student life

Things I didn’t realise I couldn’t live without at uni

Written by Rachel Avery

Before going off to uni for the first time you find yourself reading all of the ‘What to Take to University’ checklists and getting overwhelmed by the number of things you need to buy. There are some things, however, that you just don’t appreciate until you actually get to uni. Once you’ve found these things, you find it hard to understand how you’ve ever managed without them before.

Stay organised with a planner or calendar

The life of a student can get quite hectic at times and if you have the memory of a goldfish like myself, a planner or calendar to keep track of your personal, social and work activities will become a life saver. I would recommend The Palgrave Student Planner, I buy it every year and you can get it quite cheaply online on sites such as Amazon.

Dose up on cold and flu remedies

Freshers’ flu is inevitable and almost impossible to avoid, even if you’re no longer a fresher anymore. It comes at the start of every new year where thousands of students flock to the same location to scoff junk food, drink incessantly and barely sleep. A trusty stock of paracetamol and all-in-one cold and flu remedies will get you through those first couple of weeks. Don’t forget the tissues either.

Stay connected with a laptop

Everything is carried out online now at uni: it’s where you’ll write and submit your assessments, view your timetable, keep in touch with your lecturers and much more. The list is endless. Although computers are available in the library and around campus, they get taken very quickly. A laptop gives you the freedom to work anywhere at any time you like. It is an investment, but a laptop is the best thing I ever bought.

Keep cosy with a pair of slippers

Student halls can get quite grubby, especially in the kitchen area, so a pair of fluffy slippers will save you from having to buy a new pack of socks every week. I literally wore mine all the time and it definitely become a trend amongst my house mates.

Hydrate and stay awake with tea and coffee

If you’re not a tea or coffee lover now, I can guarantee you by the end of your time at uni, you’ll feel like you cannot function without your caffeine fix. I didn’t drink a lot of hot drinks before I went to uni, but when the first exam period came around, I felt compelled to make myself a coffee before starting my work. It keeps you going, especially when you find yourself desperately trying to finish your assignment at 3am, it keeps you warm on those chilly months and it’s one of the top ways to procrastinate. You’ll laugh when you find your housemates doing exactly the same. We definitely bonded over coffee in my flat.

Clean with a Dishmatic brush

Nobody likes washing up, especially when you’re sharing a kitchen at uni. The Dishmatic washing up brush makes it a little more bearable for everyone. Just pour some washing up liquid into the handle and you’re ready to go. Refills can be bought cheaply from most supermarkets for a couple of quid.

Travel with a railcard

You may find yourself travelling to visit friends and family during your time at uni. A railcard saves you a 1/3 on rail fares throughout Great Britain. If you open a student account with Santander, you can get that card for free for 4 years. It’s worth looking in to.

Keep your room tidy with storage boxes

Although most uni’s provide you with some storage space, you’ll still find yourself with those extra bits that you can’t find any room for. I discovered this and bought some foldable cardboard boxes from The Works. You can buy them in different sizes and patterns, they’re easy to stack and can be stored on shelves or desks and under beds. They’re perfect for giving those knick-knacks their own place.

What are your essentials for surviving at Uni?