How To Prepare For University: The Survival Guide

21st August 2018

It’s that time again, the back to school or university season is upon us! Summer adventures are over, and you have to start waking up in the actual morning again.

We know life as a student can be pretty hectic – lectures, tutorials, practice, labs, essays, dissertations, meeting girls (*Ahem*, we mean visiting the library).

As well as trying to juggle your study time with your social life you might be trying to navigate a new city, work out how to use a washing machine and survive a part-time job at the local supermarket?!

So, whether you’re a new student, a returning student, or even a lecturer, your best bet is to prepare in plenty of time for that first bell ringing.


The North Face backpacks, back to university


To help get you going we’ve made you a short Survival Guide with our Top 3 University Essentials no student can go without (okay, shouldn’t go without – don’t see it as a challenge!).

And, we’ve even thrown in some handy tips and advice to guide you through glorious early morning lectures to catching the last bus home after practice, and everything else in between.

So without further ado, here are our Top 3 University Essentials.


University Essential 1 – The Backpack

Your diary is full – Lecture at 9am, Lab at 12, lunch with friends at 1pm, followed by a meeting with your tutor at 3, then straight back to class!

For all this you’re going to need a backpack that’s reliable and can pretty much carry all the essentials for every aspect of your busy student life.

There are plenty of trusty backpacks on the market that are crammed full of features to help keep you organised and on-the-go.


Things to look out for:

  • Get a bag with lots of space and handy pockets for essentials like your books, stationary, water bottle, phone and money.
  • Look for a backpack that is lightweight and supportive, many have padded straps for extra comfort or additional features like ventilation so you don’t overheat when running to get to your lecture on time.
  • Check for a padded laptop pocket so you can carry your electronics safely and securely (no one wants to visit the Apple store in the first week back!)
  • Throw in a toothbrush and some spare clothes if you’re crashing at your mates flat after a night out and your backpack will have you covered all week long!


animal backpacks 2018, back to university

Animal Men’s Trekker Backpack and Animal Women’s Bright Backpack (coming soon AW18)


Check out our current collection of backpacks and find the one that’s right for you.


University Essential 2 – The Jacket

The sun might be shining today but who’s to say it won’t rain tomorrow.

And if you’ve been soaked in a typical yet still somehow unexpected UK downpour, or even blown away by some infamous hurricanes (we’re looking at you Hurricane Bawbag!) – you won’t want to be caught out again – especially in between classes.

Investing in the right jacket for you is vital for surviving the new academic year – and ideally many more years to come.

Now, there are plenty of styles to choose from depending on what you cherish most – warmth, breathability, protection from the wind and rain, all of the above, or even more.


Insulated Jackets

These bad boys will keep you warm on the coldest of days working hard to trap body heat keeping you cosy so you have no excuse to get to class (even in the snow).

Berghaus Men's Nunat Mtn Reflect Jacket

Berghaus Men’s Nunat Mtn Reflect Jacket (coming soon AW18)


Shop Women’s Insulated Jackets

Shop Men’s Insulated Jackets

Waterproof Jackets

Your best line of defence against the ever-changing UK weather, the waterproof jacket tackles the rain but keeps you lightweight and breathable so you can throw it on over your clothes and head on out.Berghaus Women's Interactive Hillmaster Jacket

Berghaus Women’s Interactive Hillmaster Jacket – Shop Now


Shop Women’s Waterproof Jackets

Shop Men’s Waterproof Jackets


3 in 1 Jackets

If you want that all-rounder then 3 in 1s are the way to go. With a waterproof outer shell, and a detachable inner layer you can pick and choose what level of protection and warmth you need.Berghaus Men's 3 in 1 Gemini Jacket

Berghaus Men’s 3 in 1 Gemini Jacket – Shop Now


Shop Women’s 3 in 1 Jackets

Shop Men’s 3 in 1 Jackets



Take some time to choose the perfect style for you – Shop our collection of men’s and women’s jackets to find the perfect style for you.


University Essential 3 – The Academic Diary

Think you can remember your 8am lecture that changes rooms for every second week for the first month then moves to Tuesdays second term? How about which essay is due for which subject and which out of those subjects has practical labs? – Exactly, you can’t!

Don’t worry, we have the answer. Get your hands on an academic diary.

Handing in an essay late, or showing up halfway through a lecture because you simply ‘forgot’ doesn’t fly! You will have a lot on your plate and the best way to make sure you keep on top of it is investing in an academic diary to have with you at all times as a reassuring nudge to get things done. And done on time!


Our Top Tips & Advice for Students


Now you’ve got the kit, here are some top tips to go with it.


Stay Healthy

With your busy student lifestyle, it’s easy to forget to sit down to a proper meal or not find enough time to involve yourself in any exercise outside of running from class to class.

You need to make sure you are eating well, and getting a healthy amount of stimulating activity otherwise you will wear yourself out before you even get started.

In terms of staying healthy, you are now back in somewhat of a routine after the summer holidays and you have access to a kitchen – so use it.  Try out some new recipes, use your flatmates as testers, even divvy up cooking between one another so you know you will always get a decent cooked meal after coming home from a long day of class.

Use whatever free time you have to get outside. You might be in a new city or even a new country, so there will be tons to explore.

Use your weekends to make your own adventure, whether that’s a road trip with plenty of sightseeing pit stops or an arduous hike. It’s good to get outdoors to clear your head and let all the fluff you’ve gathered from a week of cramming float away.

Get outdoors, animal AW18


Balance your Time

You might feel like the only way you are handling your time is by spinning a giant wheel and seeing what it lands on – class, sleep, study, sports, social.

But you need to take control and find the right balance, you can’t function at your best without being well rested, well fed, and well… happy. So make sure you find the right balance so you don’t miss out, and you don’t mess up.



Word to the wise, you will want to keep on top of your finances.

This might be the first time you are totally in charge of all your money, and if you get a student loan a large sum of this might come in at one go. This might seem amazing, but it can prove very dangerous.


You need to learn how to budget for your bills and your lifestyle.

Keep track of all your incomings and outgoings and work from there. Understand what is coming and going each month and make sure you always have enough to cover your bills! Lifestyle can come second, and if you want to really fund your lifestyle, you may need to look into getting some part-time work!


Get involved

There is so much to do outside of studying! Universities and Colleges tend to have a whole bunch of clubs and societies to join. From Football to Quidditch you’re sure to find something you’re interested in so don’t be afraid to make time and do it.



…and there you have it! Now you have everything you need to help you power through the academic year.


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