So you are going to university. All of a sudden you have to pack up your life, your room and your belongings (well maybe not all of them) and get them to a new place, full of wonder and education.
Apart from the essentials and the obvious (e.g. clothes, shoes, your toothbrush) what does a fresher need? Do you really need 8 rolls of fairy lights? And that extra pair of trainers?
Don’t panic, I am a second year student and am here to share with you all the things I needed to settle in.
An extension lead
No university room will ever have enough plugs. Those that do will be in silly places like behind the bed or near the door. To make your life easier and the plugs more useful, buy an extension lead with multiple plug sockets so you can charge away to your heart’s content.
I can almost guarantee you won’t have enough space in your room to store stuff. Unless you want to live in a complete tip, it’s wise to invest in a storage box or two. There will be room on top of the wardrobe or under the bed for them and they’re really handy for storing things like hoodies or fancy dress.
This one sounds weird but you will thank me when you have to walk to university in the pouring rain. At home, if your house is like mine, there will be an abundance of varying sized umbrellas that you can just grab if you need one. This isn’t the case at university so make sure you take one from the home collection!
A box of chocolates
No not to supplement your diet but to help you make friends with those you live with. On the first day of moving in, it can be kind of awkward. No-one can remember anyone’s name and conversation is fairly stilted. So break the ice with chocolate. Knock on next door and offer them a chocolate, find out their name and get talking. Everyone likes chocolate so this is a no brainer. It also means people will remember you – even if it’s as the “chocolate kid”.
Of either type. If you are watching your weight or don’t want to pile on the pounds, a pair of human weighing scales are necessary for the odd weigh in to check you’re still on the okay side of healthy. Or if you’re a baker don’t forget food scales! In our house we love making cakes, though when we first tried we ran into a problem – no one had any scales! We invested in some and now our house is full of cake and biscuits – another good way of making friends.
Now this one sounds really obvious but if you can get someone else to pay for it (i.e. parents) before you go, it will save you one cost during Freshers’ week!
Posters and photos
University rooms are fairly plain and generic – not the most inviting space to make friends or live in. So jazz it up with some photos from home and posters of your favourite bands or places. They also provide good talking points for when someone comes into your room …..“Oh is that New York, I’ve been there…” or “You like the Spice Girls… me too!”
An extra duvet
This added bonus has a dual use, thus making it a great investment. During the winter months it can get pretty chilly in student accommodation – especially if you have to pay for heating bills. Another duvet can be great for keeping warm in bed or snuggling under to watch telly. When you aren’t feeling the cold put it on top of the mattress and under your bed sheet to add extra comfort because let’s face it, the people buying the mattresses were probably thinking about cost rather than comfort…
A mini fridge
Okay so this one isn’t strictly an essential but I had one and loved it. I am a massive Diet Coke drinker and all experts in Diet Coke drinking know that a can of Coke has to be cold. I also had the furthest walk to the kitchen from my room, so having a mini fridge meant I could always grab a can, even when knee deep in work. And when I say mini I mean it literally only held 6 cans, but that’s all I needed! So, not a necessity but definitely fun to have.
A clothes airer/dryer
Washing your clothes in university accommodation often incurs a cost and a further cost for drying them. Save on this secondary cost by having a clothes airer. Hang your stuff up while you’re out or overnight and you will find that everything dries pretty quickly and for free. You could even share the airer with housemates, making it an even cheaper investment.
Find more advice from Endsleigh here.