My studying essentials

What do I actually need for studying?

Especially when you’re going to a different pace to study, it is important to know what to bring with you. This does change from subject to subject and also has to do with the amount of time you plan on spending studying there, but there are a few things that I consider to be essential for studying.

First of all, we need to differentiate between three categories, doing homework, preparing for studying and actual studying.

Doing homework means you need to bring your assignments, the textbooks you need and a notepad or something similar for writing down your notes and solutions. I prefer to only use squared paper, even for subjects I have to write texts in, but that’s different from person to person. Also, depending on the assignment, you’ll need different pens and pencils. I like to use different colours of highlighters and also different colours of fineliners to take notes on different aspects. I like noting down things in the margins of the texts we are given in class since I find that method more convenient than writing everything onto a different piece of paper. Apart from that, you’ll also need a pen to write your results down and, if you like using it, white-out (or ink-killers for ink-pens).

If you want to prepare for studying, you first need to find out which way of studying is the easiest for you. Some people can learn things by hearing them, some need to visualise and see them, others need to read them and then there are the people who, like me, learn best by writing things down. Depending on what method of studying you choose, you’ll need different utensils.
If you learn things best by hearing them, you could search the internet for a podcast about the topic you want to study, or simply record yourself reading the things you need to learn out loud using the memo-app on your phone.
If it helps you to learn things by seeing them, you could check the internet for helpful videos on your topic, or draw diagrams and make pretty notes to help you remember what you need to learn. Colour coding can help as well.
If you just learn by reading things, you probably won’t need much more than your notes from class, your textbooks and perhaps one or two helpful pages on the internet.
If you learn best by writing things down, you’ll obviously need your writing utensils and a notepad. I also like using flashcards or creating a document which I can print and look at again.
Overall, you’ll probably need something to write, your laptop or phone and, again, your textbooks and notes from class.

The essentials for the actual process of studying are pretty much only what you produced or saved while preparing for studying. Whether that’s voice memos, notes, flashcards or just highlighted texts, that’s all that should be needed for the process of studying.

Apart from that, you should also always have something to drink, and, depending on the time you want to spend studying, something to eat with you. If you’re in a public place, headphones can help you block out noises that surround and distract you.

To give you an idea of what I would consider my studying essentials, I’ll give you an overview of what I would pack for studying in, for example, a coffee shop. So let’s pack my bag.

The subjects I study for the most are probably computer science, physics, maths, biology and my german language class. For most of those I have quite some documents on Pages, mainly to sum up everything I need to know for the next exam. Due to that, I would always bring my laptop and its charger, so I can add to my documents, do research on the internet and look up words if I need to. I’m almost never without my phone, and I do take many notes on it as well, so in it goes, alongside headphones. However, I’m not a massive fan of listening to music while studying. I prefer having other background noises.
Next, I would pack all the binders I need and my notepads. I use one notepad only for maths class and carry a second one for paper I can put into my binders. Apart from that, I would also bring flashcards. Depending on whether I will need them or not, I would pack my textbooks and the novels we read in language classes. Things that never really leave my bag are my formula collection and my calculator. I would probably also bring my bullet journal and my school planner since I use both of them to keep track of what I need to do when. Seriously, making lists and planning my studying routine has changed my life.
Apart from that, I would bring washi tape and my pencil case. That means different colours of highlighters, felt-tip pens and fineliners, my ink-pen and ink-killer, pencils, a triangle ruler, white-out, ballpoint pens and an eraser. I find it easier to learn things when they look pretty and when I spend some time on taking notes and making them look good.
In terms of drinks, my go-to choices are a bottle of water and, depending on the season, either a berry smoothie or some coffee. For food, I usually go for a light sandwich or some veggies and fruit, like bananas, cucumbers, various berries, kohlrabi or carrots. I also like chewing gum while studying. Chewing is actually said to help you focus, so that’s always a bonus.

Those are mainly the items I have on my desk when I’m studying or doing homework at home as well since my studying routine mainly consists of doing my research and then taking a lot of notes and highlighting basically everything. The only bonus studying at home really has for me is the access to a printer. I find it very helpful to gather a couple of articles on one topic in a document and then print that so I can highlight things and add notes in the margin.

However, every person studies in a different way and everyone will consider other things to be their studying essentials.

Did I miss something important that everyone should have with them when studying? Please join the conversation in the comment section down below and share your study essentials! I’d love to know what you’d take with you when studying outside!