Saturday, 17 August 2013

Uni Essentials

Going to university can be an extremely scary time if you don't know what to take with you. Now you've got over your results hangover (high five on your grades) it's time to start thinking about what you are going to take to uni this guide will give you a list of things you should take with some commentary along the way. I'm also including links for where to get items at the cheapest price. Although this post is going to be extremely wordy, there is a surprise for you at the end which I'm sure you will enjoy.

Immediate items

This is going to be all the stuff that needs to be easily accessible so plan for this when you pack:
  • Toilet roll - if you are travelling a long way you will be busting for a wee by the time you get there 
  • A pen - you might need to sign something when you pick up your keys 
  • Door wedge - keep your door and your mind open to new people 
  • Tea - we are British, we all love to bond over a cuppa so it would be a lovely way to make friends 
  • Coffee - incase you don't like tea... 
  • Sugar - if you have it in your drink 
  • Biscuits - for your tea of course 
  • Some thing to eat on the first night - you'll be knackered and won't want to go to the supermarket, my friend suggested that this will most likely be a Pot Noodle
  • Alcohol - this will help you all bond on the first night, might be best to take something you don't mind sharing 
  • Shower gel - you will probably want to have a shower once you've done a little bit of unpacking or use it as an excuse to cry because you are home sick already
  • PJs - There will probably be a fire alarm, Sod's law

Bedroom stuff

  • Duvet/quilt - get a double one even if you have a single bed because you'll probably end up having to share it with someone, whether it be a friend crying because she doesn't know if she should break up with her boyfriend from home or a lovely chap you met at a club
  • Pillows 
  • Duvet/quilt covers and pillow covers 
  • Blanket - I got mine from Primark. Use it for decoration or in case someone stays over or your drunk house mate loses his keys and has to sleep in the kitchen...
  • Storage boxes
  • Photos - get 60 free prints here
  • Posters - you'll probably get most of these at the freshers fair 
  • Hot water bottle - freshers flu saviour 
  • Desk Lamp - try in a charity shop
  • Small rubbish bin 
  • Towels

Kitchen Items

You should keep your eye out in charty shops for kitchen items, they are always cheaper than buying from new. Things that you can't get in the charity shop try for in Poundland and Wiko. This set from Dunelm Mill has the whole dinner set shabang and only costs £9.99!
  • Toaster bags - don't bother taking a toastie maker, you can also make your own from foil or grease proof paper
  • Kettle - you might want one in your room for a late night study session or filling up a hot water bottle because when you are ill going down the corridor is too much
  • Small casserole dish
  • Frying pan
  • Saucepans
  • Tin opener
  • Bottle opener
  • Corkscrew - We came up with some genius (and down right stupid) ways to remove a cork from a bottle, save your self the trouble and just buy one
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Cheese grater
  • Spoons and spatulas
  • Microwavable bowl
  • Mixing bowl - for party punch of course 
  • Measuring jug
  • Sieve/coulander
  • Knives - I got a lovely knife block from ASDA but I can't find it online :(
  • Chopping board
  • Kitchen scissors
  • T-towels
  • Tupperware (chinese containers)
  • Sandwich bags
  • Cling film
  • Tin foil
  • Glasses - you will probably end up 'acquiring' some from pubs 
  • Shot glasses/egg cups
  • Cutlery - you won't need an entire dinner service, just get about 3 of everything
  • Plates, bowls, those dish things that are in between being a plate and a bowl - again you wont need to get an 
  • Mugs - you'll probably get a lot of these at the Freshers Fair


  • Plastic wallet to keep everything in 
  • Passport photos - Take at least four, and keep some on you. Also scan some on to your computer to get quick reproductions for less (especially for ID that doesn't really matter), use this website to take your own and then print them out at a photo shop
  • Driving licence (useful ID) 
  • National Insurance Number/Card 
  • NHS medical card 
  • HC2 Certificate (free health care for over 19s) 
  • Details of your vaccination history 
  • Insurance documents - most halls offer some contents insurance so don't take any out unless you need to
  • Confirmation letters of scholarship/bursary 
  • Any information from your LEA, the SLC (Student Loans Company) or Student Finance Direct 
  • Your unconditional offer from the university 
  • Any documents regarding your accommodation 
  • Cheque book 
  • Bank debit card 
  • Paying-in book 
  • Bank or building society details 
  • Travel discount cards (16-25 Railcard etc) - great for cheap travel home 
  • CV and references 
  • CRB check - applicant's copy (if required by your course) 
  • Exam certificates


Please check what you are allowed to take into halls because some unis are very strict about what you can and can't have in your room 
  • Extension leads 
  • Ethernet cable - some unis give these out for free while others charge for them 
  • Printer - it might be worth checking out how much your uni charges for printing, some give free credit to encourage you to use the library 
  • USB memory stick  
  • Ink 
  • Mobile phone - for calling mum and dad and taking lots of lovely photos with, it might be worth finding a decent contract to get onto 
  • Batteries 
  • Docking station/Speakers - essential for parties

First aid items

  • Prescription medication including contraceptives 
  • Condoms - you can always restock at the freshers fair and at the union 
  • Cheap ibuprofen - you will get freshers flu and you will wish you'd brought some with you because the shop is too far away 
  • Cheap paracetamol - you will get a hangover on the second day 
  • Cold/flu remedy - again, freshers flu is a bitch 
  • Throat lozenges 
  • Plasters - for some it might be your first time cooking by yourself, remember that knives are sharp
  • Earplugs - for studying


  • Laundry bag - make sure it is opaque, no one wants to see your dirty pants as you saunter down to the washing machine 
  • Drying rack - another thing to look for in charity shops
  • Knicker dryer - the most useful bit of kit you will ever own
  • Change for the washing machine 
  • Coat hangers

Stationery Items

It would be best to get all these bits from Poundland
  • Push-pins
  • UV pen to mark valuables so if they're stolen and then found again by the police they can be returned to you 
  • A4 file paper / notebooks with tear out sheets 
  • White paper
  • Pens - you will get loads of these at the freshers fair so don't pack many 
  • Pencils
  • Highlighters 
  • Permanent markers - so you can draw on your friends when they pass out 
  • Ruler 
  • Eraser 
  • Sharpener 
  • Blu Tack 
  • Scissors 
  • Sellotape 
  • Hole puncher 
  • Stapler 
  • Staples 
  • Paper clips 
  • Post-it Notes
  • Elastic bands 
  • A4 ring binders 
  • Lever-arch folders 
  • Plastic wallets 
  • Envelopes 
  • Stamps 
  • Calculator - for doing food shopping, or if you are doing maths/stats (well done you!) 
  • Duct tape

Other Items

  • Gift Cards for supermarkets/drug stores - ask for these as 'going to Uni' presents
  • Holdall or weekend bag - for going home 
  • Safety pins
  • Small sewing kit
  • Books - mostly ones relevant to your course, you wont have much time to read anything else
  • Musical instrument(s)
  • Recipe book - if you have some already then bring some, if not just use this website
  • Old school uniform - there will be at least one time that you will need it for fancy dress
  • Other fancy dress

Shopping list for the first few days:

  • Bread - can be a staple for a multitude of meals 
  • Salt / Pepper - steal these from your local food outlet (union, mcdonalds, subway...) 
  • Ketchup, mayonnaise/ salad cream - you might want to liberate your local Wetherspoons of these also. 
  • Herbs and spices - turns plain baked beans into Italian Baked Bean Bake
  • Cooking oil/spray 
  • Pot Noodles - or cheaper equivalent 
  • Spreads - for your bread 
  • Tins - get tinned fruit and veg 
  • Cereal 
  • Squash - the water might be rank 
  • Pasta 
  • Rice 
  • Washing-up liquid 
  • Bin bags 
  • Washing powder 
  • Sponges 
  • Pub golf costume 
  • More alcohol 
  • More paracetamol

This is why you need to bring a blanket...

A Swiss Army Knife does not double up well as a corkscrew :(

Fancy dress is always the key to a good night out - my face says it all really

Excitement for my uniform and Sambuca with lemonade
Killer Panda? Everyone else had well better costumes!

Sometimes, you just need a permenant marker to draw a cock on someone's beans

Or on someone's face...
And that knicker hanger doubles up as a hat

I hope you have enjoyed this post, let me know which university and course you are doing in the comments below!


  1. Great tips! It can be stressful when moving away for uni and daunting as you're meeting new people. I'd say go with an open mind, as you may not like someone on the first day but by the end of the academic year you'll be best friends! x

    1. Great advice Emma, on my first night in halls my flatmates and I cooked a massive meal together which was a great way to bond. I'm actually dating someone who I lived with in first year so you never know what can happen!

    2. Love your comment about "you'll be hungover on the second day" STANDARD! Great post!


    3. I'm glad you enjoyed the post! I went to all my intro lectures in the first week either hungover or extremely tired


Did you know that in the film Toy Story, Sid's hallway carpet is the same design as the hallway carpet in The Shining? That's well creepy.

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