Checklist for Freshers in London - Broke in London

Checklist for Freshers in London

Things you can do to make your first few days at uni as enjoyable as possible

By Saffron Shergill at

So you’ve decided to brave it and move to the big city? It seems scary now, but you are about to enter the best years of your life! There a just a few essentials you’ll need to guarantee a smooth transition, so read on to ensure you have all you need to survive freshers in London…

#1 | For the Bedroom

No university room is complete unless it has the entire furnishing of IKEA inside it. The mandatory trip is a rite of passage and a beautifully cheap place to ensure you have all the fairy lights and posters you could need.  Each university will vary on how much they provide in your room, but here are the basics:

  • Bedding (Duvet and cover, pillows and pillow cases)
  • Mattress protector
  • Laundry bag (if you’re in central London you may be making a weekly trip to your local laundry shop)
  • Door wedge (very handy for fresher’s week, it shows your new housemates you’re up for a chat)
  • Desk lamp
  • Notice board (to keep up with all the freshers events, nights out and deadlines)
  • Family photos
  • Alarm clock (trust me you’ll need it to make those 9AMs)
  • Rubbish bin (provided by most unis, check in advance to avoid doubling up)
Student room in London

Student room – From

#2 | For the Bathroom

Depending on your budget you should consider yourself very lucky if you manage to secure an en suite room in London! If you do happen to land yourself a private bathroom, there are a few extras you need to remember. If you’re sharing, fear not! You and your housemates will be best friends in no time so a communal bathroom will be no bother at all. Either way, here are the top items not to forget:

  • Toilet roll
  • Nail clippers (probably the most common thing a uni student forgets to bring from home)
  • Shower gel, shampoo and soap
  • Bath and hand towels (and a flannel if you’re feeling fancy)
  • Tampons/sanitary towels
  • Shower gel, shampoo and soap
  • Hairbrush
  • Hairdryer, straightener, curling iron
  • Paracetamol (freshers will catch up on you)

#3 | Stationary

When you’re living in London sometimes it’s hard to remember you’re actually there to study. Sadly though, that is the reality and so it might be useful to pack one or two essentials for your lectures. You can pick up stationary at Poundland or Euroffice, they are super cheap and great for these top items that you’ll need:

  • A4 notebook
  • Highlighters (a big pack since they seem to only last about two weeks)
  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Ruler, Eraser, Sharpener
  • Student diary (sadly we all forget about these after the first week or so)
  • Hole puncher
  • Calculator (no matter what degree you do, you always seem to need one)
  • A4 ring binders
  • Stamps (the one thing university teaches you is how expensive stamps are)

#4 | For the Kitchen

If there is one tip to give to a fresher, it NOT to buy silver cutlery. Everyone will have it and it will get mixed up so easily. Instead, try and find cutlery with a coloured edge or with a distinguishable pattern. There are also plenty of other kitchen essentials you’ll need which you can pick up at Poundland for practically nothing! Here’s a list of a few things to consider…

  • Sauce pan (just 1, unless you consider yourself a bit of a chef and want 3-4)
  • 2 sharp knifes
  • Wok (the no.1 tool a student needs…you will soon realise EVERYTHING can be cooked in a wok)
  • 2 glasses and 2 mugs
  • 2 plates and 2 bowls (IKEA has a range of funky options)
  • Tin opener
  • Chopping board
  • Scissors (these will be stolen by your housemates within 2 days)
  • Cheese grater
  • Kettle and toaster (check if they are already supplied)
  • Bottle opener (although after freshers fair you end up with about 30)
  • Tea towels
  • Oven gloves
  • Oven tray
kitchen utensils

Kitchen utensils – From

#5 | Documents

When you are wondering what to take to uni, it is always easy to forget about the most important items. Take a careful look through this list and make sure you have all of the below. Some may not seem crucial now but a time will crop up when you need them and you don’t want to get caught out!

  • Cash (nights out in London can be very expensive if you don’t have a job so you’ll need a couple of tenners to get by)
  • Passport AND driver’s licence (you’ll lose one, trust us)
  • Bank debit card
  • Passport sized photographs (for your student ID, etc)
  • NHS number
  • Oyster card (VERY handy and an essential for a Londoner)
  • Accommodation contract
  • National Insurance card (or just the number)
  • Local map (London is VERY big)

#6 | Electrics

Being a part of the technology generation, there is no way you would leave home without your mobile or headphones. But here are a few others that may have slipped your mind and that you won’t want to live without…

  • Laptop (very handy for making lecture notes, especially if you’re hungover)
  • Phone and laptop charger
  • USB memory stick
  • Power extension cable (often overlooked but they come in great use)
  • Speakers
  • Printer (and ink)
  • Camera
  • UK electrical adapter (if you’re coming from abroad)
Gadgets for Millennials

Electics – From

#7 | Clothing

Packing clothes for London can seem like a bit of a tricky task. Everyone in the magazines appears so well dressed and trendy but don’t be fooled! You will need a good mix of fancy club shirts/dresses AND also casual joggers/jeans. Don’t forget too that you are dressing for English weather so plenty of jumpers and scarves will be required!

  • Dressing gown
  • Socks, underwear
  • Jumpers (London gets pretty cold after all)
  • T-shirts (both casual and dressy)
  • Jeans
  • Joggers
  • Gym wear (we would recommend joining your University gym since some London gyms are pretty pricey)
  • Pyjamas
  • Slippers (the fluffier the better)
  • Shoes (bring your comfiest trainers in case your lectures are far apart)
Student closet with clothes

Clothes- From

Don’t worry, London is a big place so if you forget something you can always pick it up at your local supermarket! As long as you’ve got enough money for a bottle of wine, you’ll be just fine!