Hello lovelies! I'm writing this post in the middle of a thunderstorm. I absolutely love thunder & lightening! It really fascinates me. I even went outside to stand in the rain to watch it :) What do you think of thunderstorms? So, before I go off topic rambling about thunderstorms... haha, today's post is going to be another edition of my starting university guides. It's not long now until newbie students are going to be moving into halls to kick start their university journey's with Freshers Week; some of you might even be moving in this week! I thought I'd share with you all a checklist of what you're gonna need to take with you. I hope that it's useful, even if you've already got everything prepared, it might remind you of something you've forgotten about. Enjoy!
When you move into halls, you need to take literally so much with you! I know some students prefer to just take some and buy the rest once they are all moved in, but I like to be prepared so that I can get all settled in once I've unpacked. It's important that you check what your accomodation provides before you move in. If you are living in university halls, they will almost always provide things like kettles, microwaves and toasters, whereas some private accomodation may not. I even know of some halls that provided cutlery plus pots and pans, too! You don't want to end up bringing items that are already provided, so make sure to read up on the accomodation's website.
Back in 2012, when I was getting everything ready to move into university halls in Nottinghamshire, I planned my checklist room-by-room. I listed everything according to what I would need in that room, if that even makes sense haha! So that's how I'm going to be arranging this checklist. If you think of something that I haven't included, please list it in the comments :)
~ Kitchen ~
[ ] Cutlery (stores like Argos & Wilkinsons sell sets of these and usually have lots of deals on as they know everyone is about to start uni).
[ ] Crockery, i.e. Plates, bowls, mugs, etc.
[ ] Pots & Pans (I recommend taking something like a casserole dish or a glass pyrex dish. Lots of stores will be doing deals on pan sets at the moment, too).
[ ] Utensils, i.e. spatulas, mashers, ladles, draining spoons, wooden spoons, whisks, wooden spoons, rolling pin, etc. Anything you can think of that you will need for cooking.
[ ] Knife set & some scissors
[ ] Colander & Sieve
[ ] Bottle openers & Tin openers
[ ] Chopping boards (one for meat, one for vegetables.. remember your kitchen safety guys!)
[ ] All your essentials for cleaning up after yourself, i.e. Tea Towels, Sponges, Rubber Gloves, Washing up Liquid, etc.
[ ] Plastic containers & Tupperware (they'll come in handy for storing things in the fridge, for leftovers, and much more).
[ ] Tinfoil & Cling Film
[ ] Electronic weighing scales
[ ] Sunflower oil, oil sprays, whatever you want to use for cooking.
[ ] Plastic sandwich bags (these are seriously so helpful. Bag your meat up separately before putting it into the freezer to save space & so you don't end up having to defrost a whole pack of chicken or mince and end up wasting lots of it).
[ ] It might be a good idea to stock up on some dried and tinned foods before you go so you don't have to buy them as soon as you get there, and so you have something to cook during Fresher's Week. (I packed snacks, rice, teabags, coffee, sugar, tuna, soup, etc). If you can stop at a supermarket on your travels to your new accomodation, I recommend doing your food shop then!
~ Bedroom ~
[ ] Think about Storage (I took with me some of those pretty storage boxes to stack up on my desk, as well as some plastic storage containers to go under my bed. When I went to an Open Day at my campus, I saw that students had plastic drawers on wheels in their bedrooms so I got some of those too, and they were great for storage. I got mine from Argos).
[ ] Your bed essentials, i.e. bedding, duvet, pillows, blankets, cushions, teddies, etc.
[ ] Things to make your bedroom more homely (ornaments, fairylights, a rug, posters, photographs, wall art. Tip: make sure you use white tac, because if you mark the walls you might have to pay a fine before you move out at the end of the year! Many university hall bedrooms have a big pin board which you can cover with photos, calendars, etc. Make sure you check & bring pins).
[ ] All of your clothes, jewellery, make-up, etc. Make sure that you bring coat hangers!
[ ] A mirror (although lots of university halls bedrooms will have a mirror, ours had a mirror on the back of the wardrobe door, some don't so it's worth double-checking. You can get some great mirrors that hook over wardrobe doors).
[ ] A desk lamp (very handy, however your halls may provide this. Mine did).
[ ] Anything else you bring is up to you. I brought DVDs for movie nights, a torch was a good idea too. Oh, and fancy dress for Fresher's Week.
~ Bathroom ~
Lots of university halls and even private accomodation offer en-suite bedrooms. Due to my IBS, I made sure that I lived in an en-suite bedroom for all three years of my degree. Many people do choose to live in cheaper accomodation though, and sometimes this means sharing a bathroom with your housemates. Lots of students will also move into a shared house for their 2nd & 3rd year with their friends, and it's likely that you'll be sharing a bathroom then. If that's the case then you won't need to bring as much with you for the bathroom, as you'll probably keep most of your essentials in your bedroom but I've written this checklist for en-suite bedrooms :)
[ ] Non-slip matts
[ ] A bathroom bin
[ ] Toilet Roll
[ ] Storage for your essentials (I used a wicker basket for keeping all of my bottles together)
[ ] A bathroom cup & storage for your toothbrush and toothpaste
[ ] Handwash, soap, etc.
[ ] All of your essentials, i.e. shampoo, conditioner, etc.
[ ] Toilet Brush
[ ] If you are living in accomodation with a shared bathroom, you might want to bring flipflops to use in the shower.
~ Cleaning products ~
Living by yourself for probably the first time ever means cleaning up after yourself. Lots of universities have accomodation checks, more frequently for the communal areas such as the kitchen and living room, but my campus inspected bedrooms at the end of term. These checks are to make sure you are looking after your accommodation and keeping things neat and tidy. My university provided a hoover for each flat and there was an iron plus ironing board, and a mop/mop basket for each block (so shared between six flats). It's best checking what your university provides for cleaning. Here are the cleaning essentials that you'll need:
[ ] Toilet Cleaner
[ ] Surface cleaner (Detol is your best friend! haha)
[ ] Wipes, clothes, sponges, whatever you wanna use to clean with.
[ ] A duster
[ ] Bin bags
[ ] Air freshener
[ ] Plastic gloves (I used these to do all of my cleaning, because of my OCD, I don't like coming into contact with chemicals and such on my hands, but they are really handy for everyone).
[ ] Remember that you'll need products for washing your clothes, i.e. washing powder or liquid, fabric softener.
[ ] Airer/Clothes Horse/Drying Racks/Clothes Maidens... whatever you want to call them! So you don't have to pay for drying your clothes!
~ Study Supplies ~
This is my favourite section of the checklist! I really love shopping for all the Back-To-School offers. Who doesn't love stocking up on shiny new stationery!? I'm actually pretty sad that I'm not buying some now! I think I'm gonna have to treat myself to some.
[ ] Folders & Files to store all of your work. I always had one for each subject.
[ ] File Dividers & Plastic Wallets
[ ] Hole Punch, Stapler, Paper clips - things to keep your papers together :)
[ ] Notepads, refill pads - things to write all of your lecture notes in.
[ ] Stationery, i.e. pens, pencils, highlighters, ruler, rubbers, sharpeners, basically ALL OF THE STATIONERY!
[ ] Calculator
[ ] Desk Storage - pen pots, desk organisers, pencil cases.
[ ] Course Textbooks - you will usually be provided with a reading list, but you don't have to buy every book off of the list. Some books you don't even end up needing, or there's copies in the library. Other students will often sell their books, look out for adverts and such around campus and on the university facebook groups. You could even ask on the groups beforehand which books from the list everyone used the most, and just buy those. Textbooks can be very expensive, so check eBay for secondhand ones.
[ ] I'd say laptops are an essential for university, expensive but so so useful so you don't have to wait around for library computers to be available.
[ ] Memory Sticks - I brought several because I was super paranoid about not backing up my work. Better safe than sorry!
~ Other Important Things to Take ~
[ ] Your passport/ ID
[ ] Passport photos, in case you need to apply for things, etc. Sometimes when you are signing up to societies and clubs at your uni, you'll need to provide a photo.
[ ] Important documents, i.e. bank statement, photo copy of your birth certificate, things you may need when applying for things.
[ ] Your qualification certificates (I kept mine in a folder)
[ ] If you are on any medication, make sure that you don't forget it! You need to tell the university prior to you moving in if you are going to need a fridge in your bedroom for storing specific medication, such as insulin. My university provided these fridges.
[ ] All of your electricals (Make sure you don't forget your chargers!).
I've listed everything that I can remember that I took to university with me. I hope that you new students find my university checklist helpful. It would be awesome to know which courses everyone is doing, so let me know in the comments :) University can have it's up's and down's, but it really is an awesome experience. Good Luck & enjoy yourselves!
Thankyou for reading!
Fellow graduates, what was something that you forgot to pack when going to university?
Check out my other Guide to Fresher's post here.