New year, new semester: the necessities

Returning back to university often means being back to budgets and books but let’s face it, that is only a good 40% of what it means to be back. The rest is dedicated to socialising, buying things you don’t really need and just enjoying a bit of freedom. Not that I want to be a bad influence on you all, but that is a completely accurate summary of student life. Especially as it is the start of a new year and new semester, this means that social events are cropping up left right and centre, student loans are just getting in, student accommodation or houses have been moved in to and there is room in your wardrobe to be filled – or in my case, no room at all but as always, a remaining determination to buy more.

Of course as I am always reiterating on here, I am not about splurging money wherever and whenever. I do love a bargain and I am always seeking out the best prices to suit my student financial situation (aka, pretty damn broke) However, summer is over and if you are like me, returning back to being just a part-time worker again after a summer of shifts or perhaps like the luckier ones, back from four months full of holidays. Forgetting the latter, you have surely saved up some hard earned money and now it’s time to set yourself up for the new academic year with a few trips down retail therapy lane, don’t you think? Well, luckily for all of my fellow students around Oxford our favourite shopping centre, Westgate Oxford, is holding it’s first ever Student Night for you all on Thursday 27th September and I am pretty sure you would not want to miss it. So in honour of this night and my eagerness to always be prepared for less, I thought I would narrow down some priorities as to what you are going to find yourself not just wanting, but needing for the start of the new semester and how to save yourself some money in the process…

As I said, you

Your social life is going to be looking pretty full-up too and so, outfits will be needed. Not to mention that we are currently transitioning from summer into autumn – and very quickly might I add. You are gonna need new winter footwear, coats and knitwear. It is practically wardrobe glow-up time. So I thought I would give you some practical clothes shopping ‘inspo’ that I would be comfortable wearing to university everyday and since my whole outfit is available in stores at Westgate Oxford, what could be more ideal? However, *lil disclaimer* some items are sold out online and so I have linked some dupes for the rest of you readers who do not call Oxford home.

The t-shirt is Guess and linked is one very similar, practically identical to mine in the newer collection (£35) I think as we are at the time of year where a jumper and coat is taking it a little too far, I think some new everyday t-shirts are key for layering under a warm jacket. Anything more during the month of September and trust me, you will be melting underneath. That brings me on to my biggest bargain by far this year, my cord puffer jacket which is actually Primark, only £25 and fully stocked instore right now. I will admit that I can be quite the Primark clothing snob sometimes, always finding myself being quite picky about quality but I admit, this jacket was an absolute find. However, it has not yet been uploaded to the Primark website so here is a link to a very similar jacket from Bershka (£49.99) Now lets not forget my absolute favourite trainers ever, these comfy beauties by Calvin Klein Jeans are stocked in Office currently and although they are pricey, I believe there is no time to snap up a pair of swanky new trainers then with some exclusive discounts (£130) If you are looking for something more everyday too, then most people now I am the biggest fan of Vans and I could not recommend them more as my go-to casual footwear. 


A new semester is also the beginning of a lot more alcohol intake and you will most likely be seeking out new bars to hang out in or cheap restaurants where you and your new flat mates can bond over a burger and fries. Well, prepare to meet your new best friend: happy hour. You will know them all off by heart for your favourite bars soon enough and trust me, it makes a hell of a lot of difference to your bank account by going out of your way not to miss them. As much as people tease us students about our budgeting lifestyle, I swear I have never eaten out more in my life than over the past two years at university. Maybe we just like food too much, but I would pin it down to ensuring we find the best offers and eating at the right places. It is all about saving as much money as possible after all but obviously, we all gotta eat. It is such a key part of socialising at university too that you never want to miss out because of the price of the menu. Fear no more however, as Westgate Social and their roof terrace full of exquisite dining are all perfect for that all year round. Come down to Westgate’s Student Night though and you will receive even more discounted food and drink offers subject to this one-off evening. The likes of Dirty Bones will be offering 25% off food not just all evening but all day, as well as £5 cocktails. Whilst Westgate’s own groovy crazy-golf course, Junkyard Golf, will be offering free golf for all students from 7-9. Winner.

In hindsight, what could come in more handy and more perfectly timed than an exclusive Student Night?  All brands listed are exclusive to Westgate Oxford and so it is probably wise that you get yourself down to their Student Night on Thursday 27th September between 6-8pm! Where you can prepare for all of your first semester needs with over 30 offers across all brands such as Primark, Guess and Office. Enjoy pop-up bars, DJs, as well as tons of freebies and prizes to win too. You may even take part in one of the hair and beauty masterclasses on offer too. Oh and of course, food and drink offers to add just a couple more plans into your social life – not like you need anymore. It is not one to be missed. Just do not forget to bring your student ID for a wristband on entry!

Oh and lets not forget though, for the rest of that 40% of the semester you will also need to grab hold of your books too and luckily the newest Blackwell’s Bookshop resides in Westgate for you to get hold of that reading list and do that pre-reading in-between going out every evening obviously – us students are pro’s at that. 

So, happy shopping and may your first semester be a merry one (with many more beverages than books and certainly no limit to that budget)

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