A-Z of Uni Essentials

So I’ve been at university a few weeks now, so I feel it’s time to unveil the things which you can’t go without at uni!

Alarms on your phone

  • These will be a godsend when you’ve got an early lecture and you’re super tired.

Birth certificate, bunting, budget and bin bags

  • A random selection of items, all of which will be handy in the first week.
  • Birth certificate is helpful if you’re applying for jobs- as you may need to show it at your interview and is also handy at enrolment, to show proof of your identity.
  • Bunting- to personalise your room a bit, make it feel homely.
  • Budget- so you don’t blow all your money in freshers week and therefore have money to live on, pay rent, buy food etc for the rest of the term.
  • Bin-bags- it may seem obvious- but a lot of people forget these and they are important, when everyone’s got a lot of rubbish.

Calendar, chocolate, cushions and loose change

  • Calendar- to write down your deadlines, most importantly, but also any other plans you have during the year e.g. nights out, work experience, lectures…
  • Chocolate- for when you’re ill, for when you need some motivation, and for when you just want chocolate
  • Cushions- something comfortable to rest your back on once in a while
  • Change- for the club entry fee, for a drink, for the snacks… for me, this is what I used the remainder of my tip money on.


  • As in the google type- where you can save your documents online and backup them in another place to just your desktop computer/laptop.


  • Essential for when you want to listen to music, but not be loud around your flatmates!

Folders and Florals!

  • For those who know me personally, you’ll know I’m flower crazy in many ways- clothes, stationery, other room bits and bobs, so this is a must for me. And folders are kind of an essential when you study a subject like mine at uni. I’d recommend lever arch folders- I purchased mine from Aldi and Wilko- so it’s super affordable for students!


Going out clothes

  • Let’s face it you’ll probably go out at some point, whether that be clubbing with your flatmates or going to the local spoons with some people on your course, so you’re gonna need something to wear. That could be a nice top and jeans, or a top and skirt or maybe even a dress.

Highlighters and a hole punch

  • Again some more stationery items! When you’re going through that reading for your seminar, you’re bound to want a highlighter to select key bits that you can then annotate, and afterwards, you’ll want a hole punch, so you can put it in your folder for that module.


  • Particularly handy for research and reading for seminars and viewing lecture notes online, as well as for Google, Facebook, Twitter, blogging….


  • I guess this is a bit of an anomaly to the rest of the list, but it’s handy to have in your cupboard or your fridge, as it’ll help keep your immune system in good shape, with it’s vitamins in it!


  • It’s probably a handy thing to have, so you have something to put your accommodation keys on to, this way you know they’re yours and you’re unlikely to lose them.

Laptop, Labour, Lights, Library, Laundry Basket…. and the list goes on….

  • Laptop- this is really important if you want to work in your own room and don’t want to always be in the library. However, if you don’t have your own, most university libraries have laptops which you can rent out for a period of time.
  • Labour- for me, this is important as the party has a part in my life and I like to be actively engaged. Obviously this is not everyone’s cup of tea.
  • Lights are another way of making your room truly yours and they brighten up the place a bit.
  • Laundry Basket is helpful to have as then you don’t struggle carry over everything to the launderette and it keeps things a bit tidier in your room.
  • Lists- especially to do lists are a must if you forget things fairly quickly like me, often because you’re such a busy person.

Because I’ve said about Labour, I’ll just leave this picture of myself and Jeremy Corbyn here:


Medical box and mugs

  • A simple medical box is handy, especially during freshers week, as you might catch what they call ‘Fresher’s Flu’ and this way you are prepared for what may come, and don’t have to drag yourself to the shops when you’re feeling awful. Mine includes the useful drugs: paracetamol, ibuprofen, along with plasters and lemsip among other things.
  • Mugs- for when you want a hot chocolate to take to your lecture, or when you want one late at night when doing some studying, or just a afternoon cuppa.

Notebooks and NHS Number

  • Notebooks are necessary for lectures if writing down/drawing things is your way of learning. The amount of notes you take is crazy and you’ll go through pads quicker than you first imagine.
  • NHS Number- this is handy when registering for the nearest surgery at your uni- this helps to have a smooth handover of information and therefore you are ready to book an appointment if you’re ill. You’ll probably thank yourself at some point for doing it.


Overnight bag

  • I use this when I go to conferences and residentials as it is the perfect size for a night or two. If you don’t have one of these, a backpack can do just the same job.

Photos, pens, passport, plain paper, pencil case and pins!

  • Photos of friends, family, and other things- you can look at these when you’re feeling down and just need a boost.
  • Pens are a need- in lectures, seminars and studying in general and not just biros- coloured pens and fineliners to brighten up your work and highlight key words and concepts.
  • Passport- good as a form of ID- useful for many reasons.
  • Plain paper- for drawing diagrams, drawing up a schedule for the week and other things besides- you never know when you’re gonna need it, but most likely you will!
  • Pencil case- to store some stationery needs for your lectures and seminars.
  • Pins- most halls have noticeboards in the rooms, I know mine does and this is really useful so you can stick up important info on your wall- may that be an academic calendar, freshers week plan, induction timetable, train tickets….



  • If you’re anything like me, you’ll like to have relatable quotes up in your room to help you stay positive!

Rucksack and a railcard

  • Have a rucksack? Bring it and you’ll be able to transport your materials to and from campus to your accommodation with ease.

Storage boxes, student bank account, societies, sport clubs and a stapler

  • Boxes are good because it means I can store items in them, especially ones I don’t use that often and you can transport some of your stuff back in them at the end of the year.
  • Student bank accounts- I recommend getting one of these- especially one with a good overdraft because if you need to pay advance rent payments then you can nice and easily.
  • Societies- definitely check these out at your uni- there’s bound to be one you like the look of and want to get involved with and you can go have fun at the same time- so it’s a win-win situation.
  • Sports clubs- obviously these aren’t for everyone, but I used to do lots of climbing back in Norfolk at the UEA Sportspark and wanted to get back into it, so I’ll be joining the uni climbing club for sure!
  • Stapler- for those articles, presentations, lecture notes you want to keep together.


Tissues, timetables and tubs

  • Tissues are helpful, and then are there if you develop a cold, they will be your best friend.
  • Timetables are useful to write down as well as have online, as then you always know what’s going on whether you have internet or not.
  • Tubs are handy for food- maybe for takeaway leftovers (I know people who have done this) or just that half a tin of baked beans you didn’t want to use straightaway.

Umbrellas and USB Sticks

  • You never know when it’s gonna rain, so it’s always useful to own an umbrella.
  • USB Sticks are just another way to backup and transfer your documents across platforms.

Vitamin tablets and Vegetables

  • Both of these will help keep your immune system in a good state to fight pathogens.

Water bottle and a watch

  • Water bottles are great in lectures when you’re got a dry throat or have a tickling cough especially as they help to calm it.
  • Watches are a need to know the time when in a lecture, that way you don’t need to look at your phone.


(XYZ…. are pretty difficult to find something for, but if I do, I’ll edit the post and put them here.)

Thank you for reading!


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