• What To Take To University

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I'm going to University! But what do you need to pack? This page is a list of everything you could possibly want to take to university with you, and has been compiled from suggestions given by people already at University.

  • Think of it as a guide - you certainly won't be taking everything on the list!
  • Think carefully about the amount of stuff you take to Uni - and avoid taking heaps of extra stuff 'just in case'. You will only have a small room with very limited cupboard space - and you'll be moving out again in June. One large suitcase of clothes, a couple of boxes of other stuff and a binliner of bedding is probably about the level to aim at.

Bedroom items

Bedding

CHECK what is provided by the uni before you go out and buy stuff!

  • Sheets
  • Duvet/quilt x1
  • Duvet/quilt covers x2 sets
  • Pillows x2
  • Pillow cases x4
  • Warm blanket/fleece throw
  • Underblanket/mattress protector

Other Bedroom items

  • Photos
  • Alarm Clock
  • Posters ( though these can often be obtained during the Fresher's Fair )
  • Door wedge ( If you keep your bedroom door open you'll make friends with your new housemates much more quickly! )
  • Hot water bottle
  • Desk Lamp (If Halls dont provide one)
  • Clothes wash basket/bin/bag
  • Small rubbish bin (if Halls dont provide one)
  • Coffee mug

Laundry items

  • Washing powder/Fabric softener (buy when you get there)
  • Laundry bag
  • Small drying rack (University may provide)

Clothing

  • Normal, casual clothing - jeans, t-shirts ( both long and short sleeve for layering / mix and match ) cardigans/lightweight jackets
  • Fleece type jumpers or cotton sweatshirts - much, much easier to wash & dry than knitted ones.
  • Underwear and socks ( plenty of these!)
  • Comfortable waterproof shoes
  • 'Going Out' clothes for pubs/clubs/parties
  • Hat/scarf/gloves - many students pack for Uni in September, while it is still relatively warm, and forget that it will be cold by the end of their first term!
  • Winter coat (warm, waterproof type)
  • Pyjamas/nightshirt/dressing gown and slippers ( for when the fire alarm goes of at 3am- you do not want to be scrabbling for clothes in that situation!
  • Smart shoes/heels
  • Clothing suitable for interviews for part-time jobs

Other

  • Swimwear/towel
  • Gym & sports clothes
  • Trainers
  • Warm Joggers (useful even if you aren't sporty)

Bag etc

  • Everyday student bag - backpack, messenger bag etc.

Make sure its waterproof, with easy catches/fastenings, strong/durable AND that its big enough and strong enough to hold several large textbooks, folders, notepad, water bottle etc etc, AND has comfortable shoulder straps.

Don't get something cheap/fashionable but so flimsy that will fall apart by the first weekend.

If in doubt, get a basic backpack and then replace it once you've got to Uni and worked out what you really need.

  • Pencil case
  • Purse or wallet
  • Keyring
  • Watch

Personal items

  • Prescription glasses
  • Contact lenses plus cleaning fluid etc
    • Copy of prescription
  • Spare pair of glasses
  • Brace/retainer and accessories
  • Everyday moisturiser
  • Skincare wash
  • Lipbalm
  • Shower gel, shampoo, soap,
  • Shaving cream, razors etc
  • Toothbrush / Toothpaste
  • Hairbrush, comb etc
  • Tampons/Sanitary towels
  • Contraceptives
  • Make-up and make-up remover

Stationery Items

If you are staying in Halls, the information you receive from your university should tell you what will be provided in your room. Many rooms will already have a noticeboard, for example, so you won't need to buy one. Some students recommend taking only the bare minimum in terms of stationery, and then buying the rest as and when you need it after you've settled in. PS. Shops like Tescos, Wilkinsons and Poundland are cheaper than Rymans or Paperchase.....

  • Noticeboard (all Halls rooms will have one already)
  • Push-pins
  • Pack of cheap copy paper for printing
  • A4 file paper / notebooks with tear out sheets
  • Jotter or reporter pad
  • Pen drive/memory stick
  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Highlighters
  • Permanent all-surface markers
  • Ruler
  • Eraser
  • Sharpener
  • Tippex
  • Pencil case
  • Pen pot (a coffee mug or flower pot will do)
  • White Tack or Blu Tack
  • Scissors
  • Sellotape
  • Hole puncher
  • Stapler/staples
  • Paper clips
  • Post-it Notes or flag markers
  • A4 ring binders
  • Lever-arch folders
    • Hole-reinforcers
    • Paper/plastic wallets
  • Envelopes
  • Stamps
  • Calculator (especially if you're doing maths, but even if you're doing English Literature)
  • Student planner
  • Calender

Documents

  • Passport photos Take at least four, and keep some on you. Also scan some on to your computer to get quick reproductions for less (especially for ID that doesn't really matter)
  • Passport
  • Driving licence (useful ID)
  • National Insurance number
  • NHS medical card
  • Details of your health insurance (overseas students)
  • Details of your vaccination history (make sure you have up-to-date vaccinations, especially for meningitis and measles, BEFORE you arrive and that you get a flu shot in the Autumn term)
  • Insurance documents
  • Confirmation letters of scholarship/bursary etc if appropriate
  • Any information from your LEA, the SLC (Student Loans Company) or Student Finance Direct
  • Your unconditional offer from the university
  • Any documents regarding your accommodation
  • Cheque book
  • Bank debit card
  • Paying-in book
  • Bank or building society details
  • Travel discount cards (16-25 Railcard etc) Great for cheap travel home
  • CV and references
  • CRB check - applicant's copy (if required by your course)
  • Relevant exam certificates or results slips
  • Oyster card (if in London) Student Oyster cards are also available)

Electrical Items/PC etc

CHECK what you are allowed to bring to halls - some unis have very strict rules about electrical equipment.

  • LAPTOP Whilst all Unis will have 'public' PCs in Depts and Libraries etc, most students find a Laptop useful for personal use. Get one that is light enough to carry around campus with you.
  • Extension leads Get surge protected ones to protect valuable equipment
  • Socket converter (if you are an international student)
  • Computer/laptop
  • Laptop case/bag
  • Chargers
  • Mouse/mat
  • Ethernet cable
  • Small b&w printer (you will have access to Library printers etc, but a small one in your room is always handy)
  • USB memory sticks
  • Packet of copy paper
  • Ink (colour & black for inkjet, toner for laser)
  • Mobile phone
  • Charger
  • Headphones
  • Digital camera
  • Batteries (rechargeable?)
  • Small CD player
  • CDs & wallet/case
  • MP3 player/iPod
  • USB lead (charger)
  • Docking station
  • Alarm clock
  • Iron & Ironing board (only if you arent in Halls)

First aid items

  • Prescription medication (and copy of your prescription)
  • Condoms you can collect a stack at freshers and get a C-Card allowing you free condoms
  • Painkillers
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Cold/flu remedy
  • Throat lozenges
  • Nail Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Plasters

Tips:

  • Register with a local GP on arrival
  • Keep the number for local doctors surgery/dentist
  • Keep a number for next of kin in your phone under NOK or ICE (next of kin or in case of emergency)
  • Familiarise yourself with where the local A&E and drop-in centres are
  • Remember 111 for non-emergency medical advice (or NHS24 in Scotland - 08454 242424)
  • 999 for emergencies
  • If you suffer with long-term conditions such as diabetes and epilepsy, keep an ID bracelet/locket/book with your name, age, condition, medical list and number to phone with you, just in case. Make sure your neighbours in Halls of Residences know what your condition is and where vital medication is kept.

Miscellaneous

  • Holdall or 'weekend at home' bag
  • Handbag for nights/days out
  • Torch
  • Small sewing kit
  • Books/novels (fiction/non-fiction)
  • Musical instrument(s)

Things you won't need

  • A level text books. Give them to Oxfam or leave them in the garage. You will have a University library bursting with high-brow academic textbooks. You wont need 'Introduction to Economics' aimed at a 16 year old.
  • Book Tokens. Relatives love giving you these. It reminds them of when they went to Uni. They don't realise that these days most of your course materials will be provided online or in a stonkingly well-stocked library. You might buy one book the entire time you are at Uni. Ask for Next, Boots or Sainsbury's giftcards instead. They will actually be some use.
  • A lovely matching set of rigid suitcases. If these don't fit under your bed, then where are you going to store them? If you must use them to transport stuff to Uni, get your parents to take them home with them. Squashy nylon holdalls, bin-liners and strong cardboard boxes are much better for taking stuff to Uni. And they don't make other people laugh as much.
  • A car. There will be nowhere to park it at Uni. And everywhere else will cost you a fortune in pound coins, day and night. All Unis have good bus services, and you don't get breathalysed on those either. Leave the BMW at home.
  • Pets. There are nitwits who ask this question every year. No, you cannot take your kitten, dog, budgie or hamster to Halls with you. Leave them at home as well.
  • Parents. Once they've helped you drag all your stuff up all those flights of stairs and made embarrassing small-talk with your neighbours, it's time for them to go home. Provide tissues. But make sure they go. They do not need to stay overnight anywhere 'just in case you need us'. If they want to go to Uni, they can apply through UCAS.

Self-catered Halls or Private Flat

IF you are living in self-catering accommodation you might need some of the following. If you are in a fully catered Halls of Residence, you won't need any of this stuff.

Kitchen Appliances

Beware: If you are sharing you may end up with many of the same appliance in one house and remember your storage space in any communal kitchen will be very limited. Also some universities do supply these in varying states of working order for those in university accommodation. Always CHECK what you are allowed to bring with you - some unis are strict about electrical items.

  • Coffee maker
  • Kettle - usually supplied
  • Toaster - usually supplied
  • Rice Steamer

Kitchen Equipment

Obviously you dont need any of this if you are living in a fully catered halls of residence. Even in self-catering CHECK what is provided before you go out and buy stuff. If you are a beans-on-toast sort of person, buy the minimum - you won't need a wok.

  • Small casserole dish
  • Small frying pan
  • Wok or large frying pan (with lid)
  • Large saucepan (with lid)
  • Small saucepan (with lid)
  • Flat baking tray (for oven chips!)
  • Tin opener
  • Bottle opener
  • Corkscrew
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Cheese grater
  • Wooden spoons or spatulas
  • Masher
  • Microwavable bowl
  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring jug
  • Pizza cutter ( though it can be easier to use scissors )
  • Sieve
  • Colander
  • Whisk
  • Chopping knives
  • Chopping board ( may be a good idea to get a different one for meat, and for vegetables/bread to avoid cross-contamination )
  • Kitchen scissors
  • Tea towels

Storage

  • Tupperware (plastic tubs for storing leftovers.) Write your name on the lids and the tubs to prevent them going missing
  • Sandwich bags (good for storing 'dry' leftovers)
  • Biscuit tin
  • Cling film (for covering bowls in the fridge/microwave)
  • Tin foil
  • Plastic drinks bottle (better than buying bottled drinks - and saves money)

Tableware

  • Glasses (pint glasses, tumblers, high-ball, shot glasses)
  • Cutlery (knives, forks, spoons) Tip - taking just one or two of everything will encourage you to wash them straight away but make sure you have enough to have people over for a takeaway dinner
  • Crockery (plates, bowls, mugs, cups)

Basic Ingredients

REMEMBER that uni towns have shops - you don't need to cart all this stuff from home!

  • Salt / Pepper
  • Herbs and spices
  • Sugar / Sweeteners
  • Ketchup, mayonnaise/ salad cream
  • Hot drinks (tea, coffee, hot chocolate)
  • Cooking oil/spray
  • Spreads - honey, jam, Marmite, peanut butter
  • Pasta sauce
  • Tins - stock up on soup, tinned fruit/veg, custard, rice pudding, canned meats, beans, peas etc
  • Cereal
  • Fruit squash/Ribena
  • Packet foods - e.g pasta/curry sauce, noodles, boil-in-the-bag rice, Angel Delight, pasta, jelly, biscuits, crisps, instant mash etc.

Other

  • Tea towels
  • Baking foil
  • Greaseproof paper
  • Washing-up liquid
  • Bin bags
  • Recipe book/ instructions from your parents/guardian
  • Sandwich bags/Tupperware box for DIY lunches


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