Fresher’s Fortnight: 5 Survival Kit Essentials

So, with your exams out the way, results sorted and car packed, you’re off to or have now arrived on campus. For those just starting uni, enjoy your welcome to the student life! However, before letting loose with your new found friends it pays to be prepared for unexpected surprises and issues during what for many of you will be your first dip of your toes into life in the ‘real world’. This is by no means exhaustive, but touches on some of the most popular ones that many find a lifesaver and some pick up as lessons learned.


Many Universities are known for the pastime of trying different ways to ‘medicate’, but the one form many forget when completing their shopping for food and supplies is medication. Now some people like myself might not be so keen on popping a pill at every off feeling they experience, but when you start to experience the effects of a sick room/floor/block mate in your accommodation, or a dodgy kebab and the mother of all hangovers from the night before, that little container of rounded miracle workers will become a lifesaver! Typical ones to keep in stock of are:

  • Painkillers like Paracetamol or Ibuprofen.
  • Diarrhoea Suppression Tablets
  • A stomach acid dissolver like Rennie
  • In the winter months a bottle of cough medicine
  • Anti-congestion creams like the famous Vick’s Vapo Rub
  • As much as reasonably possible of any prescription medication you take.

It’s also a good idea to have some small bandages or plasters on your person too, as first aid kits are often only found in the more public buildings and less so in residential buildings.When it comes to medication, remember to read the leaflet to make sure things like alcohol and other medications you might want to take won’t counteract or interact with each other and you know the correct dosage.

Emergency Cash

When you first get a grant or loan instalment, it can feel like you’re on top of the world and fresher’s week and returns to a new semester can be tempting to go out on the town and party hard, or shop till you drop or build up the biggest accumulator you can on game day. However, that money can run out fast and unless you have big saving, rich parents or a part time job, that money has to last you for another 14 weeks or so – so regardless of if you plan to budget it or just work out your spending plan carefully, it pays to keep a little bit of cash somewhere for a rainy day or if something happens. Keep it safe in your room, or in a savings account – just somewhere you can reach to fix any broken prized possessions (like a car or laptop), pay off any debt to the university or even simply to pay your bills should you overspend.

Identification & Paperwork

Living away from home for long periods of time means at some point you make have to use some form of identification (other than to enter late night bars). Documents such as passports, insurance policies, letters of confirmation from the university and any health records you may have are often useful in times of registration or crisis, so ensure to bring what you can with you and keep them safe.

If you have chronic condition or feel you might partake in an activity that involves a risk to your health (this includes being known for being quite the party animal), it’s worth making a card with some emergency contact details to keep safe for your friends in case they have to relay a message to your parents or partner should you go into hospital as well as help find any of the medication mentioned above if a situation occurs.

Storage Drive

This might seem a strange one for the kit, but considering our ever growing reliance on technology to complete homework assignments, essays, projects and research and more and sometimes as far as uploading and plagiarism checking online – that’s a lot of data to accidentally lose should there be a failure in the drive or the file you were working on gets corrupted. Always keep a secure backup of your personal files and uni work. There is nothing worse than being 1,000 words down at 2am the night before the deadline!


Whilst most of them come cheap, it pays to have a charger nearby for when your devices run out. In regards to older equipment, you want to ensure you can take your devices out and about or to lectures without the batteries dying partway through. if you have lots of similar looking chargers that have transformer bricks, remember to check your Voltage (measured as 12.3V) and Amps (12.3A or 123mA) on your devices roughly matches it.

and finally


Whilst it’s a new experience and a change to reinvent parts of yourself – in order to have a good experience of uni where you can choose between work and play balance, it’s important not to try to act like someone else and forget about where you came from. Sure you may grow up and become more mature, but you should never forget to think of yourself and whether what you sign up for at fresher’s fair is worth your time and effort, or just looks cool.

To all students, I hope you have s great time in your respective spaces and I these tips will find you well. If have any more of them then please feel free to leave them in the comments below.


Take Care,




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