Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Get ahead in education

If you’re off to University soon, already there, or know someone who’s going (stop weeping parents!) then you need to know about student survival kits. If you’re a friend or relative, these make an excellent gift, even if they’ve gone off to Uni already you can send it as a care package! It’s basically going to be made up of all the things you need as a student, but might not realise you’ll need or factor in money for before you go.
What have you bought for Uni? Probably copious amounts of alcohol, a new toothbrush, some new clothes and maybe a towel. Great start, but you’re going to need more than that. Have you bought a new laptop yet? The Chromebook is an awesome, cheap little companion with some incredible deals on right now. And I can almost guarantee you’ll get Fresher’s Flu over your first two weeks there – it turns out meeting so many new people in such confined spaces really hits your immune system hard. So have you got some cold and flu tablets? A hot water bottle? Tea bags and Netflix?
Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. We’ve already written a post with our 15 money saving tips for students which gives a good list of ideas for how to save money when you’re at Uni, so if you’ve forgotten any of these things you should have the money to get them. If you’re reading this early enough though, make sure you get your stocks up before you leave… Or if you’re a relative, now you’ll have some great leaving gift ideas! I’ve split them into categories for an easier way of seeing what’s what. The best student survival kit would take a few things from each category – so choose wisely!


  1. A First Aid Kit – Accidents happen, it’s best to be prepared. Make sure it includes plasters.
  2. Paracetamol + Ibuprofen – You’ll thank me after your first night out.
  3. Cold + Flu Medicine – Fresher’s Flu. Especially horrible when you have lectures at the same time as Freshers week (I’m looking at you Warwick Uni…)
  4. Throat sweets – For the inevitable sore throat from a combination of the flu, and shouting on nights out.
  5. Condoms
  6. A pack of cards – Most of your drinking games will involve them, trust me.
  7. Face paint – You’ll go on so many fancy dress nights out, it’d be worth investing in an outfit too.
  8. Glowsticks
  9. Emergency £20
  10. Alcohol - If you’re a friend / family member, giving little shot sized bottles of spirits is a great gift idea.
  11. Netflix – While you’re feeling like death the day after the night before, you’ll want something to watch.
  12. Doorstop – Propping your door open when you first move in really helps with meeting people.
  13. Disinfectant wipes 


  1. Pot Noodles – Or any cheap packet noodles, sometimes the cheaper ones taste even
  2. Tea bags / Coffee / Hot Chocolate / Sugar - If you have hot chocolate you’ll be loved by EVERYONE.
  3. Toaster – Could you even live without toast? Luckily we have some great toaster deals with cashback right now (for as low as £5!).
  4. Baked Beans – Be prepared for the last few weeks before your next student loan instalment.
  5. Chocolate & Biscuits
  6. Pasta / Rice
  7. Breakfast bars
  8. Herbs and spices - No good at cooking? It’s fine, you’ll still thank me for these when you’re struggling to make beans on toast look appetising after making them for the 9th time that week.
  9. A Kettle – Unless you want to be making your tea with the saucepan, grab yourself a kettle deal from Scoperks.
  10. Ready meals – Especially ones you can freeze.
  11. Gift voucher for the nearest supermarket – Parents, this is a great way to ensure that £20 you wanted to lend them to make sure they’re eating isn’t spent on clothes. Though you can’t make sure they don’t spend it on alcohol…


  1. A USB stick – You’ll be taking files to and from campus a lot, maybe one that you can pop onto a keyring might do the job to make sure you don’t forget it.
  2. Post-It Notes
  3. Folders (at least 5)
  4. Notebooks
  5. Pens
  6. Felt-tips – Really good for revision.
  7. Paperclips
  8. Paper hole-puncher
  9. Stapler
  10. Dictaphone – This is basically a sound recorder. You can get one for as cheap as £20 from Scoperks, and you’ll be so grateful for it when it comes to revision time and you can’t read your own notes. Make sure you get you lecturer’s permission before recording though.
  11. Alarm clock – To stop that ‘oh I forgot to put my phone on charge so the alarm never went off this morning’ excuse for missing lectures. Get a great deal on an alarm clock from Scoperks.
  12. 20p pieces – For those awful washing machines that don’t take normal change.
  13. Energy drinks
  14. Blutac
  15. Pins – In case you’re not allowed to bluetac things to the walls.


  1. Pictures from home – Popping one in a frame is a nice touch.homesick-student-survival-kit
  2. Letters – From close family / friends, always get them hand-written.
  3. Phone top-up card – If they you have a pay as you go phone.
  4. Skype names of family members – This will take a bit of effort to sign them all up to Skype and show them how to work a webcam and microphone before-hand, but it’ll be worth it!
  5. A book or teddy from childhood – You can stuff this in a drawer if you’re embarrassed, but there’ll come a time that you’ll be grateful for it.
  6. Motivational pictures and quotes – Extra points if the quotes are hand-written from friends and family.
  7. Mini box of nice chocolates


  1. Mini manicure set
  2. Eye mask
  3. Travel toothpaste / shampoo / conditioner – For those times you run out, or get the extra fancy hair products you wouldn’t normally be able to afford for the days you need a bit of a boost.
  4. Makeup wipes
  5. Face masks
  6. Multivitamins
  7. An airer for your clothes

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