Art school essentials: The ultimate list of things you need for university

Packing to head off to university is a mammoth task, with a huge element of unknown thrown in for good measure. What clothes should you take? Will you need that fancy dress outfit you wore 3 years ago for freshers week? Should you take a supply of food, or just wait until you get there?

With all this confusion in mind, we’ve compiled a list of things you absolutely need to pack for university. The essentials that will carry you through three years of art school (kind of):

Plastic cups

Buy a massive supply of plastic party cups in different sizes (pint glass, wine glass, shot glass), but here’s the secret – don’t throw them away. 1. They’re easy to wash up. 2. They won’t smash. 3. It doesn’t matter if they do go missing (which glasses will). Get different colours for different uses: Red for beer pong, clear to drink from and white for cleaning paint brushes.


Living with other people is great fun, but sometimes you just want to listen to your own music.

A printer with colour ink

Not only will you be thankful that you don’t have to head to the library every time you want to print something, but you’ll also be everyone’s best friend if you can let them print off the odd document. And buying print credits at uni can soon add up, so it could be cost effective too.


Not just books that are required for your course, but reading books too. There will be times when you need to switch off, and you’ll need an activity when you jump on the train to head home at Christmas!


Make your room feel like home by covering it in pictures of your friends and family from home. Use frames, or even just stick pictures to the wall (just be careful not to leave a mark, or be prepared to fix any paint chips).

Art supplies

This will be specific to your course, but if you have stacks of art supplies at home, don’t leave them there gathering dust. Yes you can buy shiny new things (hello student discount), but save your student loan and any spare cash for new purchases, not repurchasing things you already have. You can also use them to decorate your room.


You might not want to be that person who labels food in the fridge, but if your orange juice keeps going missing you might need to. And if you don’t, sticky labels are handy for leaving notes for your flatmates, playing games (drinking or otherwise) or just labelling books and portfolios. You’ll always find a use for them.

Marker pens

Write on your labels, draw on your friends when they’re asleep…

A washing basket and clothes airer

Or a big bag so you can take it home at weekends, because who’s really got time for doing laundry at uni?


Tupperware is handy for pretty much anything and everything. Cook batches of food and freeze for quick and easy meals, store open food to keep it fresh, or even keep non food items in there, such as pens, pencils and paints.

Herbs and spices

When you’re on a budget, cooking exotic meals might be a little out of reach, but heading off to university armed with an array of herbs and spices can make the most bland meals taste good.

Limited kitchen supplies

There’s a good chance that everyone will bring 3 saucepans, 1 frying pan, a set of cutlery, plates, bowls, a pizza cutter, cheese grater and everything else you could possibly need. Unless you’re completely averse to sharing, it might be better to wait and scope out what everyone else has before you purchase kitchen supplies. You can then offer to fill in the gaps, rather than add another bottle opener to the drawer.

Calling all art students! Pop along to one of our stores on Tuesday 4th October where we’ll be celebrating our annual Student Day, with 15% off, free giveaways and a prize draw!


Pullingers Student Day poster. Student discount for everyone at an art school

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