Everyone thinks that the university experience is all sunshine and light, and it is for the most part. However, no-one ever thinks of the events that all students have to be prepared for, including the necessary items that all students should have, ready for that worst case scenario.
You’ve probably heard about the infamous Fresher’s Flu and as a fresher you probably thought that no pathetic flu was going to bring you down. You were made of sterner stuff after all! Two weeks later you’re going to feel like death and wonder how you’re going to make it to the fridge for food, let alone your lectures. A call home although aiding in recovery through moral support doesn’t quite cut it when your mum can’t give you the medicine there and then. Night Nurse is the best cure. I swear by this stuff. As soon as I feel a cold coming on a chug of this before bed pretty much kills it overnight.
*Don’t think you’re safe in second or third year. That flu is not just limited to freshers!
2. NUS or UniDays
Almost as soon as you arrive I’d recommend investing in the NUS extra card or signing up to UniDays. The discounts they will save you are immense and you can save the amount you paid for the card in a week! If you’re looking for a cheaper way to save money you can also sign up for UniDays, which is a free online website which provides you with discounts that you can redeem in store or online. You may not save as much and there may be more limitations with the places you can get the discounts, but it’s definitely worth a gander.
3. A Spare Phone Charger and Headphones
This is a definite must have. The amount of times I’ve lost my charging cable or headphones around uni is unbelievable and for that reason I always keep a spare of both back in my room. It’s so much easier to have to buy a spare one than be counting down the minutes until a new one arrives and you can finally recharge your phone! I’d also recommend although it’s not a must investing in a longer cable, say 2-3m long, as it allows for movement around your phone without having to take your phone off charge! Genius!
4. A Flask
Okay so this one you’re probably thinking ‘why would i want a flask?! They’re so old-fashioned’. Yeah they are but they are lifesavers when it comes to a quick tea or coffee in the mornings and when it comes to saving money. It is so much cheaper to make your own hot drink at home in the morning that you can literally save hundreds of pounds over a year. A decent flask is a staple item, so when you know you’re not going to have time to stop at a barristas you can make your coffee whilst getting ready in the mornings.
5. Netflix or Amazon Prime
Oh my god. These two things, although brilliant at allowing me to procrastinate, are the best things I have ever invested in. You can even get Amazon Prime at half price as a student. With the choice from movies to TV series and exclusives you will never be bored again. They’re brilliant for chilling out at the end of an evening after uni or those nights off from going out. You can even have a Netflix night with all of your flatmates. After all, everyone’s heard of Netflix and chill…
6. A Planner
These are the best thing for organisation. Write the deadlines of your assessments and exams in so that you always know when they are. Then you can workout how much time you have to procrastinate and watch Netflix! It’s also good for keeping on top of any plans you make and ensuring you don’t double book things.
7. A Warm Waterproof
If where you’re living is anywhere like here in Southampton you’re definitely going to need one of those really really snuggly coats that is also completely waterproof. With all these storms we’re having to endure, a really warm waterproof is one thing that you’ll never go wrong with.
8. A Weekend Bag
If you’ve already moved in to uni then you know what the travelling is like, suitcase after suitcase, box after box. So it’s really useful for those weekends at home or those weekend trips with friends to have a smaller lighter bag that doesn’t suggest you’ve packed everything in your wardrobe.
9. Dry Shampoo
This is more for girls, but guys might find it useful as well. It’s not only for those mornings when you press snooze too many times and are now having to make a half-hearted attempt at being ready for uni, but dry shampoo is a lifesaver if you’re trying to style recently washed hair. Really clean hair can be too slippery to style into that messy bun or fishtail plait, so dry shampoo or volumising powder just add that little bit of grip that you need.
10. Tupperware or Freezer Bags
I live for Tupperware boxes and freezer bags. All that space you didn’t think you had in the communal fridge and freezer has now been opened up to you when you invest in freezer bags. Drop the boxes and half empty packaging and you’ll save yourself a hella lot of space. Tupperware is awesome for keeping those extra portions of food in for uni the next day or dinner. Even storing half used veg like peppers and avocado to stop them from going brown and soft. Life saver!
These tips should help you on your way to uni if you’re preparing to make that transition or remind you of a couple of useful ideas if you’re there already. Being prepared can save you a lot of otherwise wasted time and money!