The Ultimate Back to University Shopping List

August was always a double edged sword. The sadness at summer ending but the excitement of the back to school shopping. A great time to reinvent yourself, stock up on necessaries, try new things. And depending on what sort of child you were, an exciting new pair of shoes. Or, even more exciting, a new kind of binder clip.

Well, this is still something you should do when going back to university. You likely have the essentials after your first year. (Unless they were broken, spirited away by hallmates or too unwieldy to take home). But there are plenty of important pieces that could do with a refresh. Especially as some items provided in halls will be your responsibility in shared accommodation.

Meet the ultimate back to university shopping list. First off, don’t go mad. And don’t fret. You can always catch up on buying these things once you get there. Some things (such as a folding drying rack) are readily available in any city, and difficult to transport.


Cool Guy in White T-shirt

    • T-Shirts

      Ideally these need to be replaced annually anyway, especially whites which can get stained and faded very quickly.

    • Loungewear

      These can be soft sweaters, hoodies, jogging pants, thin vests etc. In the second year, study gets real and you’ll be spending a lot of time in soft clothes, around people you don’t know that well. It’s useful to have nice options for that.


    • Thick Dressing Gown

      If in doubt, get a size too big. You want something that will cover you up on the way to the bathroom and keep you warm if you and your housemates disagree on what constitutes ‘room temperature’.


    • Sunglasses

      The bigger the better, these really are the student’s friend. Perfect for covering up hangovers, late night studying and dark circles. Also fun in the sun.


  • A New Rucksack

    You may not need one but rucksacks are incredibly useful and take a lot of wear and tear. Buy the strongest one you can find – focus more on the tensile strength and less on the brand or pattern.



    • Folding Drying Rack

      Skip any fancy options – they tend to break more quickly. But get the most compact one you can and do keep it folded up when not in use.


    • Sewing Kit

      That may sound ridiculous but everyone has a loose hem or lost button at some point. Are you really going throw out your favourite shirt rather than spend two minutes sewing on another button?


    • Laundry Tote

      Whether you are shlepping your washing to the kitchen or heading to the laundrette to sort out your quilt, a laundry tote can make life so much easier.


  • Stain Removal Pen

    You can get a cheap but effective stain removal pen anywhere and it can be a lifesaver. You can take them anywhere (and if you have a tendency to spill food on yourself you probably should).

  • Febreeze

    You can get things for clothes and upholstery and it can change your life. It’s perfect to refresh coats in between dry cleaning, freshen up a funky living room or quickly bring your favourite outfit back to life when laundry has fallen behind.


    • Post-It Flag Highlighter

      An amazing highlighting pen which also dispenses flag shaped post it notes. Perfect for taking notes on the go and keeping track of where you are and what you’re up to.


    • Giant Wipe Clean Calendar

      These things are so useful. Designed to help you keep track of your classes, social events and ever changing plans. Never forget an obligation again.


    • Padded Laptop Tray

      Study in front of Netflix while protecting your legs from the scorching and yelping often associated with laptops after long periods of time. Some even come with cup holders.


    • Erasable Rollerball Pens

      Another brilliant invention, these pens use ink that can be rubbed away with the built in eraser. Perfect for anyone with a tendency to scribble, and students in the engineering, artistic and textile fields can use them in more creative ways.


  • Notebook With Coloured Dividers

    Pick a colour for each class and keep your notes perfectly organised for later reference. Ideal if you tend to use inevitably lost scraps of paper.

This little spree will leave you perfectly prepared for the next academic year in your new student house!

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