So, you’re off to university for the first time. You have no idea what you’ll need once you’re there so packing is proving kind of difficult. If you are like most students, the only things you’ve probably had to pack for was Glasto last year or that dodgy trip to Newquay post GCSE results. Unless you want to give someone else the ultimate power of letting them pack for you (this is obviously tempting), get a pen and some paper and start taking notes.
The most important thing is that you aren’t immigrating to Mars. Your home and your possessions will only be a train/bus/car ride away (unless you have moved to the UK from another country to come to university). If you forget anything it’s not a disaster.
Sidestep the drama by making a short list that covers everything you’ll need before you get to uni. Call it the ‘uni essentials checklist’ or ‘what to bring to university list’. Be prepared and avoid feeling stupid when you unpack on the first night and realise you forgot your electric toothbrush.
The important documents
These documents are probably some of the most important things you’ll need to bring to university. Keep everything in one folder to keep them safe and in one place.
- Passport and/or driver's license (ID)
- University admission and course acceptance letter
- Accommodation terms, information and contract
- Passport photos for ID’s
- Bank account details
- Bank debit/credit card
- Student loan documents (and any other bursaries or scholarship funding)
Electrics and digital
These items are mostly optional but most people have mobile phones and laptops now-a-days. You’ll actually be surprised at how many devices you own. The worst thing to do is bring them but forget the power supplies.
- Laptop with its charger
- Ethernet cable – depending on your device and whether your halls have WIFI. This lead may be needed for Internet in some university halls. Better to be safe than sorry.
- Mobile phone and charger
- Headphones – to listen to music on the bus, in your room, in the library but definitely not in lectures
- USB TV Stick – to stream apps like iPlayer, Netflix & Amazon on your TV
- Power extension cable. You’ll always be surprised about how many things need to be plugged in.
- Printer with ink – needed for coursework or lecture slides. Note. Your university library or print shop will have lots of fully inked up printers so this isn’t vital but it’s handy.
- Games console, games and controllers
- USB memory stick and external hard drive to store your work
Although we now live in a seemingly paperless society, the art of taking notes in lectures can be mastered with a pen and a pad of paper. Getting stationery can be quite therapeutic. You might never use the items below but it’s best to be prepared.
- Pens (and pencils)
- A pencil case
- Note books
- Folder with dividers to store your work and important documents
- Course books and supplies - your university will send out requirements before your course starts to let you know what you’ll need.
Student kitchen starter pack
Bringing kitchen utensils to university is a great idea but can be quite tricky. Often, everyone in the house brings the same things. Too many pasta strainers, pans and chopping boards will just make your kitchen doubly harder to keep clean. If there are too many plates, bowls, glasses or mugs they will disappear into people’s rooms never to see the light of day again. Every supermarket will sell the basics that appear on this list so don’t worry too much if you forget anything.
It could even be an idea to wait until you get to your halls and see what everyone already has.
- Wok – be the darling of your house by providing this multi-purpose frying pan
- Saucepan – if you are a vegetarian or vegan, store it somewhere safe so that others can’t cook meat in it, otherwise, share away
- Small cutlery set (knife, fork, tea spoon, table spoon)
- 1 sharp knife for chopping
- Scissors – ideal for cutting pizzas
- A couple of glasses and mugs – for all of your drinking needs (most people don't like sharing these)
- A couple of plates and bowls – again, these are personal items that you probably won’t want to share with others
- A big flat baking tray – for your pizzas and curly fries
- Corkscrew – a basic one with a bottle opener and corkscrew is perfect
- Tupperware – really great for storing left overs for the next day
- Toastie maker - a very good idea if you want to be everyone’s favourite flatmate
- Salt and pepper/other spices to help transform your daily cheesy beans on toast into (seemingly) impressive gourmet meals
Essentials for your uni room
Think about it like you are moving your entire bedroom to another house. This list also includes some handy ‘first time away from home’ items that you probably won’t have considered.
- A mattress protector
- Pillow and pillow case
- Laundry basket or bag
- Door stop (depending how sociable your planning on being!)
- Waste basket
- Storage boxes to hide things under your bed
A great tip for helping you settle into your new home is bringing some home comforts with you. Your favourite duvet set, cushion or rug will help your halls feel like home in no time.
All of the below items are nice to have’s but don’t break the bank if you don’t own them already. Practical items like an umbrella just make sense though!
- Pack of cards – be ready for lots of drinking games and socialising
- Your personal own essentials - things you seem to need every day i.e hair straighteners, glasses
- At least one smart outfit
- Photographs to make your room more homely don’t forget the white tac and push pins
- Bike - although this one is pretty difficult to pack, it is a great way to get around your new city for free
- Vitamins to (try) and keep you healthy during Freshers week
- Earplugs (these will likely become your new favourite things)
- Slippers and dressing gown to keep you warm without getting a horrific electricity bill
There you have it. Tweet us a photo of your new student digs bedroom when you’ve unpacked! And make sure you let us know of any essentials you think we’ve missed out!