Top Student Essentials

Top Student Essentials

April 28, 2017

Top Student Essentials

Whether you’re moving out of your parents home for the first time or you’ve already spent a year in university halls, living on your own is a big change. Taking on the responsibility of managing almost every aspect of your own life is a liberating experience and can be very enjoyable; however, there are a few things which you’ll need to prepare before striking out alone. This list contains several things which you might expect, and a few you might not; they’re all worth taking into consideration before moving out.

Learn how to cook Even if you’ve never cooked before in your life, or if you’ve burned everything you’ve ever made, you should learn how to make at least one type of food reasonably well. If not, you’ll be forced to rely on expensive ready meals, baked beans and noodles – no harm in doing this every now and again, but it doesn’t make for a healthy diet. Look up a good bolognese, soup or chili con carne recipe and start practising!

A basic first aid kit is key. A basic first aid package with all the essentials is a must for student living. You won’t need a lot in here; just a few plasters, painkillers, antibacterial gel, a pair of tweezers and some cold medicine (some multivitamins can also help if you’re on a “student diet”). Preparing to deal with minor injuries ahead of time is important, because you won’t want to be walking to the pharmacy when you cut your hand making dinner. Make sure decent supplies are on-hand for the inevitable cuts, scrapes and bruises (and hangovers), and you’ll make life much easier for yourself.

Know your rights as a tenant. Many landlords know that their student tenants probably aren’t familiar with the rules surrounding private tenancies, and sometimes try to pull the wool over their eyes. This is one of the benefits to using a professional lettings agency, as they’ll always be responsible and act within the letter of the law, but some private landlords can be unscrupulous. We’ve written several articles which cover the relationship between yourself and the landlord, and what you should expect, and it’s worth spending a little time familiarising yourself with the outline of the various tenancy laws in the UK.

Learn to love a night in. Yes, a night out is often the go-to event for students, but no matter how good the drinks deals are they still put a hole in your bank account that’s hard to fill. Try to replace a couple of nights out with a decent night in – get some good entertainment (a film, a box set or a game), some food and a load of friends, and set up for a cheap night of fun. You’ll soon find you’re not missing the nightclub, and you’ll be left with a little more money at the end of the month.

Be prepared to get a job. By the end of the year you’ll probably be stretching your student loan pretty thin. Though most universities recommend you work no more than 10 hours per week, a little extra money on the side can be extremely valuable when it comes to those final few months of a degree course. This doesn’t need to be the classic pizza delivery or bar work (though these are good options); plenty of secondary and sixth-form level pupils need tuition, and clever students can make good money as a private tutor.

Register for the dentist and GP. Yes, you can’t just drop in to the local surgery when you have a problem; you must register first. Not all surgeries accept NHS registration all the time, so don’t assume that your local doctor will be able to see you. It’s well worth registering sooner rather than later, because you never know when you might need to see someone at short notice.

Take the essentials. There are some things you’ll need to have when you move out, which you won’t be able to do without. This should include something to cook with, something to eat off, and something to eat with, a spare set of bedclothes, enough winter clothing to keep you warm without turning on the heating, and a laptop for coursework.