Sponsored feature, words by Russ Thorne



Getting everything together to head off to uni will of course involve wrestling your clothes into a suitcase, losing your phone charger a few times and experiencing brief moments of profound terror. It's all part of the fun. But what should you make sure you take with you? Here's a list to help...

1 - All the right info


All the right info
Your uni will have sent you some guidance telling you what official info to bring. As much as you might want to skim-read it giddily and then get back to finding that missing charger, make sure you check it carefully. Coventry University College (CUC) also keeps new students in the loop on Facebook or Twitter, so check your uni's account for similar updates.


Lots of students forget things like their official offer letters, ID, accommodation forms and other handy items, all of which slows down arrival and registration. Don't be one of them: make sure you know what official bits and pieces you need and pack them somewhere easy to access.

2 - A few helpful life skills



If this is going to be the first time you've lived away from home, there are some handy things to learn before you arrive. If you don't already do your own laundry, for example: learn how. Getting lessons from family is far better than sporting increasingly mouldy clothes (nice) or being reduced to wearing your duvet cover like an insane onesie.

It's also good to know how to change lightbulbs and plugs, do some basic bike maintenance (if you're bringing one) and cook a couple of simple, cheap recipes like spaghetti or curry. Plus, you can share these skills with your new friends – cooking in particular is a great ice breaker (wandering into people's rooms unannounced and removing their lightbulbs, less so.)

3 - Accommodation essentials


Accommodation essentials
Once you have a place confirmed in student accommodation, find out what's already provided. Start with your uni's website and go from there – CUC has links to their approved providers, for example.


You normally won't need to bring a lot with you, and local shops often sell cheap student starter packs for bedrooms or kitchens, so bear that in mind. Helpful things to pack include laundry bags, a sleeping bag in case you have guests or visit friends, earplugs for the noisier nights and flip flops for shared bathrooms. Don't lug a fancy espresso machine or waffle maker in – you'll use it once, then watch as it accumulates dust, grease and a sulky attitude, taking up space while it does so.

A mini medicine chest can be handy too, with some cold and flu remedies, plasters and painkillers. Get these in advance and you won't need to stagger to the shop looking like an extra from 'The Walking Dead' if Freshers' Flu strikes. Finally, pack condoms in case you really hit it off with someone, and make sure to use them – no excuses!


4 - Your teddy



By 'teddy', we mean home comforts in general (no, not your hamster). Photos are great, especially prints that you can put up on your bedroom wall. Or a favourite mug for tea and chats, a comfort blanket or jumper … anything small that reminds you of home.

Or you could take your actual teddy (or equivalent). Let's be honest, you'll only be sending for him / her within minutes of your family leaving anyway, so why not spare yourself the hassle? No shame in bringing the bear. (Just cover their eyes if you have, um, company at night.)


5 - An open mind


Group of students
Probably the most important one, this is relevant to your course, your new town or city, your accommodation and your new friends. You'll be thrown into an unfamiliar environment with a bunch of strangers. Some will see the world the way you do; others won't. You'll experience new ideas and – more than likely – baffling personal habits (seriously, who keeps shoes in the fridge?).

Try to keep an open mind and be patient over the first few weeks – visit the union, sign up to activities, join clubs, make tea and talk to your classmates and roommates. You'll find your feet.


Final top tip? Bring a picnic on moving in day to share with your new housemates. A little cake can make all the difference. Good luck, and enjoy!