A Guide To What You Need At University

University is one of the best times of a person’s life; not only does it give you the chance to study what you’re truly interested in and achieve something great, the social aspect of university is also appealing to most.

University is a fantastic way to meet new people and in some cases, life-long friends and if you achieve the grades you hoped for, it can also open many doors in terms of employment. While the ‘uni scene’ isn’t for everyone, most will thoroughly enjoy their time away – and it’s a great life experience for people who feel that it’s right for them.

Aside from all the partying and socialising though, university does mean getting your head down, cracking on with assignments and working hard to achieve the grades you want. It is important to be prepared for the work ahead so you can have nights where you just chill out; after all, university is a very social environment with an exciting atmosphere and despite your workload, it’s important that you experience both ends of the spectrum.

So, to help you prepare for your first year at university, we have compiled a guide to what you might need and how to make the most of your free-time.

Home and Health Essentials

Moving on to home and health essentials. There are a lot of items to remember here so it might be worth making a quick checklist so you don’t forget anything or use our bullet points (below). As you can see, we have compiled a number of items that are essential to life at university; while you may think you won’t need some of them, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. So, take a look at the list we’ve compiled below and make a list of things you need to buy and what you already have:


  • Laptop
  • Kettle
  • Mini Fridge
  • Speakers
  • Mobile Phone Charger (it may also be worth picking up a spare should the worst happen)
  • Heater
  • Small Printer, spare ink and paper
  • 2 Sets of Headphones
  • Alarm Clock
  • Ironing Board and Cheap Iron (If you’re planning to stay off campus)
  • Spare Batteries
  • Mobile Phone
  • Spare USB Lead in case both of your chargers decide to die on you
  • Camera
  • Spare extension lead
  • Calculator (if your course requires one)
  • Memory Stick
  • Spare lamp
  • A small television (off campus)


  • Casual, comfortable clothing
  • Seasonal clothing i.e. in the winter and summer
  • ‘Party’ clothes
  • Comfortable pyjamas
  • Underwear
  • Casual and smart shoes
  • Smart clothing (if you wish to get a part-time job during your stay)
  • Coat
  • Suitable swimwear (as well as towels)
  • Sport clothing (this includes things like trainers and gym clothing)
  • Bathrobe
  • Bags (going out and every day)

As a tip for this section, it’s always best to pack clothing you know you’re going to wear to avoid over-packing.

Kitchen Supplies

  • Non-electrical appliances including a tin opener, cheese grater, etc.
  • Tin Foil
  • Tea towels
  • Washing up and oven gloves
  • Spare trays
  • Kitchen Knives
  • Forks, spoons and knives
  • Saucepans (make sure you pick up a few that are different sizes)
  • Tea and Coffee
  • Scissors
  • Plates, Bowls, Mugs and spare Glasses
  • Bottle opener
  • At least two chopping boards
  • Cooking appliances like a wooden spoon, whisk, spatula and pizza dish
  • Cleaning supplies i.e. for the bathroom and other rooms in the residence

Bedroom Supplies

  • Spare bedding
  • Spare pillows and cases
  • Spare blanket to keep you warm in the winter
  • Duvet

Bathroom Supplies

  • Spare hand towels
  • General toiletries i.e. soap, shampoo and conditioner, toothbrush and toothpaste, flannel, face wash, moisturiser, body wash, etc.
  • Bin

Health Essentials

  • Spare Painkillers
  • Plasters
  • Allergy medication
  • Any other medication
  • Vitamins
  • Flu Medication
  • Anti-septic wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Clean Bandages
  • Spare glasses

This list is to give you an idea of what you might need during your stay; feel free to add other essentials to your checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything you desperately need.

University is also a great time to kick and overcome bad habits so things like making the switch to an electronic cigarette starter kit or something as small as stop biting your nails can make a big difference.


Stationery is crucial when it comes to studying, so it’s worth making a stationery checklist on top of your home and healthcare essentials to again, make sure you don’t forget anything you need. Below we have compiled a few items you might need during your stay:

  • Ring Binders
  • Pens and Pencils (it might be worth bulk-buying blue and black pens as well as coloured pens for mind-maps and studying.)
  • Lined and blank paper
  • Lots of plastic wallets
  • A couple of notepads
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Stapler and spare staples
  • Blu-Tac
  • Post-its
  • Rubber
  • Maths Kit

These are just a few of the items you may need during your study time at university!

Personal Items – passport, student discount card and emergency cash or car

For personal items, you may need the following:

  • Up to date passport and/or driving license (great for a form of ID)
  • Student Discount Card
  • Emergency cash
  • Emergency car
  • Debit Card and Wallet
  • CV (if you’re planning to find a part-time job)
  • National Insurance Number
  • Documentation regarding your planned accommodation type
  • Bank details (in case you need to get in touch)
  • Previous certificates (exams)
  • Any insurance documents (if any)
  • Letter providing information regarding your unconditional offer from the university (if required)


  • Photographs
  • Posters
  • Address and Phone Book
  • Relevant smartphone apps (this can prove tremendously helpful for studying and finding your way around off-campus)
  • Any hobby-related items such as a musical instrument, books, sewing kit, etc.

These are just a few personal items you may need. It might be worth asking your university about what official documentation you need to bring with you.