University: A Bunch of Essentials

I’ve written a few times about what to take to university, I’ve written about my tech essentials, and now it’s time to share what other students feel are essential.

 photo 2014-09-03 18.21.39_zps9rmvxmji.jpgWay back in the summer Currys PC World asked me to contribute to a mini-guide on tech essentials for students. It’s now finally available for me to share with you – here’s the free download.

I thought a little outside of the box for my contribution and went kitchen-based. I’m not a huge user of tech within the kitchen (I don’t even use an electric whisk – beating eggs is a tough job in my house!) but there are a couple of things I think of as essential for me.

The first is a slow cooker. For me this is essential in creating stews and so on – things I actually eat an awful lot of. It’s not exactly economical to have the oven on all day, but slow cookers are much more efficient. I find them far easier to clean too!

 photo Homemade Pesto Recipes 8_zpsxiez5qm0.jpg photo Homemade Pesto Recipes 7_zpsbswpjwom.jpgThe second is a mini food processor. Now I’m not claiming either of these things are essential for most students, but if you like to cook then they are pretty cheap items that I reckon you’ll get a lot of use from. I use my mini chopper at least a couple of times a week – more so now my new version also acts as a mini blender (it’s perfect for one-person smoothies). I’ve also discovered it makes turning biscuits into crumbs a ten second job, perfect for making a chocolate fridge cake… It also allows me to make my own pesto, whizz up a curry paste, even blend up nut butters. Not bad for such a tiny machine!

Of course there’s other techy essentials too.

I couldn’t live without my portable hardrive, especially now my free unlimited Dropbox has ended. And of course there’s the laptop issue – and getting one that’s the right combination of light-weight and heavy-performance. I also have a Chromebook as well (perfect for weekends at W’s as my four-year-old laptop is SO heavy), an ASUS tablet and the mobile.

 photo 2015-10-07 16.39.29_zpsrx2kogfr.jpg photo University Room Tour 1_zpsy3lofhfl.jpgThe less obvious, smaller bits of tech are just as important. I’ve found having at least two extension leads is crucial at university, as you can guarantee plugs are in the most difficult of places. A kettle is pretty much designed for students – how else would I survive on tea?! And a microwave means you can make mug cakes and scrambled eggs. Speakers are pretty important for those pre-drink evenings, and having a HDMI cable means you can attach your laptop to a larger screen before jumping onto BBC iPlayer.

I found when I first moved to university I concentrated on the more practical things I needed – the kitchen bits, the bedding, the study materials. I know I definitely overlooked needed an extension cable!

What do you think are essentials for students? What couldn’t you live without at university?