Fill your basket! What where you do your pre-uni shop says about your overall vibe

If you get all your uni stuff from John Lewis you definitely own a matching Le Creuset set

The big pre-uni shop you do before moving out is one of the best parts of university. Buying all the stuff to kit out your room is just the adult equivalent of buying pretty coloured highlighters or those shoes with the dolls in them in your back-to-school shop. However for uni, it’s command hooks, glasses you’ll smash at the first pres in your flat, and the number one essential, a Dishmatic sponge.

If I could do a back to uni shop and decorate a new uni room every year for the rest of my life I would. But where you choose to do your uni shop is very important and says a lot about your overall vibe. Naturally, if you do a uni room shop at John Lewis you’re a little bit of a Tory but if you go for a classic supermarket you’re actually just a legend.

So here’s what where you do your big pre-uni shop says about your overall vibe.


Starting off with the most basic and probably most students’ go-to. You can guarantee that 90 per cent of all of IKEA’s sales at the start of September is panicked uni students. The most popular item is probably going to be a fake houseplant too.

So I’m probably going to get a lot of hate for this one but I do think IKEA is massively overrated. If you do all of your uni shopping at IKEA you’re just really basic and scream beige vibes. You make the meatballs your entire personality and have definitely pissed the workers off trying to play hide and seek in the shop.

Unfortunately, your favourite flavour of crisps is ready salted and you go for a plain ham sandwich and a water when you get a meal deal. You’ll get to uni with the exact same boring cutlery as every one else and then wonder why all your stuff keeps getting stolen. Doing your uni shop at IKEA also probably means you caved and bought a Djungelskog, you know those massive teddy bears, for emotional support reasons. But you’ll get to uni and realise the bear takes up your entire room and is just a trip hazard when you bring someone back after a night out.

Primark Home

Pre-uni shop

Pre-uni shop

If you do your pre-uni shop at Primark, your room is exclusively pink and rose gold, you study something like marketing or law at Exeter and you’ve made Elle Woods your idol. You probably have a print of the quote “What, like it’s hard?” firmly stuck on your pinboard and could recite Legally Blonde back to front. Big up Primark fairy lights and reed diffusers though.

John Lewis

Now we’re really getting into Tory territory. Every year John Lewis releases a uni essentials list with the most ridiculous unessential items in the world and you probably LIVE by it. John Lewis is lush for a couple of extra bits for your room to treat yourself but if you’re doing your full uni shop here I can only guarantee your name is something like Clementine or Olympia.

You absolutely stuffed daddy’s Tesla with Laura Ashley bedding and matching Le Creuset sets which you’ll use to make one pasta bake, never wash up, and then just force your parents to buy you a new set because it’s easier than cleaning the mould off it. You’ll also bring a million White Company or Diptyque candles and inevitably end up in trouble with the fire wardens.

Urban Outfitters

big pre-uni shop

Via Urban Outfitters

Just stop. Please stop trying to be edgy you’re not going to impress all your new flatmates with a puff puff pass” cushion or an LED toilet light, I promise. Just save your pennies and get a few extra pints in Freshers’ Week.

If you do your uni shop at Urban Outfitters you’re definitely one to lug your record player (that’s most likely a pink Crosley) to uni so you can show off your really underground music taste to all your new pals when in reality you’re just playing The 1975 or The Smiths. When you were 14 you were a Tumblr girlie and had a “normal people scare me” t-shirt and let’s be honest you’ve still not really left that phase have you?

Wilko or The Range

The closure of Wilko is the biggest loss to all uni shopping enthusiasts. I couldn’t tell you the main purpose of the shop other than it was perfect for all your bits and bobs but man did they do bits and bobs so well. If you manage to get to Wilko before it closes or do your uni shop at somewhere like The Range then you’re smart and economical. You probably go to a London uni or somewhere chill like Birmingham or Glasgow. You study a subject like history and are 100 per cent part of a political society.

A supermarket like Tesco or Asda

Pre-uni shop

Icon! You are the moment. Honestly doing your big uni shop at a supermarket like Asda is so underrated and if you do this you’re automatically just cool. Everything at a supermarket is super cheap and there’s some genuinely lovely stuff. Most of them do homeware collections with different celebs which most of the time end up being lovely.

If you do your pre-uni shop at a supermarket your room is definitely a yellow and grey colour scheme and you study something like geography at Manchester or Bristol. I can also picture you being on multiple uni society committees, probably something like charity work or the feminist society.

Charity or vintage shops

If you manage to find all your uni essentials in charity or vintage shops, I’m actually really jealous because I can never find anything good. You’re a thrifting legend but you’re far from humble about it. Before anyone can get half-way through asking you where something is from you’re already interrupting them with “It’s vintage!” just to prove your superiority whilst looking down at their Primark throw. You study an arty subject at a uni like Sussex and you’re probably just a little bit too obsessed with cats. You’re a part of the yoga or knitting society and exclusively listen to Phoebe Bridgers or Mitski.

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