02 September 2021
4 min read
The Essential Student Packing List

Whether you are a returning student or starting your university career this year – one thing is for sure, if you haven’t already, you will soon be stocking up on essentials. To help you remember everything you might need, we have put together a list of all the essentials, as well as some home comforts you should pack, so if you are moving far from home, or just up the road – it will feel like you never left…

Tech & Study Essentials

  • Laptop & Strong Case – Whatever your budget will stretch to here, spend it. We recommend buying a laptop as powerful and up to date as you can. Similarly, the case you buy is going to take a beating travelling into campus and on public transport, so try to buy something that is rigid. We know the neoprene sleeves might look cool, but we assure you it’s going to work hard over your student years protecting all of the study material on your computer.
  • Large Storage USB Stick – As above, spend as much as you can, and the more storage the better. Especially in an easily transportable stick.
  • Headphones – Whether you’re listening to podcasts on the long walk into lectures, or blasting tunes in the campus gym, we promise you’ll be using headphones on the daily. Noise-cancelling ones would also be the best investment if you’re trying to study in a loud environment.
  • Stationery – You might prefer to make notes on your laptop, however, it’s still worth starting uni with a basic kit of stationery. As a minimum we suggest a notepad with various sections for each module, writing pens and highlighters, post-it's, and a diary.
  • Hard Drive – As we said earlier there will be no such thing as too much storage, and these are great to keep on your desk to regularly update your computer – trust us, your hard graft is worth protecting.

Home Comforts

  • Bedding – Something as small as your bedding that you’re used to sleeping in at home can really make you feel more comforted at uni. Even better, why not buy the same laundry products as you have at home, so it smells familiar too!
  • Photos – You can frame them, stick them on a notice board, peg them to a string of fairy lights, or whatever other creative ideas you might have. A constant reminder of your loved ones really helps get you through trickier days away from them.
  • Throws & Cushions – Cosying up your room can make a massive difference to whether you want to be in it or not, so choose some soft furnishings in the style you like to dress the room with.

The Boring ‘Practical’ Stuff

  • Medicine – If you’re taking anything regularly, stay stocked up whilst at uni and maybe also pack some painkillers, plasters, and antiseptic cream just in case.
  • Towels – Not a particularly fun purchase (unless you choose neon leopard print!) but necessary all the same. We’d advise buying 3-4 so that you can rotate whilst washing etc.
  • Toiletries – The basics you’ll need are shower gel, shampoo, toothpaste and brush, deodorant, razor and a wash bag to cart it all around when you visit your mates’ or take a trip home.
  • Clothes For All Seasons – This and the next point sort of go hand in hand, as the reason you’ll need a tonne of storage is because you need to have clothing, outerwear, and shoes for every weather (especially if you’re studying in Manchester!). You might also want to bring a few options for fancy dress as we can almost guarantee there will be plenty of occasions to wear it.
  • Storage – Vacuum storage bags are great and can shove under the bed easily enough and using stacked storage boxes as a bedside would hold loads that you might not need to access every day.

Kitchen Must-Haves

  • The Basics – Sounds obvious, but as a minimum, you’ll need crockery, glasses, cutlery, and a couple of decent knives and saucepans. How much you need to buy all of those things depends on the basis of your accommodation. Take our advice though and buy more than you think, as you’re not going to want to be washing up when you could be in the pub, ahem, I mean library.
  • Cleaning Products – Start off with buying a surface spray, some cloths, washing up liquid (or dishwater tablets if your place is fancy!), binbags, and air freshener. You don’t want to be getting ill from surfaces that haven’t been cleaned in months, it might be boring but adulting sometimes is!
  • Tools & Accessories – Scissors, a bottle opener, a grater, a sieve, a chopping board, spatulas, wooden spoons, baking trays, tea towels… We could go on. None of these bits are expensive but can be essential, so make sure they’re on your list.

Whether you’re embarking on your first year at university, or returning for your second, third, or even fourth year, we hope this list will help you keep track of everything you’ve packed, and those last bits you might have forgotten.

Once you’ve moved in, check out our article about how to make your new pad less basic, and more of a home for the year; and if we’ve missed anything off the list that you feel is a student must-have, then do give us a shout, otherwise good luck for your upcoming year of study!

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