What I had from the beginning of my UF onwards, and still have at the centre-front of the shelf in my room here in Italy, is a football league ladder
. Basically, an A4-sized bit of card, folded around the outside into a pentagon, with the 4 professional tiers of the English league plus the SPL (Scottish Premier League). There are little slits where a miniature card T-shirt of each club sits, according to the position they are in in their league. Every time there is a set of games, I change their positions in their leagues where necessary. Yep I'm an anorak.
When I first got it free from a magazine in August of 2001, a family friend in his 40s told me that he had one once and lost interest in it after about a month, and that I would do the same. But I have not, and will probably always have it and update it every Saturday forever at 4:45pm! I suppose the ease of finding the results of the internet makes it little effort really; I used to have to keep looking through the back of the newspapers in the boarding house and that got a bit tedious.
The most crucial (practical) possession I have had, since my GE - when I got a single room - is my clock radio
. It is set to Radio 4 at nighttime and in the early morning, and Radio 2 in the daytime. I'd wake up to the Today Programme, go to breakfast, come back from breakfast and either lie down or get on with work, still listening to Today, before going to period 1. When in, I'd listen to Steve Wright etc. in the daytime on Radio 2, then go to sleep with the comedies on Radio 4 at 11pm, and then Today in Parliament and the Midnight News if I hadn't fallen asleep yet. And if I still hadn't gone to sleep (which was very rare), then Sailing By and the Shipping Forecast would guarantee do the job. Extremely uninteresting, looking over it, but the routine really kept me sane when I was at school, and it still does!