The unknown essentials to pack for uni


You can trawl all the lists and guides of the internet to pack every last little thing you think you need, but you'll still be short of something you're in desperate need of. 

Our community has gathered up the most forgotten and overlooked things that freshers typically find themselves without, so that you can begin university with everything you need.

Also, don't miss our bigger ultimate checklist of what to take to uni.


Umbrella and winter coat. You'll be surprised how quick the temperature drops once Freshers Week is out the way, and many students forget to pack the winter essentials when it's sunny in September. 

Thin fleece blanket. There will be times at university when it's too warm to go under a duvet but too cold to go without – especially if the heating is off. Getting a thin fleece blanket is perfect for those nippy days! 

Dressing gowns. If you don't want to be left outside in a skimpy pair of PJs at half four in the morning when your housemate sets the fire alarm off yet again, then you may want to remember to pack a dressing gown. They are also golden for walking around halls in the morning with a bit of decency. 

Slippers. If you're living in halls it may not be safe all the time to walk bare footed, especially if you have messy flatmates! Save yourself wearing shoes all the time and opt for some comfy slippers instead. 

More like this: 11 things you must do before Freshers Week

canned food


Oil. The majority (if not all) of the cooking you will be doing at uni starts with you heating oil in a pan, so make sure you’re prepared and always have enough.

Coffee. An integral part in making sure that you wake up in time for your relentless stream of 9am lectures, coffee is the go-to pick-me-up for sleepy students and will quickly become a vital part of your daily routine if it isn’t already.

Canned goods. Tomatoes, beans and fruits all fall under this bracket of cupboard essentials. They’re long-lasting and generally cheap to buy, so it’s worth stocking up and making sure that you always have something that you can make a quick meal out of.

Pasta. Without wanting to play into student stereotypes too much, you will be eating a lot of pasta as it’s cheap, filling and versatile enough for you to not get too bored of it.

Rice. Much like pasta, rice is incredibly cheap for how healthy and versatile it is. It’s worth buying in bulk to cut down on costs in the long run as it will be forming the basis of a large part of your cooking.

Fruit squash. A seriously underrated and underappreciated essential, squash is perfect for when water is too boring but you don’t quite want to splash out on something more substantial. It’s cheap and tastes great, what more could a student want?

Room Things

Doorstop. There's nothing more antisocial at university than a closed door, and students become very creative at fashioning random items into doorstops. Spare yourself the pain of wedging your door open with your wardrobe and instead get yourself a cheap and simple doorstop. 

Air freshener. You'll thank yourself very quickly for bringing one of these to university, but outside of the toilet it is very useful for keeping your room and house smelling fresh. 

Extension cable. Don't be shocked by the pitiful amount of plug sockets your room has when you arrive with a hundred chargers and plugs for all your gizmos – get yourself an extension cable with extra sockets on the end and bring the power back. 

Mini fridge. Protect your milk and booze by stashing it in your room, made possible by the brilliant invention that is the mini fridge. Just make sure you keep an eye on your electricity usage if you're paying your own leccy bills! (and check that your university has no problem with people taking mini fridges.) 

Clothes hangers. What use is a wardrobe if all your clothes are in a pile on the floor? Your landlord may provide a few hangers but you'll soon find yourself short as you unpack your suitcase – so bring some hangers! 

Something to make your room yours. Fight off the feeling of homesickness and personalise your room to make it yours. This will be your base of operations for the next year, so make it feel like home! 

toilet roll

Mini Life Savers

Change for launderette. Unfortunately, most university accommodation doesn't come with its own washing machine, so you'll find yourself down the launderette rather often. What's even worse is the situation when you're desperately asking everyone for a spare pound coin, as the machines are very picky on what they will and won't accept – so it's best to stock up on your own coins! 

Earplugs. You'll thank yourself when your housemates burst in at 3am the day before an exam that you got some earplugs. Buy them and keep them by your bedside ready at all times! 

Latex gloves. Not all of your freshers year will be pleasant. When it comes to living away from home, someone has got to do the dirty chores. If you're the one who has to pull the hair out the plug hole, then you'll want to have some latex gloves at hand. 

Sewing kit. Losing a button is like losing your whole wardrobe if you're not careful. Packing a small sewing kit is essential for making sure you don't have to get by without your only pair of jeans. 

Emergency toilet roll. There will come a time when your halls is fresh out of loo roll, and you're almost certainly going to want it ages before someone actually orders in some more. Spare yourself the misery and keep a spare roll stashed in your room! 

can opener

Shared House Things

Baking recipes. A great way to make a lot of friends within your house and to pass a slow weekend is by baking, so bring some easy recipes with you to start yourself off. 

Bath mat. Most accommodation doesn't supply bath mats, but you will soon see your bathroom flooded if you don't have one. Make sure someone is bringing one before you arrive! 

Toilet brush. It's not a pleasant job but it is something that will be rather essential, so pack the bog brush! 

Decent can opener. Everyone will bring their own can opener to halls, but it is amazing how many of them will just fall apart and be of no use to anyone. Don't cheap it out on this one – bring a decent one. 

first aid


First aid kit and plasters. You never know what will happen to you or your housemates when you are at university, so make sure you come prepared and pack all the essential first aid materials. 

Lemsips. Freshers' flu is not a myth, nor is it a one-time event. Pack some Lemsip and make sure you can take care of yourself when you inevitably get a cold! 

Paracetamol. These will be essential for hangovers and any headaches caused by exam stress, so make sure you pack some with you. 

laptop bag

Tech and Tools

Laptop bag. Carrying your laptop to and from the library can be a huge chore, especially once the weather gets bad. Protect your laptop from bumps and rain by getting a laptop bag, or at least a bag large enough to adequately protect it. 

Memory stick. You won't want to spend the night before a deadline re-writing an essay because you forgot to back up your previous copy so get a memory stick, or alternatively look at our hand-picked selection of cloud-storage apps

Printer. There will always be huge queues around university printers, and some universities can be very steep with their printing charges. To save yourself a lot of stress, especially around essay submission deadlines, it is essential to get yourself a printer. 

Screwdriver. This is not something you're likely to need much, but you'll be adored by your housemates when they desperately need a screwdriver and you're the only one equipped with one. 

Batteries. A lot of things still need batteries, and it can get very frustrating when there are not any lying about to use.

Find out everything you need to know about Freshers Week 2020 here

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