The first day: what do I need for university lectures?

Sophia Lamberton 21 December 2021
A busy lecture hall, the heart of student life

Find out what to bring to university on your first day of classes with our list of essentials.

Sorting out what to bring to university is a spooky task. That's before you've even thought about the uni lectures themselves. I think I brought everything but the kitchen sink with me.

Here are my top five essentials to bring to your first university lectures:

A laptop and charger

While not essential, a laptop is one of the most useful things you can bring to a lecture. Don’t forget to bring your charger along in case it runs out of juice. 

If you take your laptop to lectures, you should also consider a waterproof laptop case. They’re really lightweight and most come with pockets, meaning you can keep any loose notes in one place. The sleeve will also protect it in case something leaks in your bag. 

If you’ve got a tablet, that’s even better, as you’ll save space in your bag. Keep all your notes saved in OneDrive or Google Drive, so you can access them from any device. 

A notepad and pens

What if there are no plugs for your laptop in you last lecture of the day? And you used all the battery in the cafe at lunch. It pays to bring a notepad and pens to your classes as well. Some people even prefer taking notes by hand.

Bring multiple pens with you in case one runs out. I like to bring a pen with four different colours. This way, I don't need to worry about forgetting to bring different colours. This lets not only make the cutest notes in the room, but it's also great for visual learning.

Pre-reading notes

Something I found really useful during undergrad was bringing along any notes I’d made before the class. Then I could refer to them during the lecture.

Make a note of any questions you’ve got for your lecturer in case you get an opportunity to ask at the end. While you shouldn’t feel pressured to ask questions in front of everyone if you don’t feel comfortable, it will definitely get you brownie points!

A refillable cup or drink bottle

Take a hot drink with you or fill your bottle with water. Most unis have bottle filling stations too, so make use of them. Invest in a water bottle or a flask because this will save you so much money. It’s more sustainable than buying single-use plastic.

You may not be allowed to drink in your lecture theatre, so try to have a coffee or a drink before you go to your lecture to keep you alert and hydrated; there’s nothing worse than feeling sleepy during a two-hour class.


While you can’t eat in most lecture theatres, you should still bring snacks along in case you get an opportunity to have a break. I usually bring food or a piece of fruit from home to save time and money buying snacks on campus.

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Sophia Lamberton 21 December 2021