I didn’t really know what I needed for the university until I got there and got handicapped a few times. If you’ve already got admission to the university and making your preparation, get this important stuff.
I started my university education with no laptop, and honestly, I struggled. I read some of my notes on my small Samsung Galaxy Pocket phone and sometimes, I had to make a photocopy of some lecture notes.
Also, rushing to the cafe or the school’s computer lab to register for courses, and typing and submitting assignments on time was a lot of work.
That’s hectic. Even though I survived, I wouldn’t advise anyone to go through that same experience. Get an affordable laptop, not necessarily a machine with big specs, but a simple or a mini laptop is OK for your university education.
Obviously, you need a smartphone for different reasons and bet you already own one or even two.
For academic purposes, you can easily access your student portal anytime, anywhere, quickly register for courses once they’re opened for registration and easily connect with your coursemates or lectures in a WhatsApp group with your smartphone.
One very important use of your smartphone is recording. You might want to record lectures and playback them later. This requires a phone with a big memory.
If your phone’s alarm doesn’t work for you, then get an alarm clock.
Basic learning materials
Just as it is in high school, you need basic learning materials in the university too. Pens, pencils, ruler, drawing tools, Calculator (Even if you’re not doing maths), small notebooks, and a lot more depending on your course.
For example, a bachelor of science student needs a lab coat, and drawing tools (for biology students), among others.
You might call these needless but they are really important if you want to survive at university.
Passport: Even if not needed, carry it along with you. It’s also important to have passport photos with you.
Driving license: If you have one, let it be with you.
Insurance: This could be your health insurance, car insurance or any.
Any document needed.
Even though you’re there to study, your personal hygiene is very important.
- body cream
- makeup remover or wet wipes
hair care products
For guys, all you need is a brush and a hair product. For ladies, you might need a
- hair dryer
- conditioner etc.
- mouth wash
- shower gel
- shaving cream
- shaving sticks
- first aid kit
Makeup kits: If you’re a lady who likes to put on makeup, then you need makeup kits, make up remover, etc.
Shoes: Get simple or casual shoes, flip flops/slippers, and one or two pairs of high heels.
Bags/handbags: Get a bag big enough to accommodate your laptop, books, etc.
Clothes: In the university, you need smart clothes for lectures and presentations, casual wear, joggers, underwear, socks, nightgowns, swimwear, and gym clothes if you’re into sports.
Beds: Most halls have beds, if not, find out and get one suitable for your room. Don’t forget pillows, blankets, mattress toppers, etc.
Sleep Sack: If you can lay your hands on a sleep sack, it’s always a good idea if you have friends come to stay.
Decorative items: Take some things to brighten up your room. Look up on the web how to decorate your room. You can get loads of ideas on Pinterest.
TV: Yep! It’s not always about books, you can watch TV and get updated on all happenings in the world while you relax during your free time.
Extension board: There aren’t always enough plugs in halls. Best to take an extension board so you can watch the TV, do your hair and charge your phone/laptop all at the same time.
Mosquito net: Malaria is a big thing in Africa. The last thing you would want at the Varsity is getting ill and in effect, missing exams. Get a mosquito net to keep you safe. You can also get mosquito sprays, and coils to protect the entire room.
Electric iron: After the laundry, comes ironing your dresses for the week. Also, get hangers to hang them.
Laundry: Get a laundry basket or bag to keep your dirty clothes before the laundry. This makes your room organized and tidy. Don’t forget to buy pegs.
Bins: Talking about making your room tidy, one thing you should not leave out is a small dust bin and other things that keep your room clean.
Curtains: Some uni curtains are basically transparent. Get curtains if you have extra cash to spend.
Fire extinguishers: Most halls or hostels provide fire extinguishers. But if you find it empty or unavailable, you might want to replace it for your personal safety.
Some people really don’t like buying food outside, they just want to cook their own meals. Even if you’re not the type that likes cooking, there are certain things you cannot live without in your hall.
- A small gas or electric cooker
- Rice cooker
- Tabletop fridge…if you can afford one
- Bottle opener and corkscrew
- Chopping boards
- Earthen wear
And perhaps, a recipe book or anything you need to make your favorite meal. Don’t worry yourself over all these, just get the necessary stuff and you’re good to go.
For West African students, Gari, shito, etc. are important food you probably cannot live without as a student.
I have seen most of my friends’ laptops stolen at school. Don’t leave any chance for thieves to take away your valuable data on your machine.
You can get an anti-theft tracking software for your laptop, phone and tablet that lets you remotely locate, lock, wipe and recover it if ever stolen, or simply missing.
You do this by logging into a web platform where you can also trigger actions like sounding an alarm or showing an onscreen message to let the thief know you’re after him.
There are various software and services available.
- toilet roll
- manicure set
- external hard-drive
- power bank
- bring a bicycle – free transport and super convenient
- don’t forget to bring a torch, for power cuts. Keep candles away.
Once again, you don’t need to buy everything. Some items listed here are items that you and your roommates can contribute money to buy.
Don’t buy course-related books yet, you’ll find out that most of the books already exist in the school library.
Plan your life according to the money you have for the semester. Remember you’re there to learn.
Living a luxurious lifestyle to show off wouldn’t give you First Class or anything good. Just live within your means.
Which essential item have I missed in this post? Let me know in the comment section below.