Uni Essentials

I guess I wish someone had given me some advice on what to take to uni. There are so many things you don’t think of so I thought I’d pile a list of what I think are really *essentials* for university. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this huuuuuge list.

Food (the most important category…)

  • Pasta

Cheap and easy to cook! You can throw in vegetables with it, a quick tomato sauce or make a bolognese if you want to be fancy.

  • Soup

Such a quick meal to cook if you’re in a hurry… or hungover…

  • Bread

Who doesn’t snack on toast when they come back from a night out? Probably cheaper than that pizza you really want to order.

  • Coffee/ Tea

Great for waking you up in the morning for those 9am lectures, but also really great to sober you up when needed… but that tip didn’t come from me…

  • Biscuits/ Snacks

You kind of forget how much you possibly snack at home but you want something you can grab on the way to classes or meeting friends. A quick sugar boost is always good.

  • Alcohol (if you want to drink)

Alcohol and drinking isn’t a necessity at university. I have known lots of people who don’t drink but still had a great time. Though, if you like a drink every now and then, don’t forget the alcohol!

Charlotte Dobson adds ‘Wine and cake – great ice breaker for new flat mates!’


  • Notepad

You will need one of these to make notes at introductory lectures, introductory seminars and most of the time… unless you choose to use a laptop, iPad etc.

  • Pens

It always handy to keep a pen or two in your bag. You don’t know when you’ll need to sign something, jot something down or someone may ask if you have one they can borrow.

  • Post-it Notes

Very useful if you’re studying literature! I find that I mark places in books which are of some importance, or quotes I can use in the future. However, they’re useful for any kind of notes you want to leave in books for any subject.

  • Pencil Case

For me, having a pencil case is always useful. Many people just chuck pens in their bag but having a case with pens, pencils, rulers etc will just make life a little easier.


  • Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, Antihistamines, Cold & Flu Tablets

Now you’re away from home, you can’t just pick up a packet of painkillers from the medicine box or cupboard. You have to create your own little box. I suggest the usual painkillers such as paracetamol, some antihistamines and cold & flu tablets… because Freshers Flu is very much real.

Sonia Khan, Sheffield Uni, agrees ‘A first aid kit (or assorted stuff thereof) filled with painkillers, lemsip, plasters, antibacterial wipes and if needed, bandages.’

  • Vitamins

I always take multi-vitamins when I feel some kind of cold coming on or get a scratchy throat. They’re great to take when the dreaded Freshers Flu catches up with you. Vitamin B is always a useful thing to have… I think females may catch my drift…

  • Blister Plasters

You probably overlook how important these little friends can be, but when you’ve bought some new shoes and Stacey wants to go out partying on Friday… blister plasters will be your best friend.

  • Lip Balm

I use lip balm far more than I realise and it is especially needed during Winter. Chapped lips are uncomfortable and a nuisance, so pack some handy lip balm.

  • Sun Cream

You forget that you’ll probably be at university when the weather warms up, and the last thing you want is sunburn. A little bottle of it can be a saviour if you’re caught out one day and you can always pass it on to friends to use.

  • Protection

In the form of sanitary items, etc… you know what I’m getting at, we’re all adults here.

Hannah Mitchell suggests ‘Condoms, red solo cups, ping pong balls and hopelessly hopeful ideas of freshers’


  • Sturdy Pair of shoes or trainers

You never know when you’ll go exploring. For me on a campus uni, having a pair of old converse is handy if I’ll be trekking through a field or bits of countryside. Additionally, icy roads and pavements aren’t fun and you don’t want to be slipping onto your bum in that one pair of Toms you brought.

  • Swimsuit/ Bikini or Trunks

You’re probably wondering why you’d need one of these but you can always get caught without one. A friend might suggest you go swimming or there might be a local swimming pool you want to join. They don’t take up much room in your packing and you only need one really.

Home Comforts 

You kind of forget the things that make your home what it is. You always have things that created your room as ‘your’ room.

  • Favourite Toy/ Blanket (recommended by Sonia Khan)

I swear that I have a teddy that I take with me everywhere I go, and I don’t know what I’d do without it. It smells like home and it is something that gives you that safe feeling you might not feel when you move to uni for the first time.

  • Posters, Ornaments etc.

One of the first things I did was add a number of pictures and things onto my wall at uni. It creates that sense that it is your room and you can add a little bit of home.

‘Things to put on your walls or little ornaments, maybe a rug or your own nice bed sheets, something to make your room feel like yours.’ Solomon Gibson, Keele Uni, recommends.


  • Sewing Kit

You really don’t know when safety pins will come in handy…

Flur Harman, Keele Uni, says ‘DEFFO bring standard sewing kit. It’s been my saviour!’

  • Torch,  A Spare light bulb  & Screwdriver

Sonia Khan, Sheffield Uni, recommends ‘A torch with batteries for when the power goes out and a spare lightbulb, and a screwdriver’

  • Personal Documents

You should always have some kind of I.D. on you for various reasons such as verifying who you are or for buying alcohol, painkillers (I was asked for I.D, even though you have to be 16 to buy them, and I’m 20) or party poppers (fun fact: they asked for I.D. to buy these). But you forget how important other documents are for getting on with day to day life.

Abbie Moyse, Keele Uni, states ‘Important documents like passport, P60, NI number etc.. painful experiences of trying to get my parents to scan them through over the phone because I didn’t even think of it!’

  • Other ideas

‘I find washing powder, spare change, your games console of preference and a small TV (Xbox and a 16″ tv did me for my first year), plenty of clothes and bedding, food to last a lifetime and cleaning supplies are all a must’ Hannah Mitchell adds.


Thanks for reading and hope this helped you!

What do you suggest for uni? What helped you at uni?

Until next time! – Rachel ❤



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