The Freshers’ Shopping List

InQuire’s own fashionista, Coco Kent, talks us through what every fresher needs on their university shopping list.

We’re less than a month away from Freshers’ and whilst many of you are enjoying the summer, it may be time to start thinking about that all important uni shopping list. But before you panic that university starts in less than four weeks – don’t worry, because I’m here to help. I’ll be the Hagrid to your Harry Potter as we head through the Diagon Alley of stationery, homewares and accessories. Let’s get started:






Think waterproof, durable and stylish (of course) – because who wants to be carrying round several 300 + page books and notes in the rain and wind after a long day of lectures and seminars? Even if you’re living in one of the colleges that are within a five minute walking distance of the Templeman Library – yes, I’m talking to you Rutherfords and Darwinians – it’s not worth it. With soggy clothes, squelching shoes and books that have suddenly turned into sponges, that short walk will make you feel like you’ve joined the cast of Noah as the flood comeths. So best options for bags are either backpacks, messengers or leather handbags (for the ladies or guys, we don’t judge).





Pens, notebooks and diaries – oh my! Yes, there are a lot of stationery options to consider. Will you be putting your notes into folders or typing them up? Are you going to use a diary or a calendar (or both)? Do you need a pencil case or will you just store pens in your bag? Well, there isn’t really a definitive list of stationery you need because everyone’s different, it all comes down to you and how you prefer to study. What we can say is make sure you have the basics – pens, lined/plain paper notebooks (depending on the subject), stapler/paperclips, post-its and some sort of calendar or diary to keep track of your assignment due dates and events. Here are some of our picks (remember Paperchase and WHSmith have a 3 for 2 offer on):





Throughout Freshers you’ll be bombarded with so many promotions and products you’ll feel as though you’re watching the X-Factor: seeing more ads than experiencing the main show, and Freshers is one show you don’t want to miss. So, here are the deals you definitely want to consider and the products you might want to invest in:

1. Kentertainment Pass

There are so many events during Freshers and they aren’t cheap – especially for those whose accommodation costs are higher than their maintenance grants. If you’re party person and planning on attending most of the Freshers events including the ball, a Kentertainment pass is for you. For £30 you get a Freshers’ ball ticket, entry to Neon Hall Wars, entry to Freshbook (plus a free FB t-shirt) and 50% off Venue events (UoK’s on-campus club) plus priority queuing. And trust us you’ll want priority queuing – the normal entrance for Venue makes queuing for Disneyland look like a three person queue at the supermarket. The pass will save you £19 and a lot of time.

2. The NUS Card

The debate on the NUS card has always been 50/50. Some people say it’s fantastic and they’ve saved loads. Others say it wasn’t worth it and it’s just been sitting at home. We think it’s a good deal for £12, especially as InQuire has an obsession with pizza-outings. Pizza Express and ASK Italian offer 40% off on selected days and Pizza Hut offer 20%. There’s a wide variety of brands involved from Jack Wills to Spotify but it all depends on the person. Before you buy, check the discount list on the website and decide on whether you would actually use the card – if not maybe try UniDays which is an online website that is free to join and offers discount at other shops like TopShop.





Every accommodation has different features and offers different services so check before you start shopping for homewares to see what your accommodation offers. With homewares there’s a few options on where to buy – you can buy online or at your local shops and bring them down or you can buy from some of the shops in Canterbury. Most recommend Wilkos and Matalan because both are affordable and have some nice designs. The main homewares you’ll probably need to buy are bedding, desk accessories and of course, bathroom and kitchen appliances and products. Here are some of our picks:


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