University is an extremely rewarding experience but parts of it can be challenging. For many, it involves living away from home for the first time. Without home commodities, going about daily activities may seem tougher than usual. That’s why The Badger team have come together to recommend a page of tech to make your first year at Sussex University easier, comfier and safer. (Except for a few instances, we haven’t detailed specific brands as everyone’s budget is different, and for a lot of technology there’s a wide variety of options including second-hand or refurbished goods!

Portable Bluetooth Speaker

For flat parties, relaxing on the beach or simply singing your heart out to your favourite artist in the shower – there are few pieces of tech more integral for music lovers at university. For peace of mind, a waterproof speaker is recommended for your clumsy friends when drinks are present.

Mindfulness Apps

Apps such as Headspace or Calm are great for bringing tranquillity to a hectic day. As our days become busier and our weeks quicker, mindfulness apps allow you to take a step back, breathe and reconnect with yourself.


With a new university comes new surroundings. Even the most navigationally gifted students will find themselves lost from time to time. What3Words is an app that gives very precise geographical locations. The app is even recommended by police for safer journeys to and from home, as you can be pinpointed quickly by emergency services if necessary.


Only 27% of adults are reported to reach the five fruit and veg a day recommendation. A blender makes achieving a healthy lifestyle a lot easier – smoothies, milkshakes or any other creation can be served up in minutes. Add ice for hot summer days!

Bluetooth Headphones

Even for non-music junkies, these can be extremely helpful when studying. If the only seat left in the library is next to a particularly raucous bunch of second years, a good set of headphones to listen to some study beats can help a lot.

Defrost Tray

We’ve all rushed out in the morning and forgot to defrost those chicken nuggets for later. These trays use the natural conductivity of aluminium to thaw your food without the need for any heat or electrical supply. Some companies boast of defrosting times as little as 20 mins, much better than the usual 2-3 hours!


Spechify is an app available on mobiles and computers whereby a computer-generated voice can read out any segment of text. It offers great accessibility for those with dyslexia, ADHD, impaired vision or other reading difficulties.

Slow Cooker

An item often overlooked in student kitchen surroundings, but I am still yet to find someone who regrets buying one. Drop some raw meat in and anything else you want with it, and let the machine do the rest. Tender meat awaits you at the end of the day. Top tip: any leftover vegetables or meat at the end of the week can be added in with some water and stock to make a lovely stew.

Study Apps

No specific one here, there’s a plethora of apps available depending on your favourite method of revising – flashcards, mind maps, diagram drawing. There are also ones where you can create a revision timetable for when exams come around. Very helpful for students who prefer to organise revision notes on their phone.

Lumi Sunrise Clock

There are few things more important to students than good quality sleep. Sleep deprivation is a major factor in the physical and mental well-being of young adults, especially. The Lumi alarm clock is a wonderful piece of tech that wakes you up with a gradual sunrise and accompanying ambient sound. No more harsh and jolting alarms – with a sunrise you’ll wake up calm and ready for the day ahead.

Coffee Machine

Simply, for the caffeine lovers. It doesn’t have to be one of the expensive ones, there are plenty of choices. Instant coffee does the job for many, but for those with palettes that enjoy the finer coffee bean quality, these machines can rustle up a delicious drink pronto!

Too Good To Go

We’re all familiar with the mainstream food delivery apps, but Too Good To Go really is unique. Customers of the service can receive surplus still-in-date food from stores. Not only is this cheaper, but you’re helping the environment by minimising waste. The company has saved nearly 93 million meals from being wasted since 2016!

EPOSGEAR Personal Alarm

A very useful device which can help protect yourself and others from dangerous situations. It features a 140-decibel siren and also a torch, and its small dimensions mean it can fit in your pocket or on your keyring. Moreover, this specific model is police approved as it meets security approved requirements.


The preinstalled podcast apps on phones often go under the radar. Within is a treasure trove of interviews, features and discussions on any topic imaginable. Whether it’s to broaden your syllabus knowledge or even learn about the Sino-Indian War in 1962 – there really is something for everyone.

Final Thoughts

This list is, of course, not exhaustive but it’s aim is to give some recommendations to help with your first year at university – making it easier, comfier and safer. It is worth noting, however, that as we become a more technology dependent society with every passing decade, it is healthy to put phones and gadgets aside from time to time. As Nobel Peace Prize Winner Christian Lange aptly said: “Technology is a useful servant but a dangerous master.”

Image: Pxfuel/Flickr/NegativeSpace

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