Life at UCB through the eyes of our student bloggers

Essential Uni Items for Every Student

Essential Uni Items for Every Student

Hi, everyone! How has your week been?

It’s moving in day tomorrow for some of you, and the start of UCB’s incredible two-week freshers. Whoop, whoop! For anyone panicking about items they may have forgotten to pack, my fellow UCBloggers, Helena and Lucy, both have posts which should help, (just click on their names to go to head to their blogs). No worries if you forgot to buy things either, you’ll be right in the city centre with hundreds of stores on your doorstep, plus you are likely to find flat-mates that have bought something you didn’t.

With two weeks till lectures begin, I started thinking about all the things I need to start getting ready for uni which, to be honest, isn’t too much. The most important thing for me is to make sure I’ve got a place of tranquility and quietness to be able to concentrate on my assignments and avoid any distractions, especially from my dog, Dillon (he follows me around like nobody’s business). If you haven’t done so already, it’s a good idea to start getting your stationery and course equipment/ uniform sorted, so my post today will give you some ideas.


Distractions of all sorts… even adorable ones.

I have to admit, I’m one of those crazy people who love shopping for stationery and uni essentials. If I see pretty notebooks, cute pens and animal sticky notes, I want need them. My obsession teeters on the edge of a hoarding disorder. I’ve mentioned before how important it is to take advantage of student discounts. A lot of websites and stores have special offers at the moment, so it’s worth saving extra while you can.

What I’d recommend buying:


  • Laptop/ iPad/ Tablet: Couldn’t be without my MacBook. If you decide to buy an iPad or tablet, it’s beneficial to get a wireless keyboard, so it’s easier to type notes.
  • Memory stick: Please, please, always back up work! A late night re-write of a 2,000 word essay because your laptop went into meltdown mode is enough to turn the most careless person into an obsessively diligent back-up-erer. I suggest buying one with a bigger storage capacity – 8GB or 16GB are a good start. Amazon, Curry’s, Wilko and Asda all sell inexpensive memory sticks for around £7-£15.
  • Camera: This comes down to personal preference, but for tourism students, I’d put this as a must. We go on course trips – need I say more?! We also have assignments that give you freedom to be creative and using pictures/videos makes your work stand out a little more. It’s totally fine to use phone pictures, but for image quality it’s worth investing in a proper camera, whether it be a point-and-shoot or DSLR. Think of all those uni memories you can capture, too!
  • Headphones: No explanation needed. Headphones in, world out.
  • Insurance: Expensive gadgets need protecting, right?

Amazon have 5% discount with an NUS card and Unidays also have some amazing deals at the moment: 35% of HP products, up to 15% of Apple products and 20% off at Curry’s/PC World. Argos are currently promoting 3 for 2 and NUS offer discounted insurance, (it’s also worth checking with your bank). 



  • Notebook: If you get one thing on this list, let it be this. On second thoughts, you’ll need a pen too…
  • Highlighters: Sometimes, you will make notes, go home and realise what you’ve written makes no sense. My tip? If a teacher emphasises a certain word or tells you to make a note of something important, highlight it.
  • Sticky tabs/post-it notes: Not just for sticking on your mate’s back, use these as bookmarks in textbooks, for referencing.
  • Box file: To keep all-important documents together; passport, student finance letters, bills etc. You’ll thank yourself when it comes to looking for stuff.
  • Arch lever file: File any notes together and separate with dividers for each module… Just don’t take the whole thing to uni – it isn’t needed and will literally weigh you down.
  • Bag: To carry all your junk. I got myself a pretty backpack with a laptop compartment from Surfdome last year (15% discount).
  • Language dictionary: You don’t necessarily need one of these, but I found my Italian book to be quite useful. A mini one is perfectly fine.

Discounts: Paperchase is heaven for stationary geeks. They offer 10% discount, along with Ryman. Ebay and Amazon sell cheap language books, or if not head to Waterstones


To stay organised (and miscellaneous items)

  • Whiteboard: I kid you not, mine has saved my life. I’m quite forgetful so I rely on this to write down something important or things to remember. They are super cheap and can be bought from most places (mine cost £3).
  • Calendar or Diary: A must-have for every student. Jot down deadlines, appointments, bills and dates.
  • Glasses/contacts: I cannot emphasise how important getting your eyes tested is. I regretted not bringing specs to many lectures and had to sit right at the front to see properly. Vision Express have 20% for students and Tesco do free eye testing.
  • Umbrella: Because England.
  • UCB hoodie: Cute, cosy and there’s different colours. Buy from the student guild or at freshers fair – hard to resist!
  • Netflix account: We all need some wind-down time or just for procrastination. Netflix is £6.99 a month, with a month’s free trial.


What to leave in the shops:

  • Printer: Unless you feel like you really need one, personally I wouldn’t bother. UCB students get printing credits and there’s plenty of modern computers and printers. No slow waiting times for us.
  • Textbooks: I can only speak from my own experience here. The UCB library in Summer Row has so many books you can take out and use in the library for reference. We are also so lucky to have e-resources available to us and a lot of books, journals and articles are available to access online from the UCB portal. Unless you are told to buy a specific textbook, I really wouldn’t start looking for books to buy.
  • Folders for every subject: Just don’t. It’s not necessary and most information, assignment details and lecture slides are available on UCB online.

For students who need uniform and equipment specific to their course, you should have already been given information. Fear not if you haven’t, order forms for uniform and equipment will be handed out at Enrolment next week. 

Once again guys, I hope you find this helpful. Enjoy the first week of Freshers and Enrolment and remember to tweet or email me with any questions!

D x

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