So you’re heading to university soon, congrats. Everyone says it’s a life changing experience- and maybe they’re right- but the the truth is the more prepared you are, the better the experience will be. To make your life easy I’ve compiled a list of uni essentials.
Having a laptop means convenience- you can work in your room instead of having to rely solely on the computers in the campus library. When buying a laptop you
preferably want something lightweight that you can easily carry around campus. If your laptop is quite heavy- you can opt for a tablet; by design they are generally lighter than laptops and usually cheaper too.
Take precautions and make sure you buy protective cases and screen covers for your gadgets too!
Data Back Up
A hard drive can be used to back up your computer’s contents and that of your USB’s just in case you lose the data on either. Other alternatives to a solid hard drive could be by using online forms such as iCloud, Microsoft’s One Drive, Dropbox or Google Drive.
These are useful for keeping yourself organized and sticking to deadlines.
Post-it notes are a great way to remind yourself of things you need to do urgently. They can also be used to write summaries of chapters or key quotes needed for essays and revision.
Post-It tabs are good for bookmarking important pages for future reference; they can be labeled too. This is handy especially for library books which you have to avoid writing on or folding pages.
An A3 paper sketchpad is great way to brainstorm ideas or make collages presentation posters.
Academic calendars are useful especially if your commitments transcend your studies e.g. volunteering, part-time job(s) or society events.
This card allows you to get 33% any National Rail ticket you book which is very useful for any students that are studying long distance. It also makes it cheaper to visit friends studying too! The railcard comes with two options; the year long card- which is 30 pounds- and the three year card- which is 70 pounds. The rail card also entitles you to discounts from restaurants, theatres and other experiences.
Santander offers a four year free railcard to all their student account holders.
Accidents happen. One day you can be drunk and accidentally smash your phone. Or your tablet may accidentally slip off your desk. To avoid hassle in such ‘what if’ situations it’s good to have your important possessions insured. This means they can be replaced fairly quickly; which is a relief especially if what is damaged is very valuable. Endsleigh are the most popular provider of insurance for students; they even offer discounts if you insure more than one item with them.
Most student accommodation will automatically come with contents insurance but it is good to double check just in case. Contents insurance means you are covered if anything is stolen from your room, or maybe even damaged e.g. by leakage or flooding.
Uni Days app/ NUS card
The NUS card can be used as a form of ID and enables you to get multiple discounts. It is 12 pounds a year but a portion of this money goes back to your university’s Student Union to help fund it. Unidays on the other hand, is free! It doesn’t have as much discounts as the NUS card but the little offers it does have are quite varied.
Many times just carrying your university ID with you to shops will also get you offers; but not as many as you would get with Unidays or the NUS card.
Student Bank Account
Upgrading your bank account to a student one is vital. There are many banks to choose from, but remember you can only have one student bank account, which is intended to receive your maintenance loan. You have two main options when choosing an account; you can either upgrade your current bank account. Or you can choose a different bank to hold your student account. The great thing about these types of accounts is that you aren’t charged interest if you go into your overdraft.
Many websites such as savethestudent.com offer useful comparison guides to help you choose what bank is best. Things to look out for would include the overdraft maximum, the interest charged on the money in the account and the incentive offered by the bank. For example, NatWest offer a coach card to all student account holders which give them discount over National Express coaches.
Other bits and bobs
In terms of other household things such as drying racks and kitchen utensils; the best thing to do is buy them the first day you move in to your accommodation. This means you avoid buying things in London and transporting them to Leeds, for example, when you could have just bought them all in Leeds.
Documents such as your passport or birth certificate and NI documents may prove useful; so take those along if possible.