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What To Take To University As a First Year
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What To Take To University As a First Year

Written by Sam | April 8, 2020

As a first-year student, you might not know exactly what you need to take with you to your student accommodation. This is fine, you will be in the same boat as a lot of other first-years who will be stepping into University in September.

We have put a list together of all the items that might be handy for you while at University. In your second year, you might refine some of your list or you might add to it, however, we will do another article for that!


  • Bottle opener
  • Mugs
  • Glasses & Wine glasses
  • Shot glasses
  • Knives, forks, and spoons
  • Plates & Bowls
  • Casserole dish
  • Small frying pan
  • 2 saucepans (1 large, 1 small)
  • Egg cup
  • Tin opener
  • Scissors
  • Chopping knife
  • Chopping boards (preferably at least 2, one for meat and one for veg)
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Cheese grater
  • Bread knife
  • Wooden spoon
  • Spatula
  • Potato masher
  • Easy-to-follow recipe book
  • Sandwich bags – these are good for lots of stuff you open and need to contain
  • Tupperware
  • Cling film & Tinfoil
  • Sieve
  • Tea towels
  • Oven gloves
  • Washing-up items – e.g. washing-up liquid, dishcloth, scrubbing brush, etc

Kitchens is the place where you will have a lot of duplicates if everyone brings everything. The most common is kettles and microwaves, however, most accommodation or houses supply these items, always check what is in the house first before you bring or buy anything! In the kitchen is a good practice to have spares of everything because after you will find half of your cutlery missing and likely to leave bit’s like tea towels there!


  • Basic first aid kit, including plasters, antiseptic wipes, and bandages.
  • Paracetamol
  • Cold/flu remedy (in case you are struck down by freshers’ flu)

Just having the basic provision of a first aid kit, you will be thankful for. It’s not the coolest item in your room, but when you cut yourself on something, they will come to you! Secondly, I can guarantee that you won’t escape the dreaded freshers’ flu. You will be in close proximity of a lot of people and as with any virus, and like the Coronavirus has taught us, it doesn’t take a lot for it to spread! Make sure you have some lemsip, paracetamol and whatever else you take!


  • Bath mat
  • Bath and hand towels (plus a flannel if you use one)
  • Basket for shower supplies
  • Washbag
  • Toilet roll
  • Box of tissues
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Shower gel
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Nail clippers
  • Deodorant
  • Cologne
  • Hair gel
  • Hair spray
  • Hairbrush
  • Comb
  • Razor
  • Shaving cream/gel.

A place no one likes to share and the second place where you can have lots of duplicates and lots of things will go missing! The best way to a clean bathroom is regular cleaning and having separated areas if you share! If you have an en-suite, then make sure you look after it, set your stations up, but as above, keep it clean. Your hygiene ability is amplified by your bathroom!


  • Laundry bag
  • Clothes horse
  • Coat hangers
  • Dustpan and brush
  • Kitchen towel
  • Washing powder/liquid/tablets (n case the washing powder dispenser isn’t working)
  • Door wedge
  • Iron and board

Some may not rate an iron & board, but for those shirts and suits you need, it is a good time to have one! When drying your clothes on the clothes horse, make sure you have a window open, if not all the moisture will stay in your room and can create condensation and/or mold. So be careful.


  • Computer/laptop
  • Bedside lamp
  • Speaker
  • TV – If the accommodation doesn’t have one
  • Headphones
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Extension Lead

Extension leads will help, you may have some sockets in the room, but if you think about all the chargers and leads you have, having x2 extension leads or cables will help you! A speaker is great for relaxing to music or pre drinks, it’s versatile and something you won’t regret taking to University.


  • Dressing gown
  • Slippers
  • T-shirts
  • Jumpers
  • Trousers
  • Shoes/trainers
  • Raincoat
  • Umbrella
  • Flip flops (for wearing in showers/communal wash areas)
  • Swimwear
  • Ball gowns/evening wear (for the Freshers’ Ball)
  • Shirt and tie (for any smart-casual events)

A lot of students worry about what they should take to University and there is no way you can cover every single eventuality. The best way to beat this system is to take things that can double up and are versatile. These will be the daily clothes and then you can items for special events, like dinners and balls if you wish to attend them! It is likely you will buy more while you are at University and you will need places to put them, so don’t take everything! Living the minimalistic lifestyle is the best option here.


  • Pack of cards
  • Any equipment for any sport that you might play
  • Bike to get around if you want to

Fill this section with any hobby equipment you need or have! Mine was hockey so I had lots of hockey stuff to store, wash and keep! 


  • Posters
  • Photos of family and friends
  • Fairylights/disco ball/police light/lava lamp/any other kind of stylish lights
  • Pot plants
  • Blanket (in case it gets really cold).

This is the space you keep when you want to reminisce or feeling a bit low. This will help you remember what’s important to you, keep you going and this will build over time with all the memories you make at University! 


  • Sheets
  • Duvet and duvet covers
  • Pillows and pillowcases
  • Mattress cover

The most important item you will want to take is the mattress cover, it will separate you from any unrecognisable stains and poor hygiene from whoever slept on it before. If you really push the boat out, you can have a winter and summer side to make sure you get full potential! 

It is also worth having about 3 sets of bed sheets because getting them washed and dried in one day is hard work and then you don’t have to rush around. I would always buy another set of pillows, purely because then if you go home for a weekend, you don’t have to take your pillows with you! 

Top Tips

Don’t buy any food until you reach your university and have unpacked everything first, that will give you room in the car to put all the food, you can buy non-perishables, but wait to get the majority of it until you are there! You can even if you wanted to, have a delivery sent the day after you arrive so that you know they will have stocked up cupboards and won’t buy items they don’t need!

Here is an example of UniKitOut

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