The Student Survival Kit

Whether you’re already a student or just about to become one, there are a few essentials that will help you through student life. Aside from all the kitchen utensils, clothes and books that you’ll need, here are a few of the less obvious things to pack this September that will come in handy. A kit like this also doubles up as a thoughtful but cheap present for any fresher you know leaving for uni next month.

uni survival kit

Dry Shampoo: You’ve woken up 20 minutes before your lecture starts but you can still make it if you skip washing your hair – say hello to your new best friend. Having dry shampoo will also make you very popular with your flatmates; expect knocks on your door in the morning from panicked over-sleepers who will no doubt gush how you are ‘literally a lifesaver’.

Painkillers: Students often try to research magic hangover cures, but people, there simply isn’t one. The only thing you can do is take some painkillers, drink lots of water, and pray that all of your lectures have been miraculously cancelled.

Mixed Herbs and Mixed Spices: Apart from some irreplaceable flavours like cinnamon or ginger, I have a general rule that if I want something spicy, I add mixed spices, or if I want something herb-y, I add mixed herbs. I have the rest of my adult life to faff about with bay leaves and star anise.

Condoms: Well, the ‘advice’ element of this blog seems to have just stepped up a gear, considering it looks like I’m about to have ‘the talk’ with you all. Like an awkward dad, I’ll keep it short and sweet. Don’t get preggers. Got it? Good. Awkard hug? No? A pat on the shoulder it is then.

Playing Cards: More precisely, cheap playing cards. That way, when they inevitably get welded together with drink and half the pack goes missing, no harm done. Ring Of Fire anyone?

Cold Paraphernalia: For anyone about to start uni, I’m warning you now – freshers flu is not a myth. And for those that lived through it the first time round, I’ve heard it’s not just a first year thing. Be prepared with everything that you could need, and brace yourself for the cough and sneeze fests that will be your first term lectures.

USB Stick: I have 4 words for you. Back up your work. And yes, I did go on to check it was four words.

A Going Out Purse: You only need cash, ID and maybe your student card when clubbing. When it’s a very real possibility that you could lose your purse, it’s a no brainer not to take with you all the cards you own, plus, clutch bag space is far too valuable.

A LOT of Pens: However many you start out with, you will get to the end of the semester searching for just one pen, any pen, any pen at all!

Earplugs: Whether it’s the noise of clubbers coming home at 3.30am the night before an exam, or whether it’s that ‘enthusiastic’ couple upstairs, there is no such thing as a quiet night in a student area. 

Needle and Thread: One of the biggest parts of student life is being poor. If you can sew up a hole in your jeans or dress, you can consider yourself a domestic goddess.

Student Cards: If you travel home by train, a 16-25 railcard will pay for itself in no time, and an NUS Extra card can be used in hundreds of different shops and restaurants (although a lot of them don’t shout about it, so don’t be afraid to ask).

Trolley Coin: There is nothing worse than trying to do your weekly shop in a basket. Have a trolley coin on your keys and you won’t ever have to do this.

If you are heading into your first year, check out my pal Sophie’s post on surviving your first year at university!

Let me know below what else you would have in your student survival kit!


  1. August 21, 2014 / 3:20 pm

    Aww love this post! Takes me back to being a fresher. Can’t believe I’ve graduated now 🙁 I think the mixed herbs and spices and the needle and thread ones are so true.
    Absolute necessities! Xxx

    Sarah Nunn | UK Style Blog

    • Emily
      August 21, 2014 / 3:39 pm

      Aw thank you! Ha yeah, I wish we could just be students forever! And yeah, my friends would ask me to sew up their things too because I was just so darn prepared 😉 xxx

  2. August 21, 2014 / 3:28 pm

    Heh love this! Always those little things that you forget about. It was awhile since I was a student now but I still forget some of this stuff now! x

    Jasmin Charlotte

    • Emily
      August 21, 2014 / 3:41 pm

      Yeah they are good to have! And a lot of them are things you might not think about beforehand. Glad you liked the post! x

  3. August 21, 2014 / 5:04 pm

    just about to start my second year, definitely agree with all of these! love your writing style! 😀

    • Emily
      August 22, 2014 / 6:41 am

      Aw thank you! I’m about to go into my second year too, and these essentials are still handy! Glad you liked the post 🙂 x

    • Emily
      August 22, 2014 / 6:42 am

      Thank you! And don’t be silly haha, let me know when it’s up I’d love to have a read 😀 xx

  4. August 22, 2014 / 7:12 am

    Great post! I’m actually putting something like this together for my sister as she’s starting uni next month too 🙂

    • Emily
      August 22, 2014 / 7:30 am

      Thanks Holly! Aw that is such a cute idea! Good luck to your sister!

  5. August 23, 2014 / 1:09 pm

    All of these items are so essential! Especially dry shampoo! I wouldn’t have lasted through uni without it. In first year I was so happy to have ear buds as our flats had doorbells and drunken people just love to piss off sleeping people.

    Emma x
    Writing Essays With Wine

    • Emily
      September 6, 2014 / 11:19 am

      Yes so did ours! Ear plugs are a must if you’re living in halls I think! And yes dry shampoo is a life saver!

  6. August 25, 2014 / 7:46 pm

    I’ve nominated you for the Liebster Award – you can find all of the rules and questions on my blog. I look forward to your post. :3 ♥

  7. August 26, 2014 / 8:23 am

    Yep – this is the essential kit. Does make me wish I was back at Uni now though – seems too long ago for my liking!

Let me know what you think!