Summer has flown quickly by and now begins the third and final year of my Theology degree at Bishop Grosseteste University. To mentally prepare myself for the forthcoming lectures, assignments and the ever so daunting dissertation, I find it helps enormously to organise myself in advance. Most commonly this involves making a checklist of items that I need to take with me to my lectures to ensure I get the most out of them as possible. And so, here begins a nosey into the contents of my university bag and the items I personally deem as essential…
Firstly, a good notebook, at the minute I’m using a Pukka A5 Wirebound Jotta as they are just the right size to fit in my bag and the paper quality is great. I really can’t stand writing on thin paper, it drives me nuts! Any cheap notebook will usually do as I type up and print off my notes when I get home, mainly to make them more legible for future use. Secondly, I carry around with me a small notebook just for general bits of information. For example, assignment tips and tricks or any other key information that is of relative importance. It most often contains checklists for me to accomplish, for instance, writing up notes, reading certain chapters of books and even reminding myself to make a weekly to do list. I also usually carry around my diary, I opt for an academic diary as it helps me keep track of assignments that are due in January without having to refer back to a previous diary. I enjoy keeping a diary, it helps me feel somewhat a bit more organised and allows myself to set deadlines and to hopefully not forget any forthcoming special events.
For use in lectures, I take with me a collection of black biro pens and an assortment of coloured pens. I use the coloured pens to write, circle and highlight key bits of information that I will need in the future. For example; names of philosophers, key dates and even film or book recommendations. I have used these Staedtler Fibre Tip Pens for a few years now, and no they aren’t all dried up yet (I’m quite impressed actually), as they are colourful, bright and easy to write with. I also will take my iPad or laptop as it is sometimes handy to google something quickly if you haven’t understood a word the lecturer mentioned or if you are asked to perform any tasks during the break or even the lecture itself. It’s also useful to have a copy of the powerpoint beforehand (if it’s available) as sometimes lecturers can skip quickly through slides that you wanted to note down and if you’re in a big group, it isn’t always easy for the lecturers to keep going back slides.
Finally, one of the most important items that I take with me to my lectures is a little snack to eat during the break. I always take a water bottle with me but after a while I can begin to hear my stomach rumble and it’s nice knowing that I have a little snack with me if I need a boost in the right direction.