Graduate Blog

All the essentials you need to prepare for student life


I love university! It’s all my favourite things in one place, independence, friends laziness and nerdiness. However  there’s so much to take in and remember, not least, what to bring. We all know about the everyday essentials you need – mugs, plates and notepads – so with this in mind I’ve compiled those invaluable lines that will make your student days easier yet won’t break the bank. So parents can rest easy and you can have more time for lies-ins – I mean studying!

There are definitely a few things I wish I had been warned about before going leaving: for example, buying an opaque washing basket before moving to halls, so I didn’t walk across the forecourts literally airing my dirty laundry!

We all know that us students cook meals from scratch and baked beans on toast will never become a staple. Yeah, right. So here are some essentials that the next three years of your life will be incomplete without: a decent tin opener is like gold dust and if you find a plastic pan for microwaving those beans then you have hit bang on the money!  When you do decide cooking is a necessity, sharp knives are a must, if you will ever splash out on anything make it a sharp knife they will cut your cooking time by half! O.k. so that may be a marginally fictitious fact, but a sharp knife does mean that you don’t have to spend ten minutes slicing a tomato because the knife just ‘won’t cut it’ excuse the pun!

One key piece of advice I was given before I stepped foot into my halls was that no matter how many teaspoons you have you’ll need more. They’ll vanish into the depths of a roommate’s hovel, or end up behind fridges or cupboards. (and they are handy for playing spoons). In fact, you can never have too much cutlery. If possible try and get a range that’s a bit different so you can identify yours from among the mass of utensils. Finally, on the kitchen front, the one that always gets forgotten: the veg peeler! You may ask why I am suggesting a student would peel veggies, but you will. As soon as the realisation hits that budgeting is important and ready peeled veg is extortionate, it’ll never stay in the drawer.

It’s a well known fact that digs are not temperature regulated, so you may spend much of your student life trying to remember what it is like to feel your extremities. You will want some smart bed linen for your new bed, which will become everything to you; after all, there’s always one bedroom you gather in for watching films, and meal times. Therefore the bolder and brighter the pattern the less likely the coffee stains will show and the easier it will be to find in the communal washing machine. Definitley do not forget the mattress protector, it’ll cover ‘that’ stain.

Many items at university become gold dust. The first to do so and remain so throughout the next few years is a drying rack. I made the mistake of getting a radiator one, only to discover every house I have had doesn’t have proper radiators didn’t have radiators! Luckily they did have a tumble dryer. However, when you move into a house you may find that tumble drying is an expensive luxury, so get a drying rack it  will be your other best friend after, vodka, and super noodles, and the library, oh and your real friends.

By the time you get to uni or start a new term you normally have enough electronic equipment to run a small power plant. Once you have your phone charger, laptop, printer, lamp, radio, you’ll need something to plug all of these appliances into. As houses/halls tend to offer the fewest amount of sockets possible, in the most awkward places it’s a good idea to take an extension.

Now all you need is plenty of cough medicine to tackle the Freshers’ Flu, and safety pins for the impromptu fancy dress. So sharpen those pencils and polish your ruler, you’re all set to start the new term!


About the Author

Elizabeth Adams Elizabeth Adams

I'm currently in my 4th year at Manchester Metropolitan University studying Bsc(Hons) Fashion Buying and Merchandising while also doing a distance learning degree in Journalism with the London School of Journalism. My 3rd year was a sandwich/placement year spent working in the John Lewis buying office. I also work part time for John Lewis and have done for 3 years. I am currently in the process of writing dissertations etc while applying non stop for Graduate Schemes. I really enjoy reading, and writing. I have discovered a passion for circuit training (which offsets my passion for baking and cake)! I very much like knitting and cocktails but I have never tried both at once!

Have your say...