Your academic year shopping list!

So we’re all well into the swing of a lovely long summer by now – maybe you’re earning some pennies at a seasonal job, adventuring somewhere abroad or just having a relaxing couple of months seeing family and friends. Whatever you’re up to, it’s time to schedule in a shopping trip.

This list is applicable whether you’re just about to embark on your first year at university, or you’re heading onto writing your dissertation. Here’s a few things you should not be without at the start of the new academic year:

A Planner/Calendar – I’m one of those people who likes to plan ahead, and it is particularly useful when starting a new uni year. You have lectures, societies and part-time work to think about, as well as fitting lots of lovely events into your social calendar. This is the time of year when academic ‘mid-year’ diaries are on the shop shelves – these normally date from August to next July, the perfect way to plan your studies and strike the work-play balance. And if you’re a visual person who likes a big planner right in front of you, the Student’s Union usually has them available in Freshers week, so keep your eyes peeled!


A Water bottle – This one is multi-functional. It helps you stay hydrated, save money on buying bottles of water at uni and reduces your use of waste plastic. I would advise investing in a sturdy water bottle and filling it up every night to pop in the fridge to make sure you have some fresh, cold water on hand all the time. It’s too easy to forget to drink enough water (the recommended per day is 6 to 8 glasses!) so having a bottle on hand makes the task a whole lot easier. There’s plenty to choose from – ones that you can put fruit in, sports bottles, Love Island bottles with your name on, there’s one to suit everyone!


Brand-Spanking-New Stationery – Everyone knows the thrill. It starts from when you’re in the first year of secondary school with a giant back pack and a blazer 4 sizes too big. The new pencil-case, the scented gel pens, the colourful post-its. Whatever you need to get organised, treat yourself! My advice is different coloured/patterned folders for each module and a standard notebook with ring binder holes in, so you can just pull your notes out neatly and pop them in the right folder! It makes organisation so much easier – and more colourful!

pencil and pencil on container

Snacks – If there is one thing every university student needs, it’s brain food. Whether you want cereal bars for long nights in the library, or chocolate for when you need to de-stress, you should ensure you’re stocked up before the year begins. That way, you’re ahead of the game and don’t need to waste your precious moments at university going out to buy snacks. Try to opt for healthier snacks that keep well in cupboards, such as granola, dried fruit and rice cakes (although, don’t forget your favourite chocolate bar for those days when you need a sugar kick!).

three green and red apple fruits

Photos/Mementos – So, you’re having the best summer of your life and suddenly September rolls around and you’re right back into your routine. But you don’t want to forget all the amazing things that you’ve done over the past couple of months! Get some photos printed out, make sure your save your wristbands and tickets from festivals and events and stick them all over your wall to remind you of all the fun you can have once deadlines are done every year!

New Bedding – New year, new room! Maybe it’s your first year and you are moving into halls of residence, or you’re heading into a student house with your best friends for the first time. Either way, get yourself a new bed set, a fluffy blanket and some decorative cushions to brighten up your own space! It doesn’t have to be expensive either, with stores such as Primark and supermarket homeware ranges, there are plenty of affordable options to spruce up your room.

black table lamp on nightstand

So there you have it; a few things I think are essential purchases for the start of a new academic year! Whether it’s your first, second, third year or even more, make it a good one.