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The only survival back to university guide that you will ever need

Editorial Feature

Whether you’re heading off to uni for the first time or returning once again, it’s essential to make sure you’re fully prepared for the term ahead. You may have decided which clothes and shoes you’re taking for the first few nights out, but it’s important to hit the ground running when planning for lectures and studying too – after all, you are there to learn.

In order to maximise your learning potential, it’s key to have everything you may need close to hand and in working order, from batteries and extension cables right up to a comfortable chair and desk. With this in mind, high street favourite, Ryman has joined forces with Checklist to give top tier advice on all you need to nail your courses this year with its back to university checklist.

1. Logging on and typing up

A dependable laptop is an essential bit of kit for surfing the web and doing your research, and you’ll also need it for typing up your findings into those long essays. The affordable ASUS VivoBook E210MA (£229.99) is an 11.6 inch laptop designed for daily computing. Powered by an Intel Celeron processor, you can enjoy speedy performance and smooth responsiveness for your everyday internet browsing. It also has a 12-hour battery life which means it doesn’t matter if you leave your charger at home when you’re on campus.

A slightly more robust built laptop is the ASUS W202NA-GJ0022R (£239). It has rubber-lined edges and corners that help protect it against bumps and knocks so is ideal if you’re slightly clumsy or have a habit of ramming lots of items into your backpack or cupboards.

If you’re looking for something that will allow your creativity to run wild, then here’s something a little more up your alley. The Wacom Intuos S Creative Pen Tablet with Bluetooth (£69.99) is the perfect tool for digital drawing, painting and photo editing.

2. Perfect presentation

Save the hassle of having to go to the library and queue to print out projects by taking your own printer to uni. The Epson XP-2100 Printer with 12 Month Ink Subscription Included (£59.99) allows you to wirelessly print, scan, and copy what you need quickly and easily with this reasonable all-in-one compact machine. Plus, with mobile printing you’ll have the freedom to print from almost anywhere. The Epson Expression Home XP-3100 3-in-1 Wireless Inkjet (£54.99) is another sophisticated and easy-to-use printer. It too is compact, producing clear and vibrant prints and is capable of mobile printing with Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct and a range of compatible Epson apps.

3. Designer desks

You are going to need a desk to work at and the stylish Bray Corner Desk is currently on sale for £39.99! The classy corner design is a space saver, and the two shelves give added storage or make an ideal spot for a printer. With an open back, there’s no need to worry about threading through cables or extensions and the white finish matches any decor. Proving to be a very popular choice by students, it’s time to get in quick!

You know what they say, all work and no play… so a perfect compromise is the Brayan Gaming Desk (£79.99). Made with a robust steel frame for durability and a sturdy MDF top, this desk is ideal for gaming but will also be perfect for working at as it has a spacious tabletop with a built in cupholder and headphone hook so your desktop will stay tidy and clean from accidental spills.

You need to see what you’re doing when working late so the Status Palma Desk Lamp (£9.99) is perfect for brightening things up. This great value light features a recognisable classic look and provides adequate lighting for reading in the dark, writing, hobbies or working on the computer at night – it’s also dimmable for when you’re ready to doze off!

4. Comfort is king!

With the Ophelia Velvet Tub Office Chair with Massage Pillow (£89.99) you’re never going to want to step away from your desk! With a clever USB powered massage pillow, this luxurious velvet-feel upholstered chair has an extra-wide seat, a high back with armrests and a 360-degree swivel base. Relax and feel pampered while you work away.

Another snug option is the Stylish Medium Back Executive Mesh Chair (£39.99). Featuring air mesh upholstery back support and fixed arms, this chair provides comfort for hours on end. Essay writing never felt so good.

5. Boxing clever

Underbed storage boxes (£14) are great storage options for uni rooms when space is often limited (top tip: they’re also ideal for packing towels and bedding in for the journey to uni!). These Strata boxes have a folding lid for easy access and the wheels make them easy to slide in and out from under the bed.

For transporting and storing smaller items, like stationery or kitchen utensils, the stackable, aptly named Really Useful 9 Litre Boxes (£18 for three) are another great buy. With strong handles, they’re easy to grab and go, and it’s obvious what’s inside them as they’re made from clear polypropylene.

But if you’re looking for something to add a touch of personalisation to your new uni room, why not grab the Wham Studio Basket 4.02 (£7 for three). This sleek and versatile storage box is perfect for storing bathroom toiletries, cleaning, and laundry products. Plus, it comes in a range of different colours so you can choose the right one to suit your style.

6. Carry on working

Need your laptop on campus? No problem with the Samsonite GuardIT 2.0 Laptop Backpack (£29.99). Combining style, comfort and practicality to bring you an all-round functional backpack, this is perfect for transporting your laptop and work supplies – it’s also currently on sale for half price (did somebody say more money for fresher’s week!?).

7. Take note!

Do your bit for the environment and take notes on the Pukka Recycled Pad (£7.49 pack of 3). With 110 pages, these A4 feint-ruled pads will be perfect for scribbling notes during lectures and they’re hole-punched so you can file everything neatly away when you get home.

And what’s a well organised backpack without stationery? Never run out of pens again with this Zebra Ballpen Medium Retractable Pack of 10 (£5.99). These long-lasting and rubber-gripped black ballpoints are ideal for everyday uses such as form-filling, note-taking, exams, or just plain doodling!

But perhaps maybe the most important stationery step of them all. The only way to keep your pile of scribbled down lecture notes clear and concise…a good ol’ pack of highlighters. The STABILO BOSS Pastel Highlighters Pack of 8 Assorted (£9.99) are perfect for highlighting important text and getting you revision ready.

8. Crunching those numbers

For those that are a sucker for an equation (or just your course forces you to be) this Casio CG-50 Graphic Calculator (£79.99) is the perfect addition to your stationery essentials. With 61 KB RAM and over 65,000 colours, it’s an ideal companion for you budding mathematicians and professionals out there.

9. Tidy desk, tidy mind

To keep your room organised and clutter-free you’re going to want something that keeps all those random notes and bits of paper in one place. The Osco Bamboo Desk Organiser is an excellent solution in attempting to achieve a neat and tidy desk. You’ll never have to search high and low for a pen again.

10. Stick to it!

What’s a uni room without a wall full of post-it notes ay? Be sure to kick off the new term with these super sticky post-it notes firmly in your bag. An ideal way to keep on top of upcoming deadlines and of course those not to be missed social plans. Get the Post-it Super Sticky Waterfall Miami and Rio de Janeiro.

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Laura Forsyth

After graduating with a Journalism and English Literature degree, Laura has gone on to work for national television and as a reporter for the UK’s biggest news outlets. With years of experience in the media industry, Laura is now the managing editor for Hurst Media Company, and the food, travel and health editor for

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