Starting university is an exciting yet stressful time, so we’ve compiled the ultimate uni essentials list to help you through it. From finding the perfect accommodation to your university packing checklist, discover the tips and tricks you need to know before you go.
Find the Perfect Accommodation
Where you live is one of the most vital parts to get right when going to uni, so it had to feature at the top of our uni essentials list. Be it a house, flat or student halls, it needs to be your haven amongst the whirl of uni life. You’re looking for somewhere to relax, unwind and host those inevitable pre’s. Of course, you need somewhere you can study, too.
You want your place to feel clean and safe, like a home from home. When viewing potential rooms, look for mould, scope out fire exits and find out if the building is fully compliant with its passive fire protection and regulations. It’s also worth keeping in mind the proximity to local supermarkets and your campus.
Plan a Simple Budget
It’s far too tempting to splash the cash on new clothes, nights out and takeaways when you go to uni, but try to keep on top of your spending. Planning a simple budget goes a long way to keeping you financially afloat. We’re not talking about pinching every penny, but setting aside pots for food, bills and entertainment is a must on our uni essentials list.
The uni years disappear in a flash, and it’s less than ideal to find yourself lumped with a maxed-out credit card and an overdraft bursting at the seams. Or worse, having to turn to the emergency bank of mum and dad for a pint of milk and loaf of bread. Sticking to a simple budget is the easiest way to avoid these disasters.
While we’re talking about budgets, opening a suitable bank account is another vital part of the uni essentials list. Head to your bank and find the best student accounts to maximise your money.
Learn to Love Laundry
For many people, going to uni is the first time they’re left to fend for themselves, including managing the piles of dirty laundry. Our advice? Spend a few weeks before you go chipping in with the family washing so you can get to grips with how machines and fabrics work. You don’t want to shrink your favourite jumper within the first week, after all.
Although laundry isn’t a glamorous part of the uni essentials list, it’s one we wish we’d learnt more about before we went.
Practise Your Cooking
Going to uni doesn’t involve as many takeaways and meals out as you might think. They’re expensive and not friendly on your waistline, either. It’s better to get to grips with cooking a few of your favourite meals.
Try experimenting in the kitchen before you go, perhaps offering to cook for the family once a week. If you know anyone who’s a dab hand in the kitchen, ask them to teach you the basics and suggest a few easy meals.
It’s a quick, cheap and tasty alternative that’s bound to help you make friends with your new flatmates, too!
Buying Pre-Loved Books
Books are a part of everyone’s uni essentials list, but some courses need more than others. If you’re studying English, chances are you’ll need to buy a serious amount of books with a pretty hefty price tag.
It turns out there’s nothing stopping you from buying pre-loved books and saving yourself a book load of money. You might even find some of them already have annotations from previous students, which is always a very welcome bonus.
Find a Decent Dentist and Doctors
This often drops off people’s radar, so we’ve added it to our uni essentials list. Finding a decent dentist and doctor before you need them saves a lot of hassle further down the line. Get yourself registered before you’re in agony with a chipped tooth or in need of a prescription.
If you need regular medication, such as inhalers for asthma, make an appointment in advance to keep your supplies topped up.
Take Packing One Day at a Time
There’s a lot to prep before going to uni, so don’t leave it all until the last minute. Try to plan what you need and buy bits and pieces in advance. Most students are limited by what they can fit in a car, so get all your essentials in before you fill the space with pot plants and LED mirrors. As lovely as they are, they can wait until your first lot of visitors swing by, or you head home for a weekend and have a whole car to fill once again.
To make sure you’ve got all the basics you need until your first visit home, here’s our University packing checklist:
- Kitchen staples: saucepans, crockery, chopping knives etc. If you only remember one thing, make it a mug for the inevitable all-night coffee sessions. Check to see what’s already provided before you start buying kettles and toasters.
- Laptops, chargers, TV and any other electricals. It’s 100% worth packing an extension lead or two to ensure you can actually use them all.
- Bedding: ideally two sets. You never know how busy the communal laundry facilities are going to be, after all.
- Personal touches to help your new place feel more like a home, such as rugs, cushions and photos.
- Clothes and clothes hangers, don’t get caught out! It’s also worth packing any interesting fancy dress items since uni is renowned for fun, themed nights out.
- Toiletries: including toothpaste, skincare products and anything for the bathroom. They’re surprisingly expensive, so make the most of any bulk buys your parents might treat you to.
- Documents: this is an important one, especially if you need a passport or other form of ID for enrolment.
It’s always worth doing a total kitchen cupboard restock when you get there, too. Find out where your nearest supermarket is beforehand and fill a trolley with tea bags, toilet rolls and other essentials.
Find a Side Hustle
Many people choose to work a part-time job alongside their studies, so find a side hustle that works for you. There’s nothing like going to uni to teach you how quickly money disappears!
In the best-case scenario, find something linked to your course so you can gain some experience. It’s a great way to boost your income as well as build your CV ready for job hunting further down the line.
Sorted Your Uni Essentials List?
When the day arrives for you to move into your new digs, the most important thing to remember is to have fun. You’ll make lifelong friends at uni, have some of the most unforgettable experiences and come out with a degree. What’s not to love?