Freshers: What Do You Really Need For Your First Year at University?


If you’re going to be a ‘fresher’ or first-year student at university this September, have you given some thought about what you’re going to need? You might have the long, sprawling summer ahead of you, but the reality is this time will be over in the blink of an eye, and before you know it you’ll be ready to start this brand new chapter of your life. As with starting anything new it can be incredibly daunting, but getting organised and spending time preparing will make you feel far more control and on top of things. We all know that things like textbooks and stationery are essential, but what else do you need to take to university?

A Reliable Computer and Printer

Most libraries at university are open 24/7, so perfect if you need to cram in some last minute revision the night before an exam. However, during busy periods the library can get very hectic and with lots of people coming and going it might not the ideal space for every piece you have to write. When you’re moving to university, your own reliable laptop or computer is crucial, and a printer is definitely something you don’t want to be without. Each piece of coursework you do will have to be printed out and submitted to the coursework submission office. When you don’t have your own printer, it can be extremely stressful. Not only will it mean trekking to the library to print, but you also have to battle with a tonne of other students trying to do the exact same thing. Again, around coursework and exam time it can be carnage so do yourself a favour and bring your own!

Comfy Clothes For All Seasons

You might start off wanting to look your very best for your classes, but you’ll soon realise that university isn’t a fashion show. When you’re hungover from too much cheap booze at the student union, it’s generally a case of throw on whatever is presentable and drag yourself to class. Take things that are comfortable, and you feel good in. Chances are you’ll be doing a lot of walking to and from your classes (since university buildings can be spread all the way across a town or city) so good footwear is a must. A coat and winter warmers might not be the first thing that springs to mind when you’re packing your case in warm September, but the weather will quickly cool down as term starts.


University accommodation is notoriously small, and to live there for the best part of the year, you’re going to need a lot of stuff. So to make the most of every inch you have, invest in some good storage. Your room will come complete with a bed and desk but things like plastic storage drawers, hanging wardrobe storage and over door hooks can all be useful. If you’re really short on space, you could look into self storage for students available in the local area and put some of your items in a lockup. That way you can switch them out later in the year if needed, and saves you having to traipse your possessions to and from home. Without parents around nagging you to keep the place clean it’s easy for chaos to ensue, but keeping organised is key to your success and well as happiness.


Dining on a uni budget can be pretty grim. But starting off with some essentials will really keep you going, allow you to cook cheap meals for many months and can generally make life easier. Some store cupboard basics like big bags of pasta and rice, tins of vegetables and beans and some herbs and spices will keep for the whole year. Great to dip into whenever you’re short on cash.

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