If you were anything like me before embarking on the amazing, crazy and somewhat messed up segment of your newly-adult life, at this point of the year you’ll be scouring the internet for anything and everything that you think might help you adjust to #unilife. Or maybe you’re just searching for that perfect, definitive list of what to take with you on your new adventure – from which I can tell you – yes, silicone cooking utensils are a godsend.
From here on in though, I urge you to stop. Because when it comes down to it, your kitchens will rarely be clean enough to actually use one of the array of non-stick frying pans you’ve all brought along with you. Same with the tea towels – if your future flat is anything like mine, very few will be deemed safe to use after about three weeks – they are the go-to item for cleaning up alcohol-related spillages and more often than not sport some very suggestive looking stains. You certainly won’t be wanting to do your drying up with those any time soon.
Instead of filling you in on the boring bits, I’ve compiled a list of ten must-have items for uni – when I say “must-have”, I mean they have literally been essential for my survival as an adult who is not ready (or prepared) for ‘adulting’.
- A comfy dressing gown – the fluffier, the better! You will soon learn that this is not just an item of clothing for those chilly winter evenings when your housemate is too tight to let you have the heating on for an extra hour. You will literally live in your dressing gown – whether it be a snuggly, novelty rabbit one with floppy ears attached to the hood or your bog-standard, stripy primarni budget buy that is literally falling apart at the seams.
- An affordable but effective skincare routine – this is, as all good skincare routines are, trial and error to see what suits you! Everyone’s skin type and complexion is slightly different, and so is the budget put aside to maintain it.. so bear this in mind when reaching for the Estée Lauder face creams! As my student loan has gradually failed me and my expensive taste when it comes to skincare, I’ve had to re-evaluate my morning and night routine drastically – cutting back almost completely on my Liz Earle products! At the mo, I’m using the intense repair moisturiser twice daily, however instead of the hot cloth cleanser, have mixed things up a bit by reverting back to my trusty moisturising Johnson’s face wipes – honestly, this was the best decision I’ve ever made! I stole this beauty hack off Gabby (otherwise known as velvetgh0st) and haven’t looked back – my skin has improved drastically in just a matter of weeks. Additionally, I use the Boots tea tree and witch hazel charcoal face scrub in the shower (I have a case of very bad combination skin, I hasten to add) which works a treat. As I wear a lot of matte lipsticks, I use vaseline every night to make sure my lips stay hydrated. Finally, for any blemishes, I ALWAYS WITHOUT FAIL reach for every girls best friend – their tub of sudocream! It’s literally the one thing I’d take on a desert island with me – I couldn’t live without it! All of these products easily come to under £40 and will last me months and months a pop! Shopping around when Boots have special offers on things like the tea tree and witch hazel range (often 3 for 2 if you time going into store right!) can help stockpile the most frequently used items and keep the costs down if you’re saving pennies too!
- A decent tin opener – I have definitely been through my fair share of cheap tin openers! Especially as a lot of my diet at uni consists of tinned foods (you’ll never crave your mums roast dinner more when you’re reluctantly tucking into beans on toast for the 4th time in the same week!). After using and disassembling not only several of my own tin openers but a few of my flat mates’ also, my current housemate handed me a contraption that looked like it had been passed down several generations and appeared more flimsy than all of the ones I’d managed to break put together – yet somehow it’s the only one that has escaped my wrath time and time again.
- A hot water bottle (preferably pink) – also purchased at Boots, (can you see a running theme here???) I didn’t even know pink ones even existed before working there. I feel the cold SO EASILY and therefore wearing a super fluffy dressing gown is simply not enough. I spend most of my days walking around the house, clutching a water bottle in one hand and a cup of tea in the other, moaning that I have nothing to do (..aaaand subsequently avoiding uni work simultaneously) – this is what you’ve got to look forward to, kids!
I did a full on photo shoot for your viewing pleasure as you’re about to find out:
5. The biggest bag of pasta you can find at the supermarket – trust me when I say this will be your new staple diet. Penne, shells, Pot Noodle.. it’s all pasta, no matter what you add to it, what sauce you use or how you dress it up to convince yourself that you are being creative with your £10-a-week food budget. It’s often cheaper to get a big-ass bag and trundle it back from Asda than buy the smaller bags more frequently. I mean – it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom! Sausage pasta bake is always a crowd-pleaser in our house – v v tasty even if I am sick of the sight of it. The faster you face up to the new reality of this teatime treat at least three times a week, the better your nights out are gunna be. #thesesh
6. Whiteboard – great for when you want to project the view that you are really trying to get your shit together (or at least pretending to). Also pretty handy for jotting down all those little tasks you need to keep in mind, in addition to looming assignment deadlines.
7. The “bowlplate” – this is actually a new find and quite simply the best invention I have come across since being at uni, (bitesize chicken pieces covered in breadcrumbs being the best invention of my life to date). As someone who is prone to spillages and rents a student house lacking a dining table, this is a godsend. Gone are the days where my sausage pasta bake would slowly drop onto the cream sofa as I was absentmindedly watching tv – I’m literally an accident waiting to happen, I swear.
(Showing off the my bowl plate and dressing gown that needs a wash)
8. A plastic beaker; complete with straw and lid – carrying on the theme of me being literally unable to function, a B and M pre-drinks beaker is an absolute necessity to a.) ensure spillage is not lickage when it comes to YOUR raspberry vodka and b.) keeping your lipstick looking fleeky AF. You can pick these up anywhere – off the top of my head, Primark do some glittery ones with slogans on if you want to avoid looking like you’ve missed a few steps on the evolution ladder like myself.
This is a photo of me and my two amigos where I’m sporting not only a very low cut dress that I shouldn’t really be wearing but also one of the beakers from my extensive collection:
9. A decent speaker – me and the boys invested in a UE Boom as soon as we knew we were all living together this year and let me tell you, we were the envy of everyone in the flat and quite frankly, our entire halls. Don’t get me wrong, our flat pre-drinks were diabolical to say the least, but we always had a banging playlist on in the background! (I use “background” very loosely – we were told off by security many times because we were playing Justin Bieber too loud)
10. Activewear – don’t be deceived by the title – pfft, as if I’d recommend sports bras and oversized joggers for their actual use! Activewear is renowned for being as comfy as pjs, however what gives them the edge is that it’s totally socially acceptable to be seen wearing them in public. This makes them perfect for the CBA days/lectures/1am maccies run (I only sprint for nugs these days).
So there you have it! My tip top items to bring to uni. Of course, my cat would be number one on this list if my dad didn’t love her more than me 🙂 🙂
Thanks for taking time out of your day to read about little old me and my uni experience so far!
Tilly Turnip xox