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10 Practical Student Accessories

by Annique Bolliger

Ever wondered what some of the most practical student accessories are? What are the important little helpers that make life on campus that much more convenient?

Are you getting ready for life on campus but aren’t sure what gadgets or accessories will come in handy on a daily basis? Read on, because the following list covers a decent amount of super practical accessories! If you’re not a student on campus yet, and are still in school – check out the top essentials to kick start your new school year.

Alright, let’s see if you can relate to the following scenarios:

  • It’s registration week. You’re waiting in line. Everyone seems to be filling out forms, using their thighs or the wall as a writing surface. But you aren’t. Because you didn’t think to bring a pen along. Just like last year. And like last year, you have to ask the person in front or behind you to share their ink for a minute, or ten.
  • You have just printed out your essay. You subsequently screen the entire printing room for a fellow student who owns a stapler, and also looks like a person who would let you use it. Once you have spotted a candidate, you walk over, tap them on the shoulder, and put on your friendliest voice everrr. Five seconds later, you walk out with a stapled hardcopy.

If you can relate, which I know you can, it’s because you too did not stock up on practical accessories to have on campus. So without much further ado, here are 10 student accessories that, in my recent campus experiences, are of utmost practical use and necessity.

1. A Stapler

10 practical student accessories

How is it possible that the lack of one staple – and I mean one, little, thin piece of metal – can possibly lead to miss your essay hand-in deadline. I will never, ever forget the day I walked into the course convener’s office and asked to use his stapler so I could hand him my essay.

He said no.

The concept of staring at a pokerface took on new meaning for me in that moment. He did not give one flying kite. Sure, it’s not his job to be the go-to person for campus stapling, but I mean just this once? But no, he did not give in. And yes, I did have to roam the entire campus to look for one darn staple, to then return to his office and hand in my hardcopy.

2. A Minimum of 5 Pens

10 practical student accessories

Pens are prime student accessory. So if you think that carrying one or even two pens on campus will get you far, think again. You need at least five. Why? Because you need to be prepared for unforeseen circumstances.

What are you going to do if your one pen leaks and runs out of ink? What about if that pen disappears into the abyss, as commonly occurs (along with lighters, bobby pins, lip balm, and tupper wear). Or what if you step into chewing gum and the only removal tool you can find is your one and only pen – what then?

Sometimes pens become an emergency hair utensil, sometimes they break, hell, I’m sure some people have used pens as last resort spoons to stir their takeaway coffee. And perhaps the most crucial of situations in which a lack of pens is any student’s worst nightmare – in an exam. If you don’t have at least 5 pens lined up on your exam table, in case the other 4 all run dry, panic will strike – the kind of panic you feel just after waking up from that nightmare in which your pen ran dry during an exam.

That is why you need at least 5.

3. A Piece of Scrap Paper.

10 practical student accessories

How often have you been in the situation of wanting to get rid of a chewing gum that’s run out of flavour and elasticity – but there ain’t a bin in sight. Since you’re not a jerk, sticking it to the bottom of your desk is no option for you. But you also can’t stand this very piece of gum any longer and need a solution. That’s when your piece of paper comes in. All you need to do is tear off a corner, wrap it around your old, faded piece of chewing gum, and put it in your pocket to throw away later. Old receipts work too, by the way.

4. A Portable Phone Charger

10 practical student accessories

Whether you manage to score one at the corner repair shop or get it new and packaged, this little gadget comes in handy on a long day on campus with no time to sit near a plug and recharge your phone old-school style. If you tend to use your phone a lot, or like me, end up with a phone battery that lasts about as long as an Usain Bolt sprint, then a charger on-the-go is not a bad investment. Check out if your campus sells these and other practical student accessories in a campus shop.

5. A Multipurpose Phone Cover

10 practical student accessories

Another snazzy investment is getting (or making) a phone cover that does more than just protect your screen, like the one above by Dasein. Try to get your hands on a cover that has space for a student card and some cash, for in case. You can even invent your own bonus feature, like winding the cord of your earphones around it I order to avoid the untangling we all love so much.

6. A Mini Compact Umbrella

10 practical student accessories

They are small, light, and come in different funky colours and patterns. Worth it. Depending on where in South Africa your campus is, this accessory can save you, and your belongings, from getting completely soaked, from the roots of your hair all the way down, through the hole in your sock that you never got fixed. By the way, this is another thing a stapler can help you with – trust me, for temporary means and to relieve the frustration of a protruding toe, just staple that sock closed. Haters gonna hate.

7. A Reusable Coffee Cup

10 practical student accessories

Don’t you feel guilty for using a new takeaway coffee cup every single time you buy coffee on campus? Of course you do. And you try to lessen that guilt by at least chucking the cup into a recycling bin (if your campus has caught on to recycling urgency)…but is that really enough? What is even better is to have a reusable coffee cup or thermal flask – a good one that doesn’t leak. It’s a once off purchase and much more eco-friendly.

8. A USB Stick

10 practical student accessories

We live in a technological age, and CDs and floppies have pretty much bitten the dust ages ago. Do any of you even remember the floppy disc…? Gosh. In any case, USB sticks are still enjoying a high and are super practical devices to have as a student. They are getting smaller and smaller, and most campuses sell them at reasonable prices. You can even keep one on your bundle of keys. And if it’s not for the purpose of saving your latest assignment to print later, then at least have it ready to get your friend’s latest music playlist.

9. Breath Freshening Spray

10 practical student accessories

You just had a tuna-mayo sandwich with chives, or suffer from post-coffee breath, and low and behold, the cutie from last night at the club is trotting your way. What are you going to do? Obviously you can’t open your mouth within a 1m radius from them, and mumbling won’t get you very far either. So instead of making it super obvious and popping in a chewing gum which you then franticly chew for twenty seconds to make it look like it’s been there for a half an hour, rather look behind you and pretend you heard someone call your name – then sneak a spray in there.

10. A Compact Mini Thesaurus

10 practical student accessories

Thesaurus – it sounds so badass. Like T-Rex. Well, it is a pretty badass accessory. Admittedly, it’s perhaps more useful for Humanities students who pretty much do nothing but read essays to write more essays.

If you work on a laptop or computer, you’ll have easy access to an online thesaurus, also known as a writer’s write hand, if you know what I’m saying (If you don’t know what I’m saying, you might be one of those people who overuses the word ‘nice’). But what do you do if Eskom strikes, or you are having a conversation with someone who is not following your vocabulary at all? Zap out the compact thesaurus.

EduConnect 2cents

Never ever underestimate the power of a snack. Always keep a snack with you (granola bar, nuts and raisins, crackers, etc.). You never know when your bus might be late, or you have to stay an extra hour to finish up in the library. By the time you actually manage to head to food, your stomach might be roaring already. This ain’t pleasant. Just have a small snack ready to keep your sugar levels even until you get to your next meal. Oh, and if this snack happens to be a banana, try to avoid a squish feast inside your bag.

Here’s a quick and easy little Aashpazi tutorial for you to make some snack bars to take with you when you feel you’re crashing in a 5pm lecture…

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