Before we start, there are few things I want to highlight. Firstly, everything that you will find on this study from home essentials are products that I have personally used as a mature student. Therefore, you will see only one option per item, which is basically the one I bought.
You cannot imagine how many times I fell for online reviews, I would never recommend something I never had! This is my personal blog and I put a lot of effort into it. In my opinion, the more options you see, the more likely someone is trying to upsell without actually never having used the product.
Secondly, I have bought these items throughout my entire mature student journey. I would not suggest getting them all at once! I used to study hard during the week and work my part time job during weekends, I know what it means.
Study from home essentials
I’m particularly attached to this study method as I spent my last, and toughest, year studying from home due to coronavirus. On top of that, I have been working from home after graduating and I’m still using most of these items now.
As usual, I will leave the direct link for each product to Amazon so that you can check the current price, reviews and other info. Remember that being rational when purchasing is wise, you should always look to get the best value for money!
One last thing I want to say as I hate when it is not disclosed everywhere else. If you decide to get something and use my links, I will receive a tiny (pence really) commission. Nothing extra for you of course, but I want you to know that otherwise you won’t even realise it (that’s why I hate when other websites don’t tell you that!).
It is up to you if you think this blog provides some value and you would like to support it. Thank you regardless! I also wrote an article about my best tips on “how to study at home effectively“, you might find it useful if you are struggling.
My neck is still thanking me for buying this! Unfortunately my posture has never been the best due to my previous job (thanks hospitality for that). When studying at home I noticed that I was putting too much stress on my neck and leaning forward, probably because the laptop was not at my eye-level.
Pros: it’s super easy to fold, you can put in in your backpack and take it with you everywhere you go. You can adjust it accordingly. I use different height levels depending on what I’m doing, when working at the desk or when watching movies chilling on the sofa. It is nice for virtual meetings as I look straight at the camera rather than downwards. It also works with tablets as well (although I never had one so I’m assuming this).
Cons: you can find other more expensive versions with more features (e.g. phone holder, cup holder).Those extras are unnecessary in my case, but I don’t know in yours. Plus, they would be more difficult to fold and bring around. Please also mind that the stand can raise your laptop up to a certain level, a lot depends also from your desk’s height and chair.
This study from home essential has been a great companion for those long dark and cold evenings spent studying. The one I had before getting this was way hurting my eyes after a while. I remember going to bed and not being actually able to sleep because of that. If you are experiencing the same, I would suggest to pay attention on light sensitivity, that might be the reason.
Pros: it has vision caring technology which prevents dizzy light and thus eye fatigue; exactly the one that was giving me problems when going to sleep. Moreover, you can adjust its lightness and brightness levels; I would really suggest to decrease them gradually as you are approaching bet time! It also has energy class A++ (always good for bills) and a micro USB port.
Cons: none that I can think of at the moment. However, thankfully, I haven’t been using that much as I’m not studying in the evenings anymore. Hope you get there soon too!
This set well complemented with my laptop stand. Not having to keep the laptop close to me when typing helped a lot with my posture! Being honest, if you are not planning to get a stand, I would not really bother getting a keyboard; the mouse would still be useful one hundred percent, but you could get that on its own.
Pros: both wireless, so no cables hanging around. I don’t remember exactly how long batteries lasted for, but it was a long time. However, the reason why I got them was to improve my posture, and they helped me do it.
Cons: it took me a while to get used to using them and the sound of typing, I guess it takes time. Moreover, you can find different “fancier” keyboards, often more expensive if you have the budget.
The game changer! Probably the most useful purchase I made when studying from home. If you are struggling to study at home effectively (I also wrote a post that might help with some tips on how to study at home) , and don’t know why, have you ever considered how comfortable you are when sitting at your desk?
Pros: a bargain if you compare it with other quality gaming chairs, surely the best value for money I could find. I did not want to “buy cheap buy twice” in this case, so I would not recommend doing that!!
Cons: nothing really, it took me a good hour to put it together but I’m not the best at DIY; I’m still using it nowadays. However, depending on your budget, you can find much more expensive ones, although I’m not sure what extra features they can offer that are worth the price difference.
I don’t know the exact science behind this, but I always found that having my headphones on boosted my concentration. And yes, I used to keep them on while studying without actually listening to any music whatsoever. Probably, the soundproof feature reduces noises around me and makes me feel isolated and so more focused, don’t really know!
Pros: let me say, really cool design! Foldable and very light too, so you won’t feel them at all if you bring them with you outside. They also have button-control features, although I rarely used that.
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.
I have used this guide book to structure my essays and assignments, it was really helpful! However, this really depends on how good you are at that. I was not that confident at all, particularly at the beginning, so I used some guides to improve academic writing skills. You might not need one at all.
Pros: really classic way of structuring essays and assignments, lecturers love that. Lots of useful terminology you can take it form the guide and throw in as well.
Cons: depends on you really and if you need one. It also depends on the subject(s) you are going to study, and the amount of written assignments you’ll have.
I have mentioned this in my post “How to prepare for University”. One thing that helped me massively during my studies was to create my own glossary of terms. This type of notebook was perfect for me, I filled it with my personal definitions of all those complex and hard to remember acronyms. 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 previously had bought a cheaper version at the shop but the frame got damaged very quickly. 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).
Cons: this one is A5, it is quite big to bring around. Depending on what you are going to study, you might be good with a smaller one, or you might even need more than one! I studied International Business and Finance, quite a lot of definitions to rewrite in my own words.
This is the laptop I used while 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. It was excellent and obviously I still use it today (I’m writing this on it right now); so I had to include it in my study from home essentials!
However, depends on what you need it for. If you are going to study graphic design, illustration, 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).
Another key purchase that helped me massively throughout my student journey. Funny enough I never thought it would be so useful! I used to print my study material and then use highlighters to get the key points, I’m sure you know this never old method!
Pros: no cables around as it’s wireless; ink lasting for a very long time (obviously depending on usage); you can download the mobile app and to control the printer form you phone, although I rarely used it that way; it was very useful when I needed to scan documents, even though nowadays even a photo would do the job.
Cons: a bit of time to set it up although it comes with all instructions; once you finish university you won’t need it anymore, at least in my case; as usual you can find more expensive (and I assume better) options but I was on a low budget and it did the job.
Study from home (less) essentials
Few extra recommendations for study from home essentials, but a little bit “less” necessary I would say. I want to mention some of those as they clearly contributed to my matures student journey.
Ok, this is out of my laziness as its best. Sometimes I used to study lying on the couch, it happened, I wasn’t the best model student. Nowadays I used to watch it movies on my sofa, so I guess it was a good purchase!
Pros: enough space to fit laptop, mouse and phone. Wooden panel makes it classy, I believe you can also choose another version with a more brownish colour. This is the one I bought and I like it.
Cons: nothing, I just bought it out of my laziness, hopefully you do not need it!
Mature Student Essentials
A very useful tip to save some money online regardless of these study from home essentials! I would really suggest taking advantage of Amazon Prime Student! If you don’t know what it is (I didn’t until my last year) you are missing out on huge benefits.
All you need to sign-up is your university email and expected graduation date (unfortunately it only lasts until you are actually a student).
I would definitely recommend checking it out! I saved quite a bit of money thanks to that, I have talked about it in more detail here if you are interested: “The best student discount?”.
Basically, you get a six-month free trial with all the benefits of Prime membership (unlimited one-day deliveries), and then 50% off the normal price! If that wasn’t enough, you get Amazon Prime Video (in case you want to save on Netflix subscription); exclusive student offers (10% off textbooks from Amazon, just saying); and Prime Music (again, you can save on other music subscriptions).
I only used it during my last year (in the middle of a pandemic) as I didn’t know of it before (I wish I did); and it saved me quite a lot of money when you add up all benefits. In any case, it is definitely worth to sign-up. You are a student like others, take advantage of your status!
Thank you for reading my study from home essentials list, I hope you found it useful! Let me know if you have any recommendations for me, I would be more than happy to try them!
Do you like the content of this blog? You can find all posts HERE.
I have also made a list of studying on campus essentials; if that interests you, find it here or in the image below: “student essentials on campus”.