Pencil case from Typo
Pencil case from Typo

‘Back to school. Back to school, to prove to Dad that I’m not a fool’. You might not be starting kindergarten like Billy Madison, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be well prepared with these backpack essentials.

Baby Wipes

Never underestimate the essentialness of a baby wipe. It’s not just good for babies’ bums – think make up remover, desk cleaner, sweat taker-awayer-meets-body refreshener. It’s the best all-in-one tissue out.

We love the delicious smell of Huggies Cucumber and Green Tea Wipes, available at supermarkets, chemists and baby stores.


Hand Sanitiser

Ever watched your sick class partner wipe the snot from their dribbly nose with their hands, then reach for the shared document you’re working from? Mmm… keep germ-free and sick-free this year with instant hand sanitiser. Smells nice and makes you feel clean. Just don’t use your hands to eat straight after.

We love Dettol Healthy Touch instant hand sanitiser with aloe vera.



Learning is hard so keep your mind and body alert and stay hydrated. Chuck a bottle of water in your bag for easy access, then refill when necessary. Here’s a tip: the more water you drink the more you’ll need to go out for that sneaky toilet break/break from work.

We love the giant glass VOSS bottles you can buy from most supermarkets.



Hate trying to study when Gossip Girl decides to sit behind you in the library? Plug in and tune out with your favourite tunes – they’re bound to block out what happened with Johnny’s ex-girlfriend’s rash.

We love the funky ear bud designs from Typo.



For those unexpected outdoors class days, or when it’s 8am and you’re feeling particularly glum after that Sunday sesh-turned-rager. Shade those eyes and your sorrows!

We love the original and the best – Ray-Bans.


Pencil case

Okay, there’s no point in rocking up to class with a backpack full of fun and nothing that’ll actually help you get educated. Especially if you’re expected to write! Load up on your fave pens and pencils then make it look dapper with a retro-style pencil case.

We still love zip pencil cases.



Have gazillion units to complete this semester but also want to remember what a social life feels like? It’s time to get organised, people. Getting yourself a planner will not only make you look profresh, you might also get your life sorted too! We love Kikki K’s leather organisers, complete with diary, penholder and section dividers.



Yes, money does make the world go round, and it definitely helps if you want to escape that boring lecture and make a day of it at the tav. Having a spare fiddy or two tucked away in a side pocket can go a little or a long way, so if you can restrain yourself from spending the dosh until you really need it, you’ll thank yourself later.

We love… well… money!



Sneaky trips to the beach, an outdoor PE session, sitting under an ozone-less sky, you look like a vampire. Slip, slop, slap doesn’t only apply to the beach – looking after your skin now means you’ll prevent pain in the future, and/or looking like a sack of leather when you’re 50.

We love Banana Boat – that’s one catchy song!



SOLID STATE DRIVES: Better, Stronger, Faster

Modern life as a student is accompanied by changes in computer technology at every turn. 

Advancements are being made consistently and an important one to note is that of the benefits of SSD (Solid State Drive) over that of HDD (Hard Disk Drive). The important thing for students is the speed and reliability of SSD – and while it may be a bit more expensive, there are significant gains in the long term with faster and more protected data.


SSDs Are More Durable

Solid State Drives feature a non-mechanical design of NAND flash mounted on circuit boards, and are shock resistant up to 1500g/0.5ms. Hard Drives consist of various moving parts making them susceptible to shock and damage.


SSDs Are Faster

SSDs can have 100 times greater performance, almost instantaneous data access, quicker boot-ups, faster file transfers, and an overall snappier computing experience than hard drives. HDDs can only access the data faster the closer it is from the read write heads, while all parts of the SSD can be accessed at once.


SSDs Consume Less Power

SSDs use significantly less power at peak load than hard drives, less than 2W vs. 6W for an HDD. Their energy efficiency can deliver longer battery life in notebooks, less power strain on system, and a cooler computing environment.


SSDs Are Lighter

Flash-based SSDs weigh considerably less than hard drives – only 77g vs. 752.5g for HDDs. SSDs won’t weigh down your notebook when you’re on the go or your desktop when rearranging your office!


SSDs Are Cost-Efficient

Though still a higher price/gigabyte than hard drives, SSDs offer cost savings in the long run for businesses with lower energy usage and greater productivity with higher Input/outputs Operations per Second (IOPS). One SSD delivers the performance of 100 hard drives.


SSDs Are Cooler

As an energy-efficient storage upgrade for your desktop or laptop, SSDs require very little power to operate that translates into significantly less heat output by your system.


SSDs Are Quieter

With no moving parts, SSDs run at near silent operation and never disturb your computing experience during gaming or movies, unlike loud, whirring hard disc drives.


Notebook/laptop experts Portacom are also SSD specialists and provide upgrades and knowledge on this topic. Head to for more details.




Want to find your voice and hone you writing skills? Student press can be an important part of campus life. ALEX GRIFFIN reports on his experiences.

If you’re staring down the barrel of a tertiary education and seeing nothing but half a decade of $400 textbooks and midnight exam slogs in the library, allow me to reassure you; there’s a lot more to campus life than keeping tabs on the price of Red Bull at the Ref.

One path to getting out of university with a degree and your sanity is your friendly student magazine, which provides an eternal and slightly grimy refuge from the unreality of assignment deadlines in a creative, inclusive and encouraging space.

I was lucky enough to co-edit the UWA student magazine, Pelican, and besides being a fantastic opportunity to develop administrative, editorial, organisational and sass-talking skills, it connected me with a world of new, strange and amazing people and experiences.

Pelican was a hub of intelligent, stimulating and engaging debate, full of unique people who were all pulling towards a common purpose; producing a magazine that was hopefully so good it wouldn’t just be our mums who read it. Truly, working on articles, illustrations and design with deadlines hanging over your hungover heads is on-the-job journalism learning you can’t beat, and learning to pitch, critically analyse pieces of writing and independently develop content is stuff that’ll serve you well wherever you roam.

Whenever I pitch writing to magazines now, it’s always with the friendly, cringing memory of the first time I wrote to a Pelican editor in mind. Even if your heart isn’t set on a long life of producing Buzzfeed listicles – as the future of journalism may seem like – there’s little more satisfying than seeing your own work in black and white, surrounded by the ideas of your peers. You become a better, richer person by exposing yourself to people who disagree with you and challenge your own ideas, and the parties are great. Promise.

In Perth, it’s not just Pelican that flies the student press freak flag high; Grok at Curtin has a long tradition of playing it weird, Metior combines opinion pieces with excellent visual spreads, and ECU’s GSM is a bulwark of inclusive strangeness. With the people you meet, the free movie tickets you snaffle and the opening nights you crash at the sight of the phrase ‘wine and cheese’, you never know where student media can take you. I know student press contributors who have gone on to write episodes of Neighbours, work for the ABC, write for just about every newspaper in the country and run for Parliament. Heck, a Pelicano wrote We Are Australian.

Even if student media just stacks up the ‘misc.’ section of your resume, it’s a joyous thing to reach out to. At uni, and especially in the real world, there aren’t a lot of places that’ll hug you back for turning up, being yourself and letting the world know what you think. Without wanting to sing the Saddle Club theme song at you, student media is one of them.