With A-Level results day over and start of term coming up, I thought I would write a post about what to take to uni!
When I was planning for first year, I wrote so many lists of things I need to take, what I’ll need and where it needs to go. I feel like I was pretty organised and after finishing first year, I’m in a good position to advise what is actually needed – or not – for uni! This post is tailored to students moving into halls and is based on my experience, although some accommodation may differ.
It can seem a bit overwhelming as you’re moving out and you probably have a bedroom, kitchen and bathroom to kit out, as well as other things to sort! I decided to separate this out into sections.
This was what I was most excited for! I wanted to make sure my room was homely and comfortable but there was lots of necessities to remember, too.
Here is what I would suggest:
- Duvet and Pillows – as far as I know, most halls don’t provide these and they’re obviously a necessity!
- Bedding sets – I had four but two is probably enough so you have a spare whilst the other is in the wash. I took some of my bedding from home to make me feel more comfortable and bought some new ones too which also made it feel like a fresh start. I would suggest having more fitted sheets as even if you don’t feel like washing your duvet, you could just change the sheet to make it feel more fresh (but the duvet cover will need washing eventually!)
- Mattress topper – I would 100% recommend this! It doesn’t have to be a thick one, just something extra – halls’ mattresses can be a bit gross!
- Washing bag – or a washing basket. I had a big one that I got on eBay (which you can find here) which could hold so much. It’s likely that the laundry facilities won’t be near your room so although a basket is good, a bag is so much easier to carry your washing over.
- Blankets – this was a must for me – I actually had 6 blankets by the time I moved out! They’re great for decoration and providing home comforts. Uni rooms can be quite chilly as well!
- Decorations and/or pictures – anything to remind you of home and make your room feel more like your home is definitely worth taking. Moving to uni is such a huge change so anything you can take to make it feel more normal will help.
My room had an en-suite but I know not every room does so some of this stuff may not be needed in a shared bathroom.
- Towels (hand and body) – this is an obvious one! I’d recommend two so you have a spare whilst one is in the wash. I only had one hand towel so when it was in the wash, I had to use a huge one which was a bit of a pain!
- Flannels – not everyone is bothered by flannels but I like them to take my make-up off and they’re just handy to have!
- Bathmat – I was so excited to buy a bathmat! Even if you’re in a shared bathroom, you’ll probably still need one.
- Toothbrush holder – I didn’t even think of this one but it’s definitely needed! Even if you’re sharing a bathroom, your toothbrush needs to go somewhere!
- Hand soap – I’d recommend getting a really nice smelling one. It’s such a little thing but it always makes me happy!
- Storage – I had a lot of bathroom products and nowhere to store them so I’d suggest some small plastic boxes or a small storage unit.
- Supplies – this may sound strange but if you have the means, it’s a good idea to stock up on shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, cotton buds, even spare toothbrushes, as there may be less money when at uni so it’s handy to have products already there when you need them.
This is the one I found the hardest. I wasn’t sure whether I would need every bit of kitchen equipment or barely anything. This is what I needed and I don’t think there was anything else I was missing. Obviously, this is quite subjective as it depends on what you like to eat as to what you need but I’d consider these the basics.
The list above is what I needed the most. One of my flatmates bought a blender and let us all use it so although I didn’t include that, if you like smoothies (which are great for breakfast, too!) I’d bring a blender. Or, you could just get a handheld food blender which is what one of my other flatmates used and is much cheaper!
This is the stuff you wouldn’t always think to take!
- Stationery – pens, notebooks, a diary or planner, a memory card. All of the things you’ll need for studying! I prefer a day-to-day planner and wrote about my new one here.
- Calendar – I bought an A1 Mid-Year calendar which covered the time I was at uni. I put it on my wall above my desk and it was perfect for writing down assignments and other things I had to do so I had an overview of the whole year.
- CV – I wanted to find a job in first year so I wrote and printed off my CV to take round when I got there.
- Exam certificates – I wasn’t sure if I would need them but they’re helpful to have, just in case you do. It’s more likely that you may need them for a job than for uni.
- National Insurance number, passport, ID, copy of student finance – any official documents you may need with you and ID is sort of a given!
- City guide – it’s handy to have a guide to the city, or wherever your uni is, so you can find your way round and see what there is to do. It’s daunting moving to a new place so it’s always helpful to have something to make it a little easier.
- Discounts – UniDays, NUS, 16-25 Train discount card – they’re all worth it and I’ve used them all whilst at uni!
- Passport photos – a bit random but so useful! I used mine for my student ID and my bus pass.
That concludes my list of what you need to take to uni. I’d consider these the basics as everyone will want to take different things but this is pretty much the basics of what you’ll need at uni!
I hope you enjoyed this post! Good luck to anyone starting uni in September; I hope this post helped you in your preparation!
If you have any other suggestions as to what you should take to uni, feel free to leave a comment!