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Study, work and play –  the university survival guide



We caught up with lifestyle blogger Poppy Deyes (Kingston University, 2014) and tech vlogger Tom Honeyands (Exeter University, 2013) and asked them to share the university essentials that they couldn’t live without – this is a survival guide you won’t want to miss.



When you’re at university, there really is no such thing as too much storage and there’s always something that needs a home. These baskets can store everything and anything, from your washing, to your notebooks. Not only does buying a set of something look great, it’s also just super practical. Buy in bulk or in sets, the more the better.

Buy multitasking items
Buying items that have more than one use is a win-win situation. Take these Kilner jars, not only are they perfect for storing pasta and pens, they also double up as vases, or even drinking glasses when you run low. This not only saves time and money, it’s also super practical, whilst looking fab.

Think practical, yet personal
The likelihood is you’re not going to have a huge amount of space, so you’re going to need to make the most out of what you do have. Buying items like a desk organiser will keep everything in order, whilst letting you add a personal touch to your space. When it comes to your study area,  you’re going to want to create an area that you love to work in, that inspires your creativity and most importantly, somewhere you can be at your most productive.

The finishing touches
Although you might not be able to paint your new room your favourite colour, you can still add your personal touch to it. Whether it’s using a colourful throw, or buying a couple of plants for your desk, picking pieces that make your space really feel homely doesn’t have to break the bank. Hang fairy lights from your headboard, or add a rug to your floor - it’s is the small touches that make all the difference.



Laptop or tablet?
There’s a huge range of laptops, from budget Chromebooks, like the HP Stream 14, to premium Ultrabooks such as the Dell XPS 13. If you need more power for design and engineering courses (or just for gaming), a laptop with a quad-core processor and dedicated graphics card like the Dell XPS 15 or HP Omen 15 are great choices.

Tech must-haves
Carrying around expensive tablets and laptops means that investing in a good backpack is really important. The most important thing I’d recommend, is buying an external hard drive for backing up your work, such as the WesternDigital My Passport, or you could use cloud storage options like Dropbox or OneDrive). If you’ve got room, a wireless printer so you don’t have to rush to the library last-minute to print out your essay.

Game, set, go
University isn’t all about work though, socialising and having fun is just as important. Playing games (usually FIFA tournaments) on the PS4, or Xbox One, is a great way to make friends. I would have loved to have had the Nintendo Switch at university too, I can imagine playing Zelda or 4-player Mario Kart between lectures would be loads of fun.


If you’re heading off to university, don’t miss our other articles in the University Survival Guide series, including a handy checklist and our guide to help you choose the best laptop for your course.

Laptop buying guide

University checklist