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36 Practical Things Every Student Needs

Tea bags, always tea bags.

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We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community for their practical university tips. Here are the super-useful results:

1. "I bought a sleep eye mask freshman year because my roommate refused to turn off her lamp most nights and I had trouble sleeping with the light on. The eye mask blocked out her lamp light and then I began using it during the day to block out the sun during nap time. It was a fantastic purchase that I still use when I’m having trouble sleeping." – alafond

2. "Anything that calms you down a little bit or makes you happy. I had some tiny fairy lights (the ones you get for the miniature Paperchase trees) on the rung of my bed and it would just soothe me whenever I felt uneasy or uncomfortable (it happens a lot at uni, adjusting to adult life). My roommate liked the idea and bought a candle, which she didn’t light but just stuck on her wall and left open so she could smell it. Little things make a big difference." – justanotheranon

3. "Home bakes. Everyone will have alcohol, but when that first wave of homesickness (or the munchies) hits you will be everyone’s best friend if you have a big tin of home-made baked goods." – fionam44d6b2bc3

4. "A massive bag of tea bags! Great way to bond with your new hall mates and everyone likes tea when they’re hungover" – charlottel4f81c537f

5. "An academic diary! It saved my life when I started, especially if you join loads of clubs and societies, keeping track if everything going on can be a nightmare." – siomc16

6. "A drying rack for clothes! I didn’t bring one and had no where to dry sweaters that couldn’t be tumble dried! Bought one from IKEA for pretty cheap." – louises4e4798078

7. "A sleeping bag: great for friends from home to stay over, or for you to go to see friends at other unis!" – skj

8. "3/4/6 way extension lead! Some uni rooms will have plenty of sockets all over the place, some will have one."– bubblemuffin246

9. "An extra long Ethernet cable! The wifi can be so crappy in the dorms, and sometimes that would be the only way to make sure I had internet access. A printer isn’t a bad idea either, and a Brita pitcher helps to make sure you’re drinking enough water after drunken weekend nights (or just in general)." – maggiet7196

10. "Keep an emergency stash of cash somewhere where you won’t use it unless you need to, like a few bits of loose change and a couple of notes, you never know when you’ll need to get a bus and have no change ready, or you lose your debit card and can’t get money out for a day or two, or something else!" – bubblemuffin246

11. "A mattress topper! You really don’t know who used the bed before you… Anything to make a bed comfier as well, if you, like me, find it hard to sleep somewhere that isn’t your own bed, it’ll make the first week a bit more cosy". – rhianneh

12. "Small coffee maker or electric kettle. The dining hall might have terrible coffee. Also being able to have a hot beverage after you get back to your room on a cold night is wonderful." – karenann

13. "A deck of cards/some sort of board game, great for breaking the ice with fellow flat mates in your first week." – charlotteb4223b374d

14. "A dressing gown is an absolute must. Need to use the kitchen but don’t want to get dressed to do it? Dressing gown. Some random prick sets the fire alarm off in the middle of the night and you need to evacuate? Dressing gown Cold? Dressing gown." – joeofsmx

15. "A big thick blanket. Serves so many purposes – your friends can use it to sleep on the sofa when they visit, you can cuddle up to it when you have the hangover blues, you can invite your new friends to chill under your warm blanket on cold winter evenings, you can get warm when you arrive home at 5am covered in snow. Hands down the best thing I got before uni, 7 years later I still have it and am using it right now." – booyoopoo

16. "Bed risers and cheap plastic drawers. I always had a really high bed with most of my belongings and clothes beneath it. It kept my stuff organized and my tiny dorm rooms from looking cluttered." – taylorjacquelynng

17. "Definitely a toolbox! You have no idea how many things you’re gonna have to hammer/screw/cut/measure. I got one as a high school graduation gift and it has come in handy more than anything I own." – jillianfredette

18. "Tapestries, posters, anything that makes your room feel comfortable. If it’s your first time away from home the first few days may be rough. It’s good to create a space where you feel comfortable and can make your own." – heatherm4dde54007

19. "A plant that is good at filtering and cleaning the air in your room. Dorms can get stuffy and a plant can make a huge difference." – isabelat404d3e00a

20. "A pair of slippers to keep next to your bed for those middle of the night fire alarms. Trust me, at 3 AM you don’t want to be half-awake searching for a pair of shoes." – buzzfeed21

21. "Whatever you decide to bring, pack it in reusable containers. As stressful as moving in is, it doesn’t compare to tracking down new boxes to replace the ones you threw away when the time comes to move out." – sarahb484637082

22. "Make sure you have a plastic bin with all your health needs i.e. pain meds, allergy meds, cold meds, thermometer, cough drops, band aids and anything else you might need in a pinch. It’s crappy to not have those things and go all the way to a drug store when you’re not feeling well." – ashleemcsteezyg

23. "I know it looks ridiculous but those popup tent things that go on top of your bed could work wonders for privacy, not to mention keeping unwanted light out. During my freshman year, I was in the bottom of the bunkbed so I just hung a blanket down from the top but if that wasn’t an option, that popup thing would have saved me." – binlylikenobodyswatching

24. "Trashcan. You’d be surprised how often this one is overlooked." – tinyoneofsass

25. "The rooms in halls are basically prison cells that you pay for. So bring decorations and plenty of photos to give the place some personality." – meganacooke

26. "Panini press! There’s nothing like a good panini to make your day better. Plus, it doubles as a toaster oven! #paninisftw "– izzybug

27. "Without any doubt, buying a decent frying pan was my (and my flatmates’) saviour. Sure, that big box of 17 pieces of kitchenware that your Mum picked up for a tenner does a reasonable job with most things, but those frying pans stick, no matter what you’re cooking and how much oil you use. If you’re doing uni right, you will use a frying pan a lot, and you’ll soon become only too aware of how sensitive those smoke alarms above the cooker are when you’re evacuated for the third time in one evening (or even worse, midway through cooking your Sunday morning hangover cure fry up). And the cost of having to buy a new cheap one every fortnight because your pan’s ruined will end up outweighing the cost of the fancy(ish) one. Just take my word for it and invest in a decent non-stick frying pan and thank me later." – cookie95

28. "Bring a cheesegrater!! It's one of the things you never think you’d need but it is for sure the thing you will go to grab every time." – c4fae5d3b9

29. "If you’re not living in university accommodation then buy room insurance! (Not house, just the room!) it’s £20 and when someone breaks in and steals your laptop, phone, iPod and PlayStation it’s a complete lifesaver!!" – hannahd47e60b281

30. "HDMI Cord for projecting your tv/movie streaming to your TV. Comes in handy for watching parties." – aminasarahs

31. "A slow cooker, you can get one for less than 20 quid from Tesco or Wilko. You just dump the ingredients in on a morning, and know when you get home from lectures you'll have an easy, hot meal ready and waiting for you. So worth it in winter." Em Beadle, via Facebook

32. "If you don’t have a headboard on your bed at school, which most college beds don’t, bring a sit up pillow! It basically works like a headboard by preventing your pillows from falling down and giving you something to lean against while you’re sitting and doing work in bed." – katiey4cd83551c

33. "10 foot long phone charger. You can get them off amazon for cheap." – amandal4e738ee3f

34. "One of those shopping trolleys/bags you see old ladies use, sounds daft but it makes it so much easier to carry groceries home especially if you've got a bit of a walk between the supermarket and your flat or if you go on your own. You can fit loads in them plus it can be pulled with one hand so you've still got one free." Charlotte Rodgers, via Facebook

35. "Door stop! You can leave your door open whilst moving in/unpacking, making it easier to meet people on your corridor and make friends." Marium Yu, via Facebook

36. "Clothes hangers. If you're moving into halls, they rarely supply hangers (and they never do in private accomodation), and if the entire first year is moving in at the same time, local supermarkets will be sold out by ten o'clock. Trust me: don't forget clothes hangers." Isobelle Hall, via Facebook

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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