What to take to university: The ultimate fresher checklist

Head off for freshers' week with peace of mind thanks to our ultimate list of must-haves.

If you’re the first in your family to go to university, preparing for the move can be difficult.

How are you supposed to know what items you’ll need and what to leave behind? Well, that’s where we come in, with a handy checklist of essential fresher items.

We’ve also picked out some of our favourite styles and designs to give you the inspiration you need.

Freshers’ checklist:


  • Bed linen including sheets, duvet, blankets, pillows and pillowcases
  • Towels including bathmat
  • Sports equipment
  • Lamp
  • Photos or posters from home
  • Dressing gown
  • Pyjamas and slippers
  • Bin
  • Small rug


  • Comfortable clothes for relaxing around your flat
  • Night out clothes including night out shoes
  • Comfortable clothes for lectures
  • Fancy dress outfits x3 for socials
  • One nice outfit for Freshers Ball/end of year formals
  • Coat hangers


  • Black, blue and red pens
  • Pencils
  • Rulers and eraser
  • Notepads (x4)
  • Highlighters (x4)
  • Cue cards
  • Post-it notes


  • Plates (2 large, 2 small)
  • Bowls (1 pasta, 1 cereal)
  • Cups (2)
  • Mugs (2)
  • Chopping board and 2 sharp knives
  • Small saucepan
  • Large saucepan
  • Medium frying pan
  • Cheese grater
  • Wooden spoon
  • Cutlery (knife, fork, spoon, 3 teaspoons)
  • Food to keep you going for the first week


  • Extension lead
  • Socket adaptor (for international students)
  • Laptop
  • Laptop bag
  • Mobile phone and charger
  • Headphones
  • USB flash drive


  • Toiletries including shampoo, conditioner, soap, makeup
  • Medicine including plasters, paracetamol, ibuprofen, antiseptic
  • Washing detergent
  • Cleaning wipes
  • Water bottle
  • Umbrella
Where to buy fresher supplies


Give your new room the love it deserves with creative ways to display your most prized photos, warm and gorgeous new bed linen and the perfect night lamp for when you’ll be studying into the night. Who said anything about homesickness?

House by John Lewis Tony Task Lamp, White
House by John Lewis Tony Task Lamp, White

John Lewis & Partners

Multi Colour Llama Print Single Bedding Set
Multi Colour Llama Print Single Bedding Set

New Look


Whether it’s a sports social, the weekly student pub quiz or a night out on the town, prepare for all occasions with your fresher wardrobe. Your outfits don’t have to cost the earth though, which is why we’ve selected those key pieces below from boohoo, PrettyLittleThing and New Look.

White Polka Dot Square Neck Ruched Bodycon Dress
White Polka Dot Square Neck Ruched Bodycon Dress



Ah yes, university does mean you have to study too! Swat up with all the stationery you need, including pens, highlighters and post-it notes, as well as getting yourself a trusty laptop to write all your coursework on.

Highlighter - STABILO BOSS ORIGINAL Wallet of 6 Assorted Colours
Highlighter - STABILO BOSS ORIGINAL Wallet of 6 Assorted Colours


ASUS VivoBook 15 X512DA-EJ254T Laptop
ASUS VivoBook 15 X512DA-EJ254T Laptop

John Lewis & Partners


It may not always be the healthiest options, but as a student, you have to eat. Get yourself started with pots, pans, chopping boards, utensils and one week’s supply of food… at least until you get yourself settled.

John Lewis & Partners Bubble Plastic Tumbler, 350ml, Teal
John Lewis & Partners Bubble Plastic Tumbler, 350ml, Teal

John Lewis & Partners

Wilko Copper Effect Shotblast Saucepan with Lid 18cm
Wilko Copper Effect Shotblast Saucepan with Lid 18cm



Don’t forget all the random bits and bobs, like USB sticks, extension cables, chargers, an umbrella and a stash of medicine just in case! Trust us, it’s better to be prepared.

TP-Link KP303 Smart Wi-Fi Power Strip, 3 Gang with 2 USB & Surge Protection
TP-Link KP303 Smart Wi-Fi Power Strip, 3 Gang with 2 USB & Surge Protection

John Lewis & Partners

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