Things you need (and don’t need) at University

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I’ve been doing the University thing for a fair bit now, and the peak moving in time is closing in on us. The last-minute packing has begun, your mum is giving you cast offs from the kitchen to take with you, and you still can’t find your brand new steamer that you bought in July.

Naturally, my solution is to add fuel to the fire. So here’s a list of things that saved my life and things that just filled up space in the car. You’re welcome.

Things worth bringing

  1. A wok. This one sounds a bit random but hear me out. You can fry things in it, you can slow cook things in it, and you can whack someone over the head Rapunzel style with it if someone tries to break into your house. Why bring three different types of pan when one does everything?
  2. An extension lead. This one seems more logical. There are never enough plugs and they’re always in wacky places about half a mile from your bed. My Dad bought me a cool one with USB ports as well as caveman plug sockets, and three years on it’s been worth the investment.
  3. Playing cards. Nothing like a good game of cards to break the ice with your new pals, and when you’re steaming and someone suggests Ring of Fire you’re prepared for the inevitable. Just don’t get out your nice ones, because they will be sticky and gross by the end of the year. I think you usually get a free pack in Fresher’s Week? But I’ve slept since then.
  4. Fancy dress. Honestly, joining a society was one of the best decisions I’ve made since I started University, and that means Socials. Which means fancy dress. I’m not saying buy a bunch of outfits (because you can easily DIY most costume ideas) but do save those Hawaiian garlands because you’ll probably need them.

Things you don’t really need

  1. Millions and billions of cutlery. Seriously, unless you’re planning on hosting grand dinner parties every week it’s not worth it. One set and a spare is enough, or you’re never going to bother washing your dishes and your new flatmates will probably hate you for it.
  2. Heavy textbooks. This is probably more specific for my University, but as a new student you’ll be eligible for free core books for your subject as part of the Aspire scheme. So save that space and enjoy some sweet free books. Again, you’re welcome.
  3. Small appliances. If you’re a first year, you’re likely to be moving into halls, which will usually provide a list of things in your flat. If for some sad reason like in my first year you don’t have important things (like a toaster), buy them when you get there! Or order them online to be delivered to your accommodation if you will feel like an idiot carrying a mop across the city (this is by no means based on personal experiences… not at all).
  4. Your entire wardrobe. Bring your winter things first, and then swap them over for summer things when you go home at Christmas or Easter. By the end of the year (or the first week) you’ll be attending lectures in the closest thing to PJs that is socially acceptable anyway.

I hope the big move goes smoothly for newbies and oldies, settling into a new place is a big deal, but it’s one to be experienced with an open mind.

PS: If you play an instrument, bring it! Our lil Orchestral Society is on the hunt for new members… *exaggerated wink*

Notes from the past

20 year old me wrote about more underrated University necessities here: Underrated Necessities for University Folk

19 year old me wrote about things I learned from being fresh meat: Ten Things I’ve learned since being at University


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