Moving to uni and leaving the nest can either be the most exciting time, the most upsetting time or maybe somewhere in between. Whether you’re buzzing about moving to a new place and gaining freedom from Mum and Dad or dreading it, here are 10 essential things that you can bring with you to make freshers week and your first year of university a great one.
A pair of slippers/sliders
Although they may not be the most fashionable items in the mounds of clothes and accessories you take with you, a cheap pair of slippers or sliders would be without a doubt a top uni essential. Even if you don’t wear them around the house at home, you’ll certainly want to protect your feet from the horrors of the kitchen floor when you move away. When you’re sharing accommodation with more than a few people (I shared with 11 in my first year), the kitchen is usually left sticky and disgusting from spillages, so not a place for bare feet. Slippers are also fab to throw on after a long(ish) day at uni or if your feet get cold when the heater in your room inevitably stops working. Primark is always a good shout for cute and comfy slippers, with most pairs often costing under £5! Other cheap places include Matalan, Tesco’s and Asda.
A dressing gown and an abundance of comfy clothes
Somehow, I managed to leave my dressing gown at home for the first term of my first year and I can honestly say I felt lost without it. For the rest of the year, I practically lived in it and I know most of my flatmates wore theirs a lot too. You just cannot go wrong with a dressing gown. Comfy clothes in the likes of joggers and baggy hoodies are also a must, because no one likes to pull on tight jeans and an uncomfortable top at 9am for a lecture. Uni fashion is essentially 90% joggers and hoodies and 10% fashionable clothing for nights out, despite what Instagram leads you to believe. Again, Primark is a go to for this one (if you can’t already tell, I loveee Primark) but you might want to bring comfy stuff you already have to make yourself feel more at home.
A variety of kitchen equipment
There is honestly nothing worse than trying to cook for once and then realising the one pan you brought isn’t big enough. Even if you don’t think you’ll be cooking a lot and one Ikea sized pan will be fine, make sure to bring a bigger one as well just in case. In the same region, although you probably won’t need a whole posh knife rack, one sharp knife is a must for chopping meat and fruit. Another tip is to bring cutlery that is noticeably yours. You won’t need to go out and buy a whole 20-piece solid gold set, but, having cutlery with a different coloured handle (for example) will have its uses in making sure you don’t return home in June with a single fork.
Aldi’s entire stock of freezer food and pasta sauces
The trip to the supermarket with your parents before they leave you at university on the first day is a tradition most students have taken part in, so it goes without saying that you should take advantage of the situation and stock up. Grab as many things to keep in the cupboard and the freezer as you can; you’ll be thankful for them when the student loan runs out and Deliveroo is no longer an option. It might also be a good idea to stock up on alcoholic drinks before you arrive to keep you going throughout fresher’s week if you’re planning on going out to any of the events. Freshers is such a whirlwind, so knowing you have drink ready for a last-minute night out should make things a little bit less stressful.
A clothes horse along with a big box of washing powder
A lot of student accommodations charge for washing and drying clothes should be made illegal. The best thing to do to save money in the long term would be to buy a clothes horse (or a clothes airer as some people call them) and dry your clothes on that instead of paying the extra couple of quid a week to dry them in the tumble dryer. The clean washing also makes your room smell amazing! It may also be a good idea to buy a big box of washing powder when you go shopping with your parents before moving in so that you don’t have to worry about carrying another one home from the shops; mine has lasted me the whole of first year, even with washing my clothes once a week.
Things to spice up your room
When you first walk into your room in student accommodation, the plain white walls and emptiness of it all can be quite daunting. One of the best things to do to make yourself feel more at home straight away is to bring things with you to put on the walls and on the shelves. Although you won’t be able to pin things to the walls without throwing away your deposit, blue tac will be your saviour and is usually fine to use. Other homely items that you might want to bring with you could be blankets, rugs and of course, fairy lights.
Different university accommodations tend to vary with the amount of storage they give you, so it doesn’t hurt to bring some extra boxes and bags with you just in case. Although I had almost too much storage in mine (my room in Nottingham Trent was the same as the one above), I did bring some extra boxes to store extra bits in under the bed and on the shelves. When you have a smaller room, clutter tends to build, so bringing extra storage with you can help solve this issue. Cheap storage boxes can be brought from pretty much anywhere, including places like Argos, Ikea and B&M.
A bum bag
I know what you’re thinking. I thought the same when I first came to uni: I would never be seen wearing a bum bag, especially on a night out! Unbelievably, my bum bag became my top night out essential because it’s just so handy. You don’t want to be fiddling around in your pockets for your ID at the door of a nightclub and then again inside when you want to buy a drink. Even better, with a bum bag, you know exactly where your stuff is and know it won’t be stolen, so they shouldn’t just be considered a festival essential.
Multiple sets of bedding
It’s always worth bringing at least two sets of bedding with you to uni, even if one set is just a backup. That way, if you need to change your sheets but don’t have enough washing to do a wash, you won’t need to waste your money. Another good idea would be to invest in buying similar pillows and duvet to those you have at home to make the transition a little bit easier.
Noise cancelling headphones or ear plugs
No matter what university you go to, student halls are always going to be loud and partygoers aren’t going to stop just because you have a 9am the next day. So, noise cancelling headphones and a decent set of ear plugs will be your not so secret trick to getting enough sleep on a student night.