A quick Google search for ‘what to take to uni’ will yield plenty of advice telling you not to forget stationery, toothbrush, bedding and all the other day-to-day essentials needed at university.
But we have faith that you know all of those things already.
That’s why Unifresher has put together this list of things you might not have thought you needed to bring, but could make those first few weeks of independence infinitely better.
1. Door wedge
You don’t want to be the weirdo who keeps opening their door and peeking their head through to see if that noise in the corridor is coming from anything fun you shouldn’t be missing out on. Stick a door wedge in place and you’ll give off a welcoming air that will have you making friends in no time.
2. A laundry bag
Doing laundry can be an unpleasantly novel task for many uni students, and carting your haul to and from the often faraway laundry machines can quickly become a pain. Make sure to bring a laundry basket, or even better a bag, to save yourself a trip to the machines punctuated by socks constantly spilling out of your arms.
3. Bottle opener keyring
This might sound like a silly thing to come prepared with, but in your kitchen before nights out there’s always going to be several drunkenly slurred requests for these. Make yourself useful and have one on hand.
4. Lots of painkillers or a first aid kit
While both of these are very useful, it’s the former that you may well be craving a lot during freshers’ week. As you blink into consciousness in mid-afternoon after yet another night out, it can be nice to have some way to artificially halt the headache.
5. Portable sewing kit
You don’t want to be getting to the stage where a small tear or a misplaced button necessitates buying a whole new item of clothing. If you bring one of these with you, you’ll always be able to fix your own clothes and help others repair theirs, too.
There’s no getting around it, your room in halls is probably not going to smell good. A good sprinkling of Febreze around the room every few days can help to combat the musk of sweat and alcohol that will undoubtedly build up.
7. Adaptable fancy dress
It’s always a pain to scrape together some fancy dress costume for a very niche theme. So it’s important to come prepared. Bring some generic fancy dress items – a wig, face paint and a whacky prop or two – then you should be able to cobble together at least a passable outfit for everything from an 80s night to a Smurf party.
Lots of people find themselves feeling homesick in their first term at uni, and it can be nice to have some mementos from home to buoy your spirits when you’re feeling down. A photoboard with some great snaps of friends and family affixed can be both a nice decoration and a good antidote to the blues.
9. Dressing gown or onesie
These are definitely more for comfort than style. But there’s nothing better when you’re hungover than slipping into the most comfortable items of clothing known to man. They also have the bonus of being much less fiddly than wearing a towel for the post-shower slink back to your room.
10. Formal wear
It’s a fact of most freshers’ first years that there will be all sorts of formals, or formal-themed parties to attend. Don’t be left looking woefully underdressed, and bring at least one outfit to give you that little extra bit of class for whatever Valentines dinner or James Bond party your uni throws your way.
It’s unlikely that you’ll need these, but if you do happen to be lumped with a loud neighbor then they can be a godsend. If your floor’s other residents are prone to post-night-out music sessions at the same time as your post-night-out sleep, they can also be of much use.
12. Glasses for alcohol
Shot glasses are always a good shout, but it can be nice to have a specific vessel for you to enjoy your beverage of choice from – giant wine glasses or your favourite pint glass can be a nice guarantee that you’ll always have a goblet of your own for predrinks.
You’ll be getting into budget cooking very quickly once you join university, and stir frys are one of the best meals in terms of packing in a lot of food – and nutrition – for a lot of value. You’ll be the toast of your floor if you can provide the wok for a communal stir fry.
14. Floor-length mirror
Most rooms in halls will come with one of those annoying little square mirrors which aren’t quite big enough to showcase your whole beautiful head in one go. As such, it can be a good idea to bring a floor-length mirror to check yourself in before venturing into the kitchen each night – especially for those fancy dress parties, where you’ll want to see how ridiculous you look before everyone else does.
15. Oven gloves
These are another oft-forgotten item that will help you out a great deal. Instead of constantly jerking your hand away from burning oven pizzas and hissing loudly through your teeth, slap a pair of these bad boys on and you and your floormates can remove your oven-baked goods in peace
Unless you’re studying abroad or this bizarre heat-wave we’re experiencing continues, you’re unlikely to need these for the weather. That being said, communal bathroom floors quickly become disgusting enough to deserve their own circle of hell. You will absolutely not want to be performing the arduous task of lacing up proper shoes to avoid stepping through layers of god-knows-what on the floor every time you want to brush your teeth.
17. HDMI cable
If you’re lucky enough to have someone on your floor who brings a big screen with them, you’ll quickly realise that the majority of your TV time will be taken up by watching weird videos from the more obscure corners of YouTube, and catching up on whichever reality TV show the majority of your floor likes the most. But if they forget an HDMI cable, that big screen will be somewhat pointless. Do everyone a favour and make sure at least you remember the necessary lead so you don’t all have to crowd around a 16 by 9 screen, squinting to find out what Binky did this week.