Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Starting University Gift Guide

 A few weeks ago in the UK it was A-Level Results day. I can remember my results day like it was yesterday, but it also seems like a lifetime ago at the same time. I cannot believe that four years ago I found out that I was going to university and I made a big trip with my parents to The Range to buy all the supplies I would need for moving away. I have a more detailed list of the basics such as pots and pans; but today's post is around gifts that are not an essential, but would make a lovely gift for someone going off to university and I've found gifts for all budgets. Right; lets get into the selection shall we?

 If you've been a reader for a while, you'll remember that a big part of how I made my room at university homely was to have photos and artwork on my wall. Although this print from UncommonGoods* is targeted as a gift for an anniversary; I thought it would be a great gift for someone going off to university as for the majority of people it means moving away from home. I thought this would be a lovely reminder for someone that their family are only a call away if they start to feel homesick. 
 Whilst searching the site I also found this wooden duck with spotted wellies - how adorable is it? - and I thought that this wouldn't be something that the person going to university would buy themselves, but that actually it would make a good decoration and make their room in Halls that bit different. If you want to go that bit further UncommonGoods do a range of gifts that you can personalise and also have a selection of gifts for individuals graduating if you know someone at the other end of the spectrum of their degree. I really like that as a company they pride themselves on creating a positive impact in the workplace in order to create a positive impact outside the workplace; you know that you're buying a gift from some good eggs in the world. They have also created the Better to Give program which means that at the checkout you are able to select a non-profit organisation that UncommonGoods will donate $1 to - currently they have donated over $1,000,000 since starting the scheme in 2001 - so you will be able to do some good in the world too! 

 I bought myself a Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 last year and it's taken me a while to get used to which settings I need in which lighting - I have a few examples of where I tried to take some photos outside on the trip Tom and I took to London back in March that are waaaaay over exposed and too bright - but I've finally managed to get the hang of it and I think this would have been great to have had from the start of my degree. If you know someone who already has one of these cameras, another gift could be a bag to carry it in - I used to just put mine in my bag but as it's white it got dirty really easily - and I bought this b-e-u-tiful bag from amazon and it's so handy as it also has a pocket at the back where you can put your photos whilst you're out snapping. Depending on your budget an alternative could be to buy some film for the camera to ensure that they have a supply ready for freshers week!

 A perfume or body spray would go down well and is one of those items that I found you only thought about once you'd moved away and realised you hadn't brought your supply from home. The Zoella Blissful Mistful is a good high street option to go for as it's nicer than the body sprays you used to overuse as a thirteen year old, but without the price tag of a perfume - obviously you can go for whichever scent/brand you like and you can tailor it to any budget.

 Another product that I found you only realised you needed once you discovered you didn't have one, is handcream/body moisturiser. I got this pot of Sleepy body lotion from Lush as a part of a gift set, and it was limited edition but I've recently seen that it's now available in the smaller size that I have, or in a whopping big pot! I've seen that people say that this has been helping them get to sleep, and to be fair it might have helped me but I'm someone who has no trouble falling asleep so I can't vouch for how good it is for those who struggle to drift off. That being said, it's a wonderfully nourishing cream with a sweet and subtle lavender scent and as it's from Lush you know that it's been freshly made and will be a lovely treat for the recipient. 

 Now everyone going to university will need a notebook and for lectures/seminars the only paper I would use were the Oxford Campus notebooks as the paper is suuuper soft and anything else felt like sandpaper in comparison; but a small notebook would be handy to keep on top of to-do lists or I always valued having an academic diary that I could take into uni to keep track of deadlines. For pretty notebooks the first place I'd check out would be paperchase as they have so many to choose from, or you'd be surprised how nice the stationary in supermarkets is now!

 Buy a mug. Everyone needs a mug. I find it's nicer to have a drink out of a mug that's pretty or that's a gift rather than one of those you've picked up for free, and somehow the drink tastes better too? Now Tom and I are in no way short in supply of mugs but when I saw this mug I had to get it as it has an illustration from Wrendale designs which is a design company that I have been in love with for years, and actually in terms of shape and thickness of china, it's such a good mug to have your morning cup of coffee from. If you're looking for a large mug I would always go for one from Cath Kidston and they always have loads of designs you can choose from.

 The final gift in this guide is a bit random, but if you're a lover of coffee then you need to try the chocolate covered coffee beans from Costa. In a previous job one of my colleagues brought these in one day and they're perfect for when you're lagging a bit in the afternoon and need a pick me up but don't necessarily want to drink a whole coffee. I think these would be perfect (in moderation guys) to get through those stints in the library or that 9am lecture after a late night.

 Woweee that was longer than I expected it to be! Now obviously these gifts could be given to anyone but I thought it would be nice to use my own experience of starting university four years ago (cry cry) as to what would have been a good gift to receive. I hope this has inspired you if you are in need of a gift for someone starting university - or if you're in need of gift ideas in general!

Jess x 

*This post is sponsored by UncommonGoods. All opinions and words are 100% honest and my own. No affiliate links have been used. For more information please see my disclaimer


  1. Brilliant, as always. I will add UncommonGoods to my shopping folder. Its always nice to but something different xxxx


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