Returning to University: Your 2020 Checklist

August 2020 by


Going back to university usually entails your car being full to the brim with bags of clothes, pots, pans and everything else. It’s hard to remember everything you need and depending on how far away you’re travelling, turning back to go and get something may not be an option! If it’s your first year at university, you might be feeling slightly nervous too. There are lots of things to prepare for and hopefully, this checklist will have you feeling ready in no time!

Bedroom Essentials

The first thing you’ll look forward to when going to uni is settling into your new room. It’s exciting getting to move into a new place and being able to decorate it how you want it. If you’re struggling to plan ahead, here’s everything you’ll need for your bedroom:

  • Bedding – including duvet, covers, sheets, pillowcases and pillows.
  • Hangers – lots of them (you never know how many new things you’ll be buying!)
  • A doorstop – this is particularly useful for staying social with your housemates.
  • Washing basket – you don’t want it piling up on the chair!
  • Laundry products – washing powder, fabric softener etc.
  • A throw/blanket – to keep you cosy!
  • Small mirror – cmon, we know you’ll want to look at yourself.
  • A rug – completely optional but it can help with the ‘homely’ feel.
  • Clothes horse – great if you don’t want to use the university dryers!
  • Photos – freeprints is a student fave!

These are just some of the main essentials for your bedroom. You might want to add a few things like fairy lights etc to make it look even better but these are the essentials you’ll need for the year!

Kitchen Essentials

Probably where most of your items will be going is is the kitchen. They are so many tools you might fancy bringing for your year ahead, especially if you like to cook! Occasionally you might find yourself sharing between housemates which can make life much easier in the long run. However, if you’re going into the first year you can’t trust they’ll have what you need so be prepared just in case! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A cutlery set – some tend to go missing throughout the year so it’s great to have a larger amount.
  • A chopping board
  • A sharp knife
  • Scissors
  • Plates, bowls & mugs – Sometimes it’s easier to get sets. Also, if they’re matching it’s easier to know they’re yours! Students are known for stealing other peoples!
  • A spatula
  • A bottle opener
  • Some glasses
  • Tupperware
  • A whisk
  • Baking tray
  • Oven gloves
  • Tea towel – these often get passed around the kitchen!
  • Bin bags
  • Tinfoil
  • Cling film
  • Washing up liquid & a sponge
  • Pans or a wok – Top Tip! Check out if your accommodation has an induction stove, as this will save you the disappointment of finding out your pans won’t heat up.

We know, it’s a long list, but this should keep you prepared for any future kitchen nightmares!

Bathroom Essentials

For the most part, this list will seem fairly obvious. However, there are a few things you probably haven’t considered and they’re definitely important. Check it out:

  • Towels – both bath & hand
  • Flannel
  • Hand soap
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Shampoo & conditioner
  • Shower gel
  • Hairbrush
  • Toilet roll
  • Shaving cream and a razor
  • Sanitary products
  • Hairdryer
  • Flip flops – in case you’re sharing a bathroom!
  • Tweezers
  • Nail clippers
  • Medication e.g. paracetamol or personal medication.

That covers the essentials for bathrooms. Of course, you may have way more like makeups, lotions and serums! But with these, you can’t go wrong!

Essential Documents

While being at university it’s important to have all the documents you may need, as you never know what situation you could be faced with. You may need to provide identification, particularly if you decide to get a part-time job. Some uni accommodations will also ask you to bring your official uni acceptance letter alongside your qualification certificates. Here’s a guide as to what may be useful:

  • Valid passport
  • Valid driving license
  • Acceptance letters – for the university and also your course
  •  Student finance documents
  • Qualification certificates
  • Student discount cards
  • History of vaccinations
  • Bursary or scholarship documents
  • Bank card
  • Accommodation contract

These can be crucial, so it’s worth bringing it along just in case.

Essential Gadgets and Electrical’s

Living in a modern world, these are things we’d struggle without. Most submissions these days are online so you need to be prepared, but don’t stress if you can’t bring them, you can use the university library too. Here are our suggestions for your school year:

  • Laptop
  • Chargers – both portable and plug-in
  • Printer & ink – not a complete essential but it is something that is often brought along by students
  • Speakers – for all those wild parties you could be throwing!
  • A memory stick
  • Extension leads – in case you don’t have many plug sockets
  • Earphones/Headphones

Stationery Essentials

Tragically, the main reason you’re at university is to work! This means packing everything you need to do so whether that’s writing notes or flicking through textbooks. You’ll need it all! Take a look:

  • Pens & pencils
  • A rubber
  • A ruler
  • Pencil case
  • Ring-binders
  • Highlighters
  • Notepads
  • Post-it notes
  • Calculator – depending on your course this might be less important.
  • Course books – best to buy second hand if you want to save some money!
  • Stapler & staples

Clothes Essentials

Although these are essentials, it can definitely vary from person to person. Everyone’s style is different so wear whatever you feel most comfortable in, but for some inspo we’d suggest:

  • T-shirts
  • Jumpers
  • Tops
  • Pyjamas
  • Underwear
  • Sweatshirts
  • Formal clothes
  • Jeans
  • Dresses
  • Skirts/shorts
  • Tights
  • Coats – for rainy & cold weather (this is England after all!).
  • Socks
  • Shoes – Trainers, heels & formal
  • Slippers
  • Backpack/handbag – maybe also a clutch for nights out
  • Swimming & gym kit
  • Gloves & Scarves

So, this should be all you need to prepare for the big move to university! Remember to prepare for all weathers, you might be moving in during autumn but spring will be here before you know it!

This should be just about everything you need when returning to university or even going for the first time. It can be daunting but if you’re prepared it will be a million times easier. Of course, if you forget anything – don’t panic! You can always buy it once you get there. Let us know your uni essentials below!



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