without at uni

Things that I Would be Lost at Uni Without

UOW has become my second home, and I spend a lot more time here than at home during semester. Entering my final year, I feel like I finally have it down with what to take with me, and what to leave behind when I travel to campus.

There are the obvious things: phones, headphones and my wallet—but there are a lot of less obvious things I feel it necessary to take. Here’s a list:

  1. A diary

It may seem obvious, but the further into your degree you get, the more complicated everything begins to get. Not only do you have to balance assignments and class work, but also casual work, along with family commitments, social life and internships. I get dizzy just thinking about it. Get a diary. It helps you keep organised, and writing everything you have to do out on paper—and then ticking it off—is so satisfying. It helps keep you balanced and feel as though you are achieving something at the same time!

2. A notebook and pen

Yes, laptops are slowly replacing pen and paper, but having a notebook is so important, even if it is just the one. Some lecturers and tutors still aren’t a fan of laptops, believing it is distracting. Laptops also run out of battery and malfunction. It’s best just to have a notebook for emergencies – you’ll never know when you need it.

3. Emergency supply kit

I call it my emergency supply kit, filled with Band-Aids, hair elastics, feminine hygiene products, tissues, mints, perfume, Nurofen—you name it, I probably have it. I live quite a long way from campus. I’m a klutz and I don’t really feel like forking out money for these things every time I need them. My friends laugh at me, and you probably are as well, but you’d be surprised how many times it has come in handy. It all fits in a small pencil case as well, so it really doesn’t take up much room.

4.  Jumpers and umbrella

Seriously, the weather can change at the drop of a hat. I’d rather carry a jumper in my hand than get so cold that I can’t feel my hands. It can be a small inconvenience, but so worth it. Always carry an umbrella as well— you’ve probably got a lot of valuables in that bag of yours, and you don’t want them to get wet.

5. Backpack

I used to be a huge fan of the one shoulder bags, like those giant gym bags, but I soon started feeling the ache in my shoulder, and realised backpacks were so much better. This is different for everyone, but it is something I have found over the years. I also recommend buying your bag after you’ve gotten the rest of your uni supplies, to ensure it all fits.

6. Snacks

Even if you’re willing to pay for food on campus, there are times when hunger strikes, and you’re stuck in a three-hour tutorial or on the train and can’t get food. Pack snacks. A friend of mine and I used to alternate weeks and bring snacks we could share with each other because we knew we’d be hungry by the time we got to campus after being on the train. It was fun!

7. Bring some form of entertainment.

Whether it is a DVD you can put into your laptop, a book or just listening to music, breaks between classes can be so draining once you’ve eaten or done some work for class. Yeah, most times you will run into someone you know, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen. You can either stare at the ducks for hours on end, or finally finish that book you’ve been putting off for months because you didn’t have the time.

People joke that my bag holds everything I own, but it doesn’t bother me because I use everything at least once a day on campus. You may be lucky and only have three hours of classes for three days, and feel like you don’t need half of this stuff, and that is fine, but it is so much better to be prepared.