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.
New: UniSOS Student Survival Box
We’ve partnered with our friends over at UniSOS.co.uk who offer a Student Survival Kit containing a bunch of the items listed on this page, and much more. With a price tag at just under £45 they’ve thrown in some great things you never knew you needed – check it out here!
If you can’t be bothered to read the whole thing you can just use these buttons to skip to the list you’re here for:Freshers Survival Kit Food Student Survival Kit Working Student Survival Kit Homesick Student Survival Kit Beauty Student Survival Kit
or check out the 179 University Essentials You’ll Hate To Forget
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 to work on yet, something portable like a Chromebook? 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. I’ve already shown you the 179 University essentials you’d hate to forget to pack, and given you a free printable University checklist in that post, so make sure you check it out before you read this!
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!
FRESHERS STUDENT SURVIVAL KIT
- A First Aid Kit – Accidents happen, it’s best to be prepared. Make sure it includes plasters.
- Paracetamol + Ibuprofen – You’ll thank me after your first night out.
- 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…)
- Throat sweets – For the inevitable sore throat from a combination of the flu, and shouting on nights out.
- A pack of cards – Most of your drinking games will involve them, trust me.
- Face paint – You’ll go on so many fancy dress nights out, it’d be worth investing in an outfit too.
- Emergency £20
- Alcohol – If you’re a friend / family member, giving little shot sized bottles of spirits is a great gift idea.
- Netflix – While you’re feeling like death the day after the night before, you’ll want something to watch.
- Doorstop – Propping your door open when you first move in really helps with meeting people.
- Disinfectant wipes
FOOD STUDENT SURVIVAL KIT
- Pot Noodles – Or any cheap packet noodles, sometimes the cheaper ones taste even better.
- Tea bags / Coffee / Hot Chocolate / Sugar – If you have hot chocolate you’ll be loved by EVERYONE.
- Toaster – Could you even live without toast?
- Baked Beans – Be prepared for the last few weeks before your next student loan instalment.
- Chocolate & Biscuits
- Pasta / Rice
- Breakfast bars
- 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.
- A Kettle – Unless you want to be making your tea with the saucepan, grab yourself a kettle deal quick..
- Ready meals – Especially ones you can freeze.
- 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…
WORKING STUDENT SURVIVAL KIT
- 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.
- Post-It Notes
- Folders (at least 5)
- A Laptop – Take a look at what I thought was the best laptop for under £500, and also the best budget laptops of 2015 if you’re after a new one!
- Paper hole-puncher
- Dictaphone – This is basically a sound recorder. You can get one for as cheap as £20, 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.
- 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.
- 20p pieces – For those awful washing machines that don’t take normal change.
- Energy drinks
- Pins – In case you’re not allowed to bluetac things to the walls.
HOMESICK STUDENT SURVIVAL KIT
- Pictures from home – Popping one in a frame is a nice touch.
- Letters – From close family / friends, always get them hand-written.
- Phone top-up card – If they you have a pay as you go phone.
- 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!
- 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.
- Motivational pictures and quotes – Extra points if the quotes are hand-written from friends and family.
- Mini box of nice chocolates
BEAUTY STUDENT SURVIVAL KIT
- Mini manicure set
- Eye mask
- 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.
- Makeup wipes
- Face masks
- An airer for your clothes – You’re not going to want to be known as the kid with damp, creased clothes. Buy one. Your Mum will be so proud.
Like I said, mix and match for what you think you / the person you’re giving this to will want. When I left for Uni my parents gave me a student survival kit with batteries in, because I was taking along a TV and an Xbox and they knew I’d never think of replacements for the remote and the controllers. And if you’re already at Uni, before you blow your loan on nights out, try to run out and grab some of this for yourself!
There’s so much more I could’ve suggested, but I thought 53 was overwhelming enough! Have you got any things you’d add to these lists? Let me know in the comments below, or over on Twitter or Facebook.
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