Student essentials UK, student on campus

Here we go again with another list of student essentials that were key to my student journey. If you are new to this blog, I’m an ex mature student who started university at 26 for a career change.

We have already gone through a study from home essentials in another post; if you are interested in that, you can find it here.

However, in this post we will specifically see items that you might need when around the campus. I have spent three out of my 4-year degree studying on campus, while spending the last one at home due to the pandemic.

Mind that I had a limited budget, so you won’t find fancy expensive stuff on this list, I simply could not afford it.

Student essentials, study on campus

Before we start, I would like to mention that these are items that I have personally bought and used. As usual, I will leave direct links to Amazon for you to check current prices, reviews and other info; (this blog is an Amazon affiliate). Please always be rational when buying!

Now we are finally ready to start with my student essentials list, this is all I really needed and used around the campus:

Power Bank

Unless you want to carry around your laptop charger and all cables to charge all your devices, then you need a good power bank. Mind that it needs to be powerful enough to charge a laptop.

Pros: very light, surely much more comfortable than carrying around an actual charger. I have used this power bank during lectures, at the cafes and pretty much everywhere around the campus.

Cons: as usual, it really depends on your budget. Mine was limited, so I had to do lots of research to get the best value for money. However, there are plenty of more expensive options that I assume are better (probably)?

Headphones (wireless)

Trust me, sometimes all you need is to find a quite space, put your headphones on, and do your university work. It doesn’t matter what you listen to, or even if you don’t listen anything at all; once you put them on, somehow you are going to concentrate better, it isolates you from the environment that surrounds you!

Pros: I love the design, something different from the usual! You can find all technical features on the item description on Amazon, I’m not an expert but this headphones was a great purchase!

Cons: again, if you have a higher budget you can find more quality products. I did not really need professional headphones, so for me they have always been perfect.

Backpack (classy and comfortable!)

No matter how light these items are, you will still need to carry them around the campus for the entire day. Therefore, a good quality backpack is a must student essential. This is the one I got and it was fantastic!

Pros: the back cushion is simply great as it prevents the laptop or anything else from “stabbing” your back! You can see all features it has on Amazon; but the ones I found more useful were: water resistant (you know the UK), breathable material (no sweating); usb charging (always useful).

Cons: nothing, it is also quite stylish too. Definitely recommend this backpack!

Backpack (gift)

I bought this vintage backpack as a gift for my girlfriend at university, she loved it. Being honest, I’m seriously considering to buy one for me as well (although the black or dark green version) for when I go to the office; it’s very stylish and vintage seems to be the trend now!

The only thing I would say about it is that it fits less staff than the other one above; which by the way I’m also using for travelling, but it really depends what you need to put in it. You might consider this backpack if you are looking for something smaller.


If you don’t know the story behind this smartwatch, then you should have a read here: “How I have secured an internship“. It was key to “show” my technology adoption as a (mature) student!

Pros: it nudges you towards doing some running/jogging due to the numerous sport modes, fitness tracker and so on. At least that happened to me, which was good considering my laziness!

Cons: it is not from the “famous brands” that are super expensive, but who cares? It does the job.

Acer Swift 14 inch Laptop

This is the laptop I used at university in case you want to know. I did not have a high budget so I had to do a lot of research to get a good value for money laptop.

Rather than pros and cons, this is a more serious purchase. It really depends on what you need it for. If you are going to study engineering, graphic design, or subjects which require specific software, then you probably need a more powerful one.

I only needed it for Microsoft office package, simple statistical analysis software and usual normal functions (streaming, movies, social media and so on). It was great for that.

Water Bottle

Probably the easiest way to contribute to fight plastic waste. Universities have various water points across their campuses, so that you can refill your bottle when you need to.

Pros: it made me feel better as I did not buy plastic water bottles. In terms of the product itself, I only used it for water (it keeps it chilled for the entire day), although you can use it for hot drinks too!

Cons: don’t know, it’s just a water bottle I guess.

How to write Essays & Assignments (guide)

I always carried this guide in my backpack! I used it every time to structure my essays and assignments, it was really super helpful! If you don’t feel confident about your academic writing skills, then I would recommend having a read through here “3 essential guides to improve academic writing” (those are the ones I used).

Pros: it covers everything you need for writing assignments academically; from the initial draft to the final structure; from organising your thoughts to covering the key points and so on. It was definitely one of the most useful student essentials for me!

Cons: it really depends on your current academic writing skills and the amount of written assignments you have or will have.

A-Z Alphabetical Notebook (A4)

I have mentioned this in my post “How to prepare for University”. Basically, I would suggest you create your glossary of terms using your own words. The fact that has an alphabetical order made it very easy to search for terms.

Pros: it has a very solid frame, I carried it around in my backpack for years. I knew I was going to need it for a long time, so I decided to go for this and it did not disappoint (I still have it); remember to choose between A4 or A5 size.

Cons: probably not the most stylish; large frame.

Need some motivation? In the image below you can find what I read to build good habits and a strong student mindset!

Saving money as a student

A huge tip here for you (I apologise if you find this repetitive on my blog); I would suggest taking advantage of Amazon Prime Student! If you don’t know what it is you are missing out on numerous student discounts.

All you need to sign-up is your university email and expected graduation date (it only lasts until you graduate). I saved quite a bit of money thanks to that, I have talked about it in more detail here if you want to find out more: “The best student discount?”.

Basically, you get a six-month free trial with all the benefits of Prime (one-day deliveries); and then 50% off the normal price! Moreover, you get Amazon Prime Video (you can save by not using Netflix); exclusive student offers (10% off books from Amazon); and Prime Music (again, you can save on other music subscriptions).

Student Essentials, conclusions

These are all items that I have bought throughout my mature student journey. Some of them are in my studying from home essentials as well, as they are useful for both study methods.

As I said several times, my budget was very limited, so I had to make sure to get the best value for money. Obviously this means that if you have a higher budget, you could probably get more quality products; although I’m not sure that is always the case.

Thank you for reading my student essentials list, on campus version! As usual, let me know if you have any recommendation for me, I would be happy to try new products!

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