The time is almost here – your opportunity to finally leave the nest and become truly independent! But the question is, what should you take along with you on the day you move out? University accommodation is usually basic, but also small, so while you need to be equipped, you won’t want to be carrying excess baggage! Use our helpful advice below to make sure you’ll have all the essentials covered!

essential items for your first year at university


This can be a tricky area. If you’re sharing a kitchen, it’s likely that you’ll end up doubling or tripling up on some items. But be sure to take essentials such as mugs, cutlery, crockery, saucepans, a frying pan, a cheese grater, baking tray, wooden spoon, sharp knife and chopping board. These should set you up whether you’re a beans on toast kind of person or a wannabe Gordon Ramsey! Find out from your uni what equipment will be included with your kitchen already – this might save you ending up with too many toasters or kettles!


You’ll usually find that your student room comes with a single bed, wardrobe, desk and chair. And maybe some kind of pin board. You’ll need to supply your own bedding (definitely take more than one set of sheets!), as well as any decorative accessories you’d like to have around. A lamp could be useful, and a clothes horse could stop you spending all your student loan on tumble drying. Photos of friends and family can also help to make your sparse room feel more like home!


What items do you use in your bathroom at home? Unless you’re planning on radically changing your personal hygiene routine, you’ll probably need to take the same items with you when you leave! Make sure you have enough towels, as you’ll have to wash them at some point. A first aid kit including painkillers could win you some friends when the inevitable hangover kicks in. Also ensure you have a good supply of any medications you take on a regular basis to avoid running out!

essential items for your first year at university


We are living in a digital world, and certain electricals are a must! A laptop could be the most invaluable piece of technology you take with you on your new university adventure, as computers that aren’t in use are often difficult to find on campus. Extension leads can be life savers, as can power banks, chargers and headphones. Don’t worry about USB sticks; yes, they’re useful, but you’ll probably come back from the fresher’s fair with an armful!


You’re a student, right? That’s a job requiring a well-stocked stationery drawer, or cupboard if you’re going about it particularly enthusiastically. There are some essentials you’ll need such as pens, pencils, highlighters, paper, and course textbooks. Other items, like paperclips, might feel necessary now, but will you actually use them, or will they be moving house with you well into your thirties? That one’s up to you.


There are certain documents that you really should make sure you take along. Forms of ID are important, including passport and driving licence, as you’ll probably get asked for them at some point. Take all correspondence from both your university and the student loans company – you never know, you might need them. Don’t forget your bank card, because you’ll need money. Passport photos can also come in useful!


essential items for your first year at university

I’m sure you currently wear clothes! Unless you’re planning a complete wardrobe revamp, you’ll probably do best taking the clothes you usually wear along with you. Make sure you also have some gear for going out, including formal wear for events such as the fresher’s ball. While you’ll need to be prepared for different occasions, you’ll have to be clever with your packing to avoid taking too much!

Packing to leave home for the first time can be a difficult task to negotiate. But remember, university towns and cities will have every amenity you might need – so if you find you’ve forgotten anything, it shouldn’t be too hard to replace it once you’re there! It might even give you an opportunity to get to know your new home a little better.

Another thing you might want to consider taking with you is student insurance to help protect your belongings! At The Insurance Emporium, our Student Insurance policies come with cover for Contents up to £5,000* as standard. There are also a range of Optional Benefits to choose from such as Gadgets And Mobile Phones, Personal Belongings and Valuables. You could even grab a 30% discount!^ Head to The Insurance Emporium to find out more!  

* Cover for Contents up to £5,000 available on lunar monthly policies.

^ The 30% discount is made up of 20% Introductory Discount plus 10% Student Discount (if appropriate). The Introductory Discount is available for the first 12 premium payments on lunar and calendar monthly policies or one premium payment on annual policies.

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