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Student Blog

My unconventional desk essentials


Written by
Imogen L.

It's important to ensure you keep happy and comfortable while studying. In this blog, Imogen shares the desk essentials that help to keep her motivated.

Laptop open on desk with flowers, lamp and stationary

Convenience is everything. When you’re sat down for six hours, writing an assignment that is due in two days, little things that you put on your desk can help to bring you comfort. This is not a list containing the classics; pens, highlighters, notebooks; but more a list of things you may not consider having on your desk, but that have really helped me! Take what you will from this list - everybody has different needs and wants, but these are some of my staples:

1 A reason to study

Sometimes, it can be easy to lose track of why you’re studying in the first place! Whether it’s a photo of your family, a little gift from a friend, an inspirational post-it note, or a drawing from your child, having a token of why you are doing this can be very uplifting.

2 Mints 
If you rely on caffeine, mints are important, especially after your third cup of coffee in a row! You may not be near anybody but when you can taste bitterness, it’s worth having a small pack of mints nearby.

3 Hand sanitiser 
After eating your favourite snack, you don’t want to get your keyboard all sticky, so a good hand gel or spray is useful. Mine is a citrus and aloe vera-scented spray because it’s easy to use, fast-drying and smells lovely.

4 Hand cream
You don’t want grubby hands, but you also don’t want dry hands. A small moisturiser or hand cream can be very soothing after typing 1000 words in 30 minutes. Plus, they tend to be multi-functional (dry elbow patches, away)!

5 Lip balm
With Zoom still being used worldwide, the idea of looking good from above the waist is sticking around. It’s important to look like you’ve been drinking water and taking multivitamins like you promised your family you would. A good lip balm to moisturise your lips will make you look and feel a little bit better, and they cost very little.

6 Small makeup essentials (if you wear it)
This is for those times when that video call came around quicker than you thought it would and you didn’t have time to put a full face of makeup on. I have a concealer and mascara on standby.

7 Electric lighter or some matches
If you’re like me and candles and pleasant fragrances help you to study, having a lighter on hand can be useful to save you from searching around the house. I use a rechargeable one for convenience.

8 A container to keep it all in
You don’t want all these little bits-and-bobs cluttering up your desk. A nice container, tray or box is useful to store everything in. If you’re crafty, you could even make your own!

I suggest looking at what you already have on your desk. Are there things that you reach for again and again? Maybe you’re constantly looking for screen wipes or tissues or ear plugs. It will not take long to create a dedicated caddy for your essential items, and it could save you time from getting up from your desk to search.

Imogen studies MSc Infectious Diseases via distance learning in the UK.