Back to school essentialsCherith Harrison
It’s been so long since I last stepped inside an educational institution. Art college was over 10 years ago and so being in high school feels like centuries ago!
While I have many fond memories of my student days I would be lying if I said that I would love to go back and do it all again. All. That. Studying, I don’t miss that part one bit. I can think of better things to do than to type up pages and pages of stuff you are NEVER going to look at again when you graduate. And yet, it pains you to throw away all that work years later after your parents have begged you (my situation a few years ago) to do so in order to make more space in the attic. I probably spent about 5 minutes toiling over what things to keep but in the end, I figured I hadn’t missed any of it so why have it take up valuable space in my home? So off to the skip it all went.
There is however, one thing I do miss from my school years: my back-to-school annual stationery shopping trip, hello John Menzies! The one time of year where treating yourself to a dozen rulers and pencil sharpeners was (and is) perfectly acceptable. Pencil cases, notepads, pens, erasers…you name it, I needed it! I particularly LOVED the colourful school exercise books you were given at school, the ones you were supposed to re-cover in Kraft or wrapping paper – does anyone remember doing that? It’s true to say that I get pretty jealous when I see my 6 and 8 year old nieces picking out their new back to school stationery supplies. Since when did erasers come in all shapes, colours and sizes? I swear they even smell better now than they used to. As for notepads and other desk essentials (how did we cope without washi tape?) there is just so much to pick from nowadays. It’s probably just as well I don’t go to school any more. I would be bankrupt.
From magnetic to-do list pads to weekly meal and study planners and note cards (perfect by the way for using to memorise revision notes as you prepare for exam time), pin badges for decorating your school bag, tote bags for carrying those heavy books – I’ve listed below some of my own favourite back-to-school essentials! If you want to see more items then head over here to see what they are : )
Pin badges (above is my fox badge) are a great and affordable way of customising your school bag as well as school blazers, denim jackets, dungarees, t-shirts and chunky knits. My 7 day highland cow planner and stag weekly planner are great for using as study timetables as well as meal planners too.
I may not be in school anymore but thanks to running a business I am CONSTANTLY learning – every day is a school day for me! I couldn’t write this post without giving a massive shout out to Leuchtturm1917 – I use their dotted bullet journals and since converting to Bujo-ism (you can read more about my bullet journalling journey here) last year. I’ve totally transformed how I organise, plan and structure my work and personal life and goals I want to achieve. I like to use my stationery items in tandem with bullet journalling – sometimes if I’m sketching in one of my notepads I’ll rip it out and stick it in my bullet journal for referencing at a later date.
I always carry a stack of index/journal cards (at A6 in size they fit perfectly into the back pocket of my Leuchtturm journal) to write down those all important reminders to colleagues and family members, much nicer than leaving your message (or demand/request as is often the case with me) on a post-it note. Pictured above is my Scottie Dog note cards, hare and dragonfly notepads.
Being the stationery fanatic that I am you can never have enough notepads and might I add – colourful notepads! Above is my Aztec and Labrador notepads. Since I came out with badges at the start of this year I’ve sort of reverted to my teenager ways and have begun customising my bags with them. Or do adults do this sort of thing as well?! I’m currently using my highland cow badge on my puffin tote bag right now. I feel 18 again and I love it.
Last but not least in my mammoth list of back to school essentials is the good old bone china mug. Whether you are a student or a parent of one, all that studying and/or helping with homework is tiring and often stressful so let’s not forget the importance that tea and coffee has in our lives – a basic dietary essential in any student’s life as far as I’m concerned. It’s a fact that bone china mugs help to keep hot beverages warmer for longer than standard mugs which is good to know when you know you’re going to be up until 2am finishing off an assignment.
Planning is essential in achieving success in anything you do so once you have written that to-do list, mapped out your week ahead, listed your goals and created your plan of attack, sit down in a nice comfy chair and enjoy that cup of coffee. Or tea, if you prefer. And a biscuit.
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In honour of the humble exercise book I’m giving away one of these old-school style jotters with each and every online purchase! Each colourful jotter has a bird design screen-printed in jet black onto it, designs include a peregrine falcon, blue jay, starling and house sparrow. There is limited availability and so offer is on while stocks last!