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Essentials for every university student

Updated August 10, 2017

Heading off to university for the first time is an exciting new experience. The coming years are going to provide lots of new challenges, but they'll be a little easier if you have all the equipment you need to begin your university career. This list of essentials covers a few of the basics every student should have before heading off to uni.

Cold and flu medication

It doesn't seem like an academic essential, but a supply of cold and flu medication can come in handy in the first few months of university. Being in the presence of thousands of new people and their germs can hit new students with a potent "Fresher's Flu" -- and the first few months of your university career are no time to be stuffy-headed and sleepless.

Laptop computer

Although your university will provide computing facilities, having your own computer will be a huge asset. You'll be able to work on your essays or coursework in the comfort of your room or favourite coffee shop, take notes on lectures and communicate with friends and family easily.

Computer accessories

A computer is a useful thing to take to university, but it'll be even more useful with a few additional pieces of kit. A printer is very handy, and a USB data stick is a good way to transfer information between computers even if you can't connect to the internet.

The bare essentials - a cup of tea

Some student halls of residence provide the things you'll need to cook, but others leave you more or less on your own for survival. A few essentials such as a kettle, a toaster and a few simple pots and pans, as well as plates and other cutlery, can make a huge difference. You may not know how to cook when you leave for university, but a few months of university food will motivate you to learn -- and no student functions well without the occasional cup of tea!

Hit the books

If you're going into engineering or architecture, you'll need specialised drawing equipment, but students in all subjects need a wide range of basic stationery. Pens, pencils and notebooks are an important part of any student's arsenal. In addition, think about how you're going to file your work early in the year. If you start organising just before exams, you'll be too late.

Wakey, wakey...

If this is your first time away from home, you may find it hard to get up and get motivated in the mornings. One invaluable asset for anyone with 9 am lectures to get to is a loud, irritating alarm clock. Find an alarm clock that makes you want to jump out of your skin when it goes off. Set it just out of arm's reach to help you through those difficult first months.

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About the Author

Dr James Holloway has been writing about games, geek culture and whisky since 1995. A former editor of "Archaeological Review from Cambridge," he has also written for Fortean Times, Fantasy Flight Games and The Unspeakable Oath. A graduate of Cambridge University, Holloway runs the blog Gonzo History Gaming.