Helping your child get ready for uni life

Starting University is a big step in a young adult’s life. And this year is no different, although there might be different things to consider. So if you’ve got a child heading to uni for the first time, here’s our top tips for helping them get ready, so they feel more comfortable in their new surroundings.

Things to do before they head off

Once they know which Uni they’ll be attending, and where they’ll be living, you’ll need to think about the following:

  • Registering at a local doctor’s surgery and dentist. This might not seem like a priority, but it will save them the hassle of travelling home for an appointment.
  • Setting up a student account – make sure they’ve had time to look at a range of accounts to ensure that it’s right for them – particularly focusing on overdraft rates.
  • Household chores – are they au fait with the washing machine? Now might be a good time to help them with the basics to get them ready for their new independent life away from home.
  • Cooking basics – students aren’t known for their culinary skills, but you can help teach them some cheap, easy classics like spaghetti Bolognese. And if you can get a few meals out of one recipe, all the better. We’re sure you’ll be wanting them to keep healthy so below are some top recipe book recommendations.
  • Get the right insurance: It’s important to note that your child’s belongings might not necessarily be covered under your home insurance policy when they move into university halls of accommodation, so make sure to check this with your home insurance provider. This is where Endsleigh, part of the A-Plan group can help – scroll to the bottom of this article for more information.

Planning on what they need to take with them

  • Money? Check. Phone? Check. Mask? It doesn’t feel right to not mention this one first, but making sure your child has a supply of washable face coverings and hand sanitisers each time they head out is important. Some of you may want to throw in some disposable gloves for good measure.
  • Food: A food hamper is a great way to ensure they leave home with some basics, along with some treats. Pasta and rice are so versatile and cheap, so be sure to put in a bag of each, along with some sauces. Soups are great for when the winter months set in. And don’t forget some kitchen basics like herbs and seasoning.
  • Food gift card: Another idea might be to give them a gift voucher to spend at their local supermarket to encourage them to do a proper food shop now and then – even if they just hold onto the voucher for when they start to run out of money towards the end of the semester.
  • The right tech: There’s likely to be more online learning this year, due to the current situation, so it’s just as important to make sure they’ve got the right gadgets to help them learn, whether that’s a laptop, tablet or Mac. And of course, you’ll want to keep in touch regularly so making sure they’ve got a decent mobile phone.
  • Kitchen essentials: Whether your child is going into catered or self-catered halls, taking some of their own kitchen essentials will be important:
    • Kettle
    • Pots and pans
    • Plates, bowls and dishes
    • Cups and mugs
    • Chopping board
    • Cutlery (as well as a sharp knife for chopping vegetables)
    • Baking trays
    • Oven gloves and tea towels
    • Tin opener
  • Bathroom essentials – shower gel and hair products are some of the basics, but we’re sure they’ll have a pretty good idea on what they need to take.
  • Recipe book: One of the best-selling cook books for students is Nosh for Students by Joy May which includes a range of budget-friendly recipes and tips on how to cook. But there’s plenty of recipes online – they could try The Student Food Project or Student Eats.
  • Who doesn’t love a bit of stationery? Doing a shopping haul for pens, post-its, notepads, highlighters and just about anything else that will be useful for their studies could be great fun. And if you’ve got a local B&M near you, they’re already stocked up for all your stationery needs!
  • Cleaning supplies: Think about dusters, polish, dish cloths, washing up liquid, limescale remover, washing power or tablets, and of course, antibacterial spray! Again, if you’re at your local B&M hunting for stationery bargains, pick up some Zoflora or Fabulosa – they are both concentrated disinfectants that will make their uni pad smell delightful.
  • New bedding: Avoid some sleepless nights at a time when they need to be remaining focused and send them off with a nice, new duvet set.
  • A comfortable backpack: It’s a good idea to invest in a sensible, sturdy backpack that offers sufficient back support, and to remind them that it’s probably not such a good idea to carry everything around in one go.
  • Pictures of home:  As much as you’ll be missing them when they head off to university, they’re going to be missing you too. So send them off with something sentimental that will make them smile when they’re starting to feel a bit homesick.

Thinking about insurance for students?

Endsleigh specialise in cover for students – and have done for over 55 years. Benefits include theft by non-forced entry, gadget cover with 24 hour replacement after a claim is approved, and zero excess on all crime-related claims. With Endsleigh’s new Everywhere Student Packs, students can protect their items from as little as £8 per month, with no need to specify items.

For more information visit