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Moving away from home is a daunting prospect, and for many it is their first real time away from all the home comforts – not having to worry about fending yourself, how to work a washing machine, and don’t get me started on bills! –  so naturally you’re bound to feel unprepared. Believe me, the amount of people who have had that feeling far outweighs those who haven’t.

One thing I wish I would have had when I first moved to Sheffield was a solid list of things I would need to survive not only Fresher’s Week but also for my duration at university! Because of this, I thought it would be beneficial to share with you the most important things you need to help you survive university life.


5.  Reminders of Home 

Whilst going to university brings with it the opportunity to start afresh, embrace independence and reinvent yourself, it is also important to remember your life before uni. Small reminders of home include photographs with friends / family, any cards and letters that you may have written one another or even bringing with you any decorations / ornaments  you had in your room at home. These small things can also make it easier to adjust to your new life, and can help with any homesickness you might be having.

Picture Wall 2

I found a picture wall with memories of friends and adventures before uni helped me when I was feeling down and missing home. As the years have gone by, my picture wall now includes new memories with friends in Sheffield alongside the old memories


4. Doorstop 

This is something that stands out to me remembering first year as I did not think to bring one. When you have first moved in and you’re anticipating living with new people it is a definite MUST to have a doorstop. Keeping your door open ensures that your new flatmates are always welcome and you want to get to know them. It also lets them know when you are in if they fancy a chat or want to invite you somewhere.

funky doorstop

try and get a funky doorstop that best highlights your personality, it can be a perfect ice breaker and clear up any worries about what kind of person they are living with


3. Clothes Hangers 

This is something many take for granted and assume – as would happen when going on holiday – that a number of hangers will be provided. Whilst this may be the case, this is a handful at least and definitely not enough to hold your autumn/winter 2014 collection alongside the multitude of onesies and warm clothing you will accumulate to get you through those winter months without 24 hour heating.

another useful tip is double or even triple hanging clothes in order to save hangers and space.

another useful tip is double or even triple hanging clothes in order to save space and money on buying thousands of hangers


2. Convenient Foods 

Now unless you consider yourself to be a budding Jamie Oliver, you can often find yourself being severely disappointed with your cooking skills – especially if you’re used to regular home cooked meals. Whilst many find quick and easy foods such as Pot Noodle and beans on toast to be not for them, it has to go down as being one of the top essentials for any student’s cupboard. Foods such as these are great on a budget, can be made in mere minutes and are virtually impossible to mess up (though don’t take my word for it, I’m sure there are those who have managed to burn their super noodles!)

beans on toast takes literally 2 minutes and can be eaten as breakfast, lunch or tea  (or all 3 if you wish!)

beans on toast takes literally 2 minutes and can be eaten as breakfast, lunch or tea (or all 3 if you wish!)


1. Laptop

This list would not be complete without the most important item of all – the laptop. Whilst the majority of you will have bought one specifically for university or even those who have had them previously, I thought it important to highlight just how many uses your laptop can have during your time at university.

  • Doing work – The most obvious function of a laptop at university is to complete assignments. Both university libraries have wide areas specifically for those bringing in their laptop and can often be easier to do than fight for any available computer during peak hours.
  • Watching programmes – Unfortunately many university halls do not provide a communal television so it is up to you to sort out your entertainment. Websites such as BBC iPlayer and 4od enable you to catch up on your favourite programmes (so you will no longer have to miss out on any episodes of Hollyoaks or Eastenders!)
  • Playing music – Hooking up your laptop to speakers can create music for your whole flat if you’re having people round or even if you just want to play something to relax to; your laptop is your first port of call for playing music, plus apps like iTunes make sure you can tailor your music to your tastes and play what you want.
  • Skyping – No doubt your parents will be eager to catch up with your progress so what better to have a chat than through Skype! Plus they will be able to see you face to face so will be safe in the knowledge that you actually are okay.
websites such as 4od are great for catching up on your favourite programmes

websites such as 4od are great for catching up on your favourite programmes


Is there anything you feel has been left off the essentials list? If so, feel free to comment with your thoughts! 

– Rosanna