wanna step the label up a little this Stabilo Boss 8 Highlighters Pack is cute.
Pencils are still necessary in College, but only occassionally for me. It's only really when I have MCQ's that I'd need to bring one; or two, just incase my pal beside me forgot to bring hers. Also, Paper Mate EraserMate I highly recommend to those who make writing mistakes - often.
Ever experience that stomach dropping, tear provoking feeling of losing all your essays, pictures, music, and EVERYTHING ELSE on your computer? Same. To make sure you never have to suffer through this again, or ever, invest in an external hard drive. It is a serious life saver, but only if you let it save your life by always updating your back ups! I feel that hard drives are extra essential for student bloggers as myself, like currently my MacBook's startup disc is full because I'd been too lazy to transfer all my files onto my external hard drive.. invest and avoid the hassle. If you don't have the luxury of spending that much for storage, USB memory sticks won't cost twice as much. If you don't feel you're responsible enough to carry one around with you all the time, make sure you're at least backing up your most important data to (free, but limited) online services such as Google Drive or Drop Box - I use both!
Or any brand of EarPods/earphones/headphones really. I personally use Phillips In-Ear Headphones in White from Argos, and I congratulate it for being my best accompaniment in times of commuting to and from college.
Custom Power Bank for iPhone and Samsung - Acyc | €26.28 (inc. shipping fee)
I've hyped this power bank on my Snapchat too much I know you're only on this post to suss where I got it from, ha. Because I have nothing but good to say about it, I'll gladly share it with yee! I've been preeing the internet for a white marble power bank but those that I found were too costly for my poor budget. Luckily, I came across this site ACYC, and discovered that they offer customisation of power banks, as well as phone cases! It claims to charge iPhone from 10% to 100% twice - a fact to which I can now vouch for. To be honest what sold me into buying it was the fact that I could upload my chosen marble image and marblify my power bank! I was so happy when it came, although it was quite a long waiting process (15 working days delivery outside US), it looked exactly how I'd pictured it - even made a little better as the top layer of my marble was sealed shimmery! The size is not too bad either, it's just a little bit smaller than my iPhone 5c. I realise this comes to a close tie with my planner to being my fave college essential.. tough battle. There's no doubt though that a portable charger is a top college essential, imagine running out of battery to snapchat your gym mirror selfie.. hate that.
Not a recent buy, my Macky B' been riding with me since my 16th birthday nearly four years ago, and it's still doing me very well (apart from its startup disk being full..) I can regard laptops/notebook computers as college luxury items tbh, because you will most likely have access to computer labs on campus (or even laptop loans, in UCD) although having one of your own isn't bad as it would give you the luxury of doing your work anywhere with wifi connection. Printer and scanner are two other essential things when in college, but again you would have access to these on campus anyway.
College stationery is obviously not limited to those I've listed in this post, it just so happens that these are my utmost essentials, etceteras are catered ideally to you and what you're studying, and how you like to go about your learning. I don't have measuring tools/rulers because I'm not studying Architecture. I don't have a calculator because I made sure I didn't need to use them ever again after school. Paper to write notes on and access to Microsoft Office and thesaurus and my brain (and a bit of the occasional vodka..) is all I really need to obtain my degree.
I hope I've covered the most basic essentials you'll need to get for college — and on that note, I'd like to say a massive congratulations to Freshers, you're going to C O L L E G E ! Also those who are progressing to the next stage, congratulations to you too for saving your ass resit/repeat money. If you're a fresher reading this and are anxious/excited to finally start college, I've compiled 50 College Tips for Freshers in my latest Youtube video - it's worth checking out.
Like always, thank you for reading and happy shopping!