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Back to School Nostalgia

The quad at University College London (Source:

Every September I feel a deep sense of nostalgia remembering the start of a new university term. The start of a new term was one of my favourite things because I loved my whole university experience – seeing old friends, learning from new professors, and the social gatherings. This was one of the main reasons my heart broke for students during the pandemic who had to miss out on these experiences.

The other amazing thing about a new term was stationery shopping. As a self-confessed stationery addict, buying stationery was a day out in itself. There were the essentials – notebooks, diaries, post-it notes, highlighters – but also a whole world of pens, stickers, pencils, pencil cases, electric sharpeners, rubbers…I could never get enough, and each piece had its own unique feel and energy.

For me, starting a new notebook is sacred. You forget the “failures” (I don’t like this word, the only failure is the failure to try!) of the previous term, the grades that were not so great and get a chance to start anew.

I took great pride in my notes, keeping them as tidy and well-structured as I could from day one, and this was one of the keys to my success at university. Ok, sometimes I was a little behind because I was working shifts as a restaurant hostess, but I always caught up! I was stunned at the amount of information I already knew by exam revision time.

If I could give one piece of advice to students, it is to start taking notes at the beginning of the term. It is something easily done and will make a huge difference come exam time. This experience was the inspiration behind the Ratio Notebook which gives law students a structure to revise their legal cases effectively.