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16th February 2024

Little luxuries that make uni life more bearable

Treat yourself! Life as a university student isn’t always easy, but some things can make it that little bit more enjoyable
Little luxuries that make uni life more bearable
Credit: Diego Carneiro @ Unsplash

Let’s be honest, life at university isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. With deadline after deadline, dodgy landlords, and the dreaded ‘Sorry, Bus Full’ at the end of a long day at uni, there’s reason to be annoyed.

And there’s only so much reminding yourself that sunnier days are coming when the academic tumble dryer of semester 2 is now in full swing. Whilst these little luxuries can’t fix all of life’s problems, they certainly can make it a little brighter.

A good Spotify playlist

Whether it’s commuting to campus, intensely studying or chilling in the evening, there’s plenty of opportunities where music can soundtrack your day. I am a big fan of the Spotify ‘daylist’ – a playlist which automatically updates throughout the day and reflects the types of music you usually listen to.

This isn’t always entirely accurate so do keep those other playlists too, whether it’s that classical-heavy study soundtrack or a collection of super upbeat tracks to kickstart your morning. Be that main character you’ve always dreamed of.

Milk frother

The number of times this year I’ve already said “an oat milk latte” to the staff in the various coffee shops around campus should be criminal – and it certainly isn’t helping my bank balance either. Yes, a coffee out is a nice treat occasionally, but it definitely adds up if it becomes a regular routine.

Investing a cheap handheld milk frother can help replicate that coffee shop experience, even if you’re working with Nescafé Instant Coffee. I’ve had one from Flying Tiger from before I started university, and it has lasted me well. Whilst it will never fully replicate the joys of an intricate flower on the top of that overpriced coffee, you can at least pretend.

Credit: Chevanon Photography @ Pixels

Sweet treats

Second year is a rite of passage for turning those late club nights to early cosy evenings on the sofa. And the perfect accompaniment to fuel a rom-com marathon? A sweet treat.

Where this phrase originated from, considering it’s been on the tips of everyone’s tongues for the last six months, who knows? But what I do know is that I’ve now sampled every pastry from Sainsbury’s and could probably tell you which individual slices of cake from Morrisons are the best too.

Hot food for lunch

I am terrible for eating the same thing for lunch five times in a row and frankly, it does get boring. Not sure what we did before the microwaves on campus, but it’s a perfect excuse to bring whatever leftovers you cooked up the night before and show off to your friends that their meal deal really doesn’t stand up to your Michelin-star dinner.

And if you didn’t have the time to make leftovers, the soup from any of the Food on Campus outlets is a shout – thank me later.

Electric blanket or dressing gown

Whilst hopefully the coldest of the winter months are behind us, it’s Manchester and therefore impossible to tell what the weather will do next. I really don’t want to have to layer up and then proceed to sweat to death when the sun decides to rear it’s head for five minutes.

In your house on the other hand, it’s a perfect excuse to keep warm and investing in an electric blanket or a good dressing gown is a nice way to treat yourself.

Fairy lights

I can’t help but think of the 2015 Tumblr days, but fairy lights (or anything that isn’t the main overhead light) are little luxuries. I am a chronic ‘no overhead light’ user and having a desk lamp or some fairy lights above your bed can make a room, especially one in halls, less dingy and instead a more welcoming and warm space.

Nice crockery

You might not be the greatest cook, but you can pretend by spicing up your crockery collection. The crockery that my parents bought me in first year will, hopefully, last until my graduation. However, if anything breaks, you best believe it will be replaced by something I’ll want to treasure. Primark, Flying Tiger, and B&M all do great sets which won’t cost your whole student loan.

One named brand item in your food shop

It’s hard to admit, but the luxuries of Heinz Beans, Walker Crisps or PG Tips (other branded tea bags are available) aren’t always the most financially sustainable decision in a weekly food shop. Although every now again it’s nice to treat yourself and pick something that you know you’ll appreciate over the supermarket-own items.


Many people often perceive flowers as something reserved for special occasions or as a gift you must receive. But purchasing flowers for yourself can be empowering and boost your self-esteem, particularly during times of low mood. A vibrant bouquet adds colour to your room or kitchen and will probably leave your housemates thanking you for being such an interior design genius.

Credit: Nadine Wuchenauer @ Pexels

Sunrise alarm

This is the priciest investment out of this list, but a worthy one. Sunrise alarms simulate natural daylight, give you a similar effect to sunlight in the morning and, in turn, stirs up that morning serotonin boost.

Even using an alarm clock instead of the one on your phone can help your sleep patterns, particularly as there isn’t that immediate temptation to go on your phone as soon as you wake up.

Jacob Robinson

Jacob Robinson

Head Investigations Editor & MMG News Producer 2023-24 | Former Head of Talk Shows and Deputy Head of Podcasting at Fuse FM 2022-23

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