Are you going to University this September, and wondering what you absolutely have to bring with you? As a general rule, less is more, particularly when it comes to non-essential items like DVDs and books (aside from those on your reading list). Boxes of personal items will quickly fill up a room in a hall of residence, and will most likely stay under beds and inside cupboards until you move again. What you need to bring with you is also dependent on whether you’ll be living in catered or self-catered accommodation, as well as whether you’ll have access to laundry facilities within the building, or if you’ll have to use a Laundromat. You’ll also need to have some essential items for your course and day to day routines. Some of the most important items include:
1 – Laptop
This may seem like an obvious choice, but it’s a good idea to invest in a new laptop if you’ve had yours for a while. It might even make for a joint going away or birthday present before your first year. Your laptop or PC probably gets a lot of use as it is, but will be even more essential if you’re using it in lectures, in the library, and in your room. Make sure that you have installed security features, and configured your network settings for wireless networks in halls of residence before you leave. Campus IT teams will provide passwords and connection details for local Internet connections.
2 – Smartphone/iPad
Another good tech investment to make is a smartphone or an iPad. If you don’t already have one, a smartphone will make it easier to communicate with friends, and can be used to record lectures and plan your time. An iPad can be used in a similar way, and can provide a large enough screen to access lecture notes and slides online, and to type up notes and essays.
3 – Academic Diary and Planner
While you may feel that you can organise your time through your laptop or smartphone, having a physical academic diary or a wall planner is just as important. A visible reminder often works better than having the information stored on a device. An academic diary can include notes, important dates, contact numbers for staff in your department, and details of online log-in passwords. A wall chart can also provide term dates, important exam and essay submission times, and any balls or parties.
4 – USB Sticks
A flash drive can be used in a campus library and for shared computers. Having one means that you’ll be able to work on campus and bring work home if you don’t want to carry your laptop around all the time.
5 – Towels and Bathroom Supplies
Having a good supply of towels and bathroom stuff is essential to make yourself feel at home in the first weeks of being at University. Some catered accommodations will provide towels, but it’s worth having your own. A wash bag can be used for shared bathrooms and toilets if you don’t have an en suite.
6 – Bedroom Supplies
A complete set of bed sheets, duvets, covers and pillows are useful, and relatively cheap to pick up new before you go to University. It’s worth having a spare set for cleaning days and when you have guests.
7 – Documents
Try to keep all of your important documents in one place, and ideally in a plastic wallet or folder that you won’t lose. Your passport, NHS card, paper copies of your driving license, and any insurance or car information can all be kept together, and can be added to with registration papers in your first week.
8 – Kettle & Iron
It’s a good idea to bring along a small kettle and an iron, even if your accommodation is catered. Both won’t take up a lot of space, and will mean that you can make cups of tea and coffee in your room without having to use a shared kitchen every time.
9 – Cooking Equipment
Depending on the size of your kitchen, and whether or not you’ll get catered meals, bring along a basic set of pots and pans, plates, bowls and mugs. These can be kept in your room if space is an issue, and you can also pick up cutlery and mugs for cheap in your first few weeks.
10 – First Aid Kit
A useful thing to have in your bedroom, a first aid kit can contain plasters, antiseptic wipes, and cough and flu remedies. It’s hard not to get some kind of cold in your first week of University, given the amount of people you’ll be interacting with, so come prepared to save having to stock up afterwards.
Brought to you by the bloggers from Lansdowne College. An independent sixth form college based in London.