Essential Items to Pack When Your Child Goes to University

If your child is heading off to university, you’ll probably be feeling a real mix of emotions, from pride and excitement to sadness that they’re finally flying the nest and worry about whether they’ll manage away from home. Fortunately, there’s plenty you can do as a parent to ease the transition and make your child’s first time living away from home easier by ensuring they have everything they need.

Kitchen Utensils

Most university halls and student accommodation are self-catering, which means they’ll need all the kitchen essentials to rustle up tasty, filling meals. Make sure they have crockery and utensils as well as pots and pans such as frying pans and baking trays. They’ll also need oven gloves, tea towels, a tin opener, a vegetable peeler, a sharp knife and a chopping board. Oh and don’t forget a kettle!

First Aid Kit

Some university accommodation will have a first aid kit but it’s always a good idea to take your own. You could either buy a pre-filled kit or fill an empty one with all those first-aid essentials, such as gauze, medical tape, plasters (unless they’re allergic) and basic medicines that will come in handy if they catch Fresher’s Flu, for example, painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen.

Good Quality Bedding

A good night’s sleep is unlikely to be top of their priorities when going away to university but student digs are often cold and when the temperature drops, they’ll appreciate a thick duvet and hot water bottle. A good quality pillow or two will also help them get some much-needed shut-eye in between lectures and parties!

Food & Recipe Books

Sending them off to uni with some store-cupboard essentials and a couple of basic cookbooks will reassure you that they’re not going to live off instant noodles all term! Stock up on versatile basics such as pasta and rice and plenty of tinned beans, veggies and soups. If they’re not used to cooking for themselves, you could even run through some simple budget recipes with them before they head off to uni so they’ve got the skills to make a few easy meals for themselves when they’re short on time or money.

Reminders of Home

They might not want to pack their stuffed toys or old comforter but that doesn’t mean they won’t want some reminders of home while they’re away, whether it’s a family group shot or photos of the family pet/s, make sure they have something to make them smile if homesickness kicks in.


A back-to-school shopping trip is essential to stock up on everything they’ll need to make a success of their studies, whether that’s notebooks and pens, or sketchpads and pencils. Don’t forget folders and plastic wallets to help them stay organised and post-it notes and highlighters ready for exam revision!


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