Five Must Have Items You'll Need Before Heading to University

Never invest in cheap toilet roll.

James Sproston
4th August 2017

Whilst summer is still in full swing, it won't be long before first semester will shortly be upon us. Other than your standard items, here’s a few things to consider before jumping in the car and heading off to your chosen institution.



Other than pens, rulers and paper there are a number of things you shouldn’t forget to bring. The first being folders. Some people use them, some people don’t, but I’m confident you can guess who the more organised of the two is. Admittedly different courses and modules will require more paper than others, so lever-arch files are preferable to ring binders due to their greater note capacity. When it comes to revision, highlighters of every possible colour are useful, and so are a pack of Staedtler fineliners. If you’re a Geographer, like myself, I’d advise taking your Crayola set just in case. As much as you try to suppress that inner artist, you’ll come to embrace it when the inevitable sketches of plate boundaries need a lick of colour.

Toilet Roll

toilet roll

I’m sure most will agree that toilet roll is pretty essential part of life, so you’re going to need some. My point here is not to bring one roll and rely on multiple shopping trips to replenish your supply. I say this because sharing toilet roll purchasing responsibilities can be a faff you can do without, after all who wants to fall out with flatmates over whose turn it is to buy the next packet? My top tip is to take a massive pack of rolls with you. The size will depend on how many you’ll be sharing a toilet with, and be mindful whether you’ll be sharing with girls or boys – lasses go through rolls like they’ll go through your secret stash of Maltesers. It may well also depend on your diet (I’d take extra if you’re planning on cooking vindaloo three times a week), but each bowl of bran flakes should be balanced out by the occasional salad. From my own experience, I took a pack of 18 and that lasted three lads a term, but that was cutting it fine plus no one had diarrhoea so it’s up to your discretion.



Freshers’ Week isn’t going to be one of your best weeks at uni. To make the most of it you’ll want optimum stamina, starting with a swift recovery from the night before. This is why I’d advise taking a large supply of paracetamol and ibuprofen. At most universities, Freshers’ Week involves a number of activities in the daytime, but unsurprisingly there’s rarely a great turnout. Some of these events can actually be great fun, and a good way to bond with new people, so dragging yourself out of bed is well worth the effort. And you’ll want to remember at least some of it.



Throughout Freshers’ there’ll be a barrage of people swapping numbers and making group chats. The key to most of these is WhatsApp. In my first week I was added to six groups, including one for a flat in an accommodation on the other side of campus. Although I hastily left that specific group the next day, most of the communication within my flat and block was done on WhatsApp, if not in person. And it can be useful for organising people who live in different parts of the university. Put simply, if you don’t have WhatsApp, you’ll be out of the loop.



Before you go to university, getting an overdraft is paramount. If you don’t get a full maintenance loan, are overlooked for the bursaries, or end up in rather pricey accommodation funds and daddy isn’t prepared to open up his wallet, funds may be hard to come by. An overdraft is an ideal way to stretch your social life that little bit further, and most student bank accounts have other perks; I’m aware that Santander offer a Railcard, HSBC offer free music downloads and Lloyds customers can get a free NUS Extra card. If anything, an overdraft is reassuring to have as a safety net, but for the love of God don’t exceed it.

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