Written by Ashley Fontaine, BA English Literature and Film & Theatre

So, you’re off to university (hooray!) and whether you’re staying at home or on campus, this no doubt means a massive shopping trip is on the horizon.

Course books are likely to be at the top of your list, but stationery should be high on your agenda too! I always look forward to starting a new academic year, as it gives me a reason to buy a fresh stationery set. Having an array of colourful pens and highlighters can make writing up those lecture notes just a little bit more pleasant, and are perfect for creating visual reminders.

Stationery essentials for university students

 Pencil case items:

  • Pens and pencils
  • Sharpener and eraser
  • Ruler
  • Highlighters
  • Memory stick (USB)
  • Calculator

Items to pack in your bag:

  • Lined notepads
  • Ring binders
  • Post-it notes
  • Diary or weekly planner
  • Revision cards

My “go to” stationery stores

Here’s a list of my personal favourite outlets to source fun, practical and affordable stationery.

Tip: follow the Instagram accounts of your favourite stationery stores to keep up-to-date with their latest offers. Lots have discounts available in the run-up to the start of a new term, perfect for saving money.
  1. Flying Tiger Copenhagen (also known as Tiger)

    With over 90 stores across the UK and 20 in London, you’re bound to find Tiger in one of your local shopping centres or on the high street. With a mission statement that screams cheap and cheerful – “Cool design doesn’t have to cost a fortune” –, this design store is great for stationery-seeking students!From notepads to daily planners, sticky notes to desktop storage boxes, Tiger stocks everything a student could need. Last year, I managed to get a holographic, lined, A5 notepad for just £2!Tiger offers loads of writing materials at affordable prices all year round, so you do not have to rush to the stores to catch the “limited time only” deals.

  2. Amazon

    Everyone’s heard of online giant Amazon: the one-stop shop for almost everything. As with Tiger, Amazon always offers student essentials at low prices.You can find all of their stationery supplies under the ‘Electronics & Computers Department’ section of the site.I tend to go for Amazon’s bundle deals, as these are great value for money; you can buy Pukka Pads in packs of three and Bic ballpoint pens in boxes of 50! Stabilo Boss highlighter sets are also a favourite of mine – Amazon sells the typically expensive branded highlighters for 50% off of the original price: a bargain!

    Tip: For free delivery, sign up to Prime Student for a six-month free trial. University students can get free one-day delivery on thousands of items and access to exclusive student offers.
  3. WHSmith

    On the more moderately priced side of the scale for stationery items is WHSmith. The online and high street retail company are known for their “back to school” stationery ranges and university students should take full advantage of this!The range tends to be released from late August to early September, and all items are a part of a ‘3 for the price of 2’ deal – a great idea for those who like to pick and mix their stationery items.However, one of the main reasons WHSmith makes my top list for stationery is because they sell HP memory sticks (USBs) at affordable prices. These portable devices are designed to make sure your assignments never get lost.

  4. Paperchase

    My all-time favourite stationery store! Despite being more on the pricey side, Paperchase has, in my opinion, the best-quality stationery. If you like vibrant, co-ordinated, stationery sets then this is the place for you. The company also have a “revision essentials” range, with everything for impending exam-season in one convenient place.I particularly like Paperchase’s selection of planners, to-do lists and diaries. I’ve purchased the same planner from there for two years straight, as it really helps me to keep on track as a joint honours student.

    Tip: To save money, all students can get 10% off with an NUS Card or a UNiDAYS account!