Gifts for a fresher What they need for uni

First published: 04-09-2015

Gifts for a fresher: What they need for uni

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Starting university is an exciting new adventure and for any fresher getting ready to settle into their new student digs, there are a few essential items they will need to take.

If you're looking for a gift for the fresher in your life, there are loads of options from the practical to the indulgent items they probably wouldn't splash out on themselves.

Whether you want to help them decorate their new room, keep them as organised as possible, or give them a little something to alleviate the inevitable home-sickness, your gift is bound to be appreciated.



Good quality bed linen will keep them warm and cosy, as well as bringing colour and pattern to the stereotypically dull student room. Throws and blankets will be really useful, too; they will come in handy over winter (student digs aren't known for their toasty warmth!) and can decorate sofas and chairs all year round to make the place homelier.

Cushions will transform the room into a great chill-out zone, which will be ideal for those midnight gossips or all-night study sessions.

Cleaning essentials

A relatively unexciting gift, but a very useful one: a hamper with all their cleaning essentials will mean they don't have to re-stock for at least a term (or the whole three years, depending on how clean they want the room to be).

Detergent, antibacterial wipes, scouring pads, and drain un-blocker are all vital items most students shouldn't live without, as well as air fresheners and fabric conditioner. A collapsible clothes horse will also prove very useful, so you can guarantee that their clothes will at least be dry, even if they're not ironed.

A first aid kit is also essential. Be sure to stock it up with plenty of paracetamol for tackling the dreaded fresher's flu, as well as plasters for any cooking mishaps!



This is where you can get creative; although most landlords don't like anything stuck to the walls, there are plenty of things you can buy to help freshen up a fresher's room.

Displaying photos around the room will help keep homesickness at bay, and also give the place a personal touch. Print off a few of their favourites for a thoughtful going-away gift.

Posters are another great option and you can stick these up with white-tack to ensure they don't leave a mark. Pick something you know they will love, like their favourite band or film, or a gorgeous shot of one of their favourite places.

Fairy lights are perfect for brightening up a room, and LED candles are fantastic for creating an ambiance in the room without breaking any rules. A few of these in some decorative jars will make their room an absolute haven.

Alternatively, why not get them a house plant? A small cactus or spider plant will require minimal care, and if they are a fan of mojitos, a mint plant would be a good option; it will make them hugely popular come cocktail time (if they know how to make one!), as well as working as a natural air freshener.

Kitchen goodies

Tea, coffee, and booze. We guarantee that before they have used the wok, or opened the cookbook, these three things will come in very handy. Stock them up on their favourite brews and blends to make them a very happy fresher indeed!

Some student halls come equipped with pots and pans, but if you want to get them new ones (so you can be sure of their quality and, of course, cleanliness), these are bound to be put to good use. Grills and toastie makers will also make great gifts, as will shot glasses, bowls, and a durable bottle opener.

Of course, there are some hangovers that only a takeaway can cure, so a gift card for their favourite pizza place or chicken chain could well be the most appreciated gift of all.

Work hard…

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Even if their first year is more about the 'play hard' than the 'work hard', come second year they are probably going to be getting their head down and cracking on with the tasks at hand.

Therefore, diaries, desk calendars, and plenty of folders will come in very handy. Anything that can keep them on top of their work load will make a great gift.

If you're looking for a big present they can take with them to university, you can't get much better than a new laptop. From work to planning social events, most of a student's life revolves around their laptop, so a quality model will give them a good start.

Equally helpful will be a printer, especially one that also scans and photocopies. The deadline-day rush at the library printers isn't something you would wish on anyone, so give them a life-line with a printer of their own.

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An alarm clock will also ensure they wake up in time for every lecture, and is one of the most useful gifts you can buy. Models like this Lifemax solar-powered clock will be ideal, as the colouring makes it a little bit more decorative than your average alarm.

…Play hard

We all know that university is just as much about the experience as it is education, so anything to help them enjoy themselves will work perfectly as a present.

Gift cards for their favourite shops will allow them a little indulgence, even when their student loan is diminishing rapidly, and ones for supermarkets will guarantee that they can buy their favourite foods.

Membership at the university gym is a great way to help them keep fit while they're partying hard, and as it's often quite expensive, this will be one big thing for which they might not have the budget.

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A quality speaker system will make them the first person to get invited to every party, as will a cocktail shaker and a recipe book. A music subscription to something like Spotify or Deezer will help them create the ultimate playlist, and a Netflix account will give them plenty of options for movie nights in the flat.

For those infamous mornings-after-the-night-before, plenty of box sets will get them through the day, and for the ultimate in hangover chic, why not treat them to one of their university's hoodies? They are guaranteed to wear them all the time, but especially on days when they need something super-comfy to curl up in.

In anticipation of homesickness, or moments when they miss their friends who are half-way across the country, a railcard will help them travel at the fraction of the usual cost. Alternatively, an open train ticket to certain destinations will let them plan the perfect weekend away to see family or friends.

Leaving home to start university is a huge step in any young person's life, so give them the best possible start with a really thoughtful and useful gift. Whether you get something to help them stay clean, organised, or to become the life and soul of the party, you can help them start this exciting journey in the best possible way.


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