6 Unexpectedly vital things to pack for your first term at university

Don't just pack the obvious - some often-forgotten home comforts can do wonders in helping you settle in to your term-time home

Charlie Nicholson
Monday 28 August 2017 11:53 BST

With A-level results in hand, thousands of students across the country will soon be planning their time at university as the next big step.

If you’re moving out for the first time, it’s normal to want to make sure you’re prepared for every eventuality. But while cutlery, shower gel and your trusty ID are likely topping your list, you might want to consider taking some add-ons to help you acclimatise to your first few months away.

Trust us, you won't have thought of them all...


Fresher’s week can leave you with some heartwarming stories. Marathoning Netflix series with new friends, wobbling your way home after a night of drinks n’ dance, blasting the Disney soundtrack with your flatmates in the kitchen at 2am...

But once the Fresher’s hype dies down, you’ll more than likely want to take time to recover. If the rest of your student halls are determined to be crowned party-central, having a way to dull the noise can really save you your sanity.

Nocturnal working and caffeine obsession may be a well-worn student trope, but trust me. It’s not the happiest lifestyle for revision.


If you’ve got friends who are already at university, chances are you’ve heard them curse the scourges of ‘Freshers’ Flu’.

It’s true; after a full week of flaring discos and vodka-infused housewarmings, welcome week commonly results in feeling quite under the weather. Once grogginess strikes and lectures begin, you might feel in need of a pick-me-up before heading to your first lecture on a Monday.

Paracetamol or aspirin will work to similar effect, but swaddling yourself in blankets with a hot, lemony beverage appears much more comforting when you’re feeling ill.


If there’s one thing university lectures are great at, it’s deluging students with reams of information.

Often, this information is handily written down, but as most full-time students study three different modules each semester, you’ll quickly find yourself wading through a muddled compendium of email addresses, course descriptions and homework deadlines.

It’s good to dedicate a folder to each module you’ll be studying, but bear in mind you’ll likely have medical notes, accommodation documents and careers information to take care of too.

You might also want to make a little "black book" of contact details you pick up along the way - by this we mean using pen and paper, not just your phone.

Food Containers

Balancing tutorials, events and recreational activities doesn’t always leave you with bundles of time.

When you get home late with your stomach growling for sustenance, having a quick means for cooking dinner can make life a lot easier. It's also much healthier and cost effective than a takeaway.

The benefits of a good tupperware collection are (almost) endless. Use them to carry a packed lunch with you to uni so you're not tempted by the burger bar at the canteen, or cook up a big vat of spag bol or soup and save batches in the freezer for later in the week.

This may not be what your mum bought them for, but you'll find they also make a great last minute punch-bowl for flat parties...

A door stop

Not the most obvious item on the list, but this little gem could be the saviour of your social life.

It's clear the average university bedroom is designed with health and safety in mind - this means fire doors that slam shut at every corner.

While we're not advocating going against the rules as such, the ability to keep your door open in the first few days especially can help let housemates know you're a friendly person open to conversation.

A Funny Hat

Okay, not necessarily a hat. While meeting people from different walks of life can be one of the most exciting things about moving to university, some students find it difficult to break the ice with their flatmates.

The initial meet-and-greet may at first seem daunting, but nothing quite diffuses the tension like a novelty item. Whether it’s the Guinness hat you wore on St. Paddy’s, or that bizarro jumper your Nan got you last Christmas, if you’re stuck for conversation-starters, bringing along something striking can really help…well, strike up a conversation.

Maybe leave the banana costume for laundry day, though.

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