The summer after leaving school is an exciting time for any soon-to-be student. Perhaps you’re travelling or working to save up or just indulging in spending tons of time with your family and friends. As August fades into September and you return from a festival or work those final hours, your mind turns to the exciting prospect of fresher year and the new adventure that await.
Whilst exciting, the university is also fairly daunting for many students, particularly those who have never spent any time away from their parents or home before. If you haven’t had the benefit of older siblings heading off to university before you then knowing how to prepare can be a worry. However, fear no more as this guide provides a comprehensive list of what you’ll need in your first few weeks and how you can get the best value for money in purchasing it.
Pots, Pans, Crockery and Cutlery
The first thing on many students’ pre-university shopping list in kitchenware and all the bits and bobs one needs to feed themselves. Before you head down to your local home store, however, make sure you find out what catering facilities your accommodation provides. Quite often, first year halls of residences are at least in part catered for – meaning you might not need to take your own cooking utensils. On the other hand, if you are in self-catered halls or a student house, try getting in touch with your soon-to-be flatmates to see if you can share the burden of buying new kitchenware.
If there’s no way of getting in touch with your new flatmates or you’d rather not share, quite often supermarkets or stores like Ikea offer cheap and cheerful solutions to your cooking requirements. At the very minimum you might like to take a set of mugs and glasses so you can make a drink in your room. Take more than one if you’d like to make some friends!
Most providers of homes for students will not supply bedding and so it’s fairly essential you take your own. If your parents won’t let you pinch the bedding that’s on your bed at home, again supermarkets are often the cheapest place to buy new duvet and sheets. Check with your accommodation to ensure you buy the right size!
Unless you want to be avoided by everyone in your halls, a toothbrush, soap, shampoo, deodorant and any other personal items you need to get by are an essential feature on this checklist. As a student, you’ll quickly find the cheapest places to buy these essentials; quite often it is the pound store or a local market.
Only the most spoilt students have their parents do their washing for them. Unless this is you, you’ll need a laundry bag and some washing up powder. A laundry bag is a great birthday present for an uncle or sibling, whilst you’ll be able to pick up washing powder at your local supermarket.
Stock up with plenty of notepads, pencils and pens along with any other stationery your course demands. Some of this might be specialist, such as a lab book, and only available from certain stores or online. Shop around to find the cheapest suppliers; again these are likely to be supermarkets and pound stores.
It’s sensible to take your personal documents with you to university, including your passport, driving license and insurance documents. Keep this stored in a safe place that won’t get damp as replacing these documents can be expensive!
Before you set off, check which electronics are permitted by your halls of residence as many have strict rules on what devices are and are not allowed. Things such as heaters are often forbidden and should be left at home.
You’ll want your phone, laptop, potentially a set of speakers and potentially a television in your room. Don’t forget your chargers!
Finally, of course you need to pack in your clothes. Whilst it can be tempting to pack the entire wardrobe, try to hold back and take only what you think you might actually wear during your time in the halls. Sports gear, a good winter coat and at least one warm jumper are the items most commonly forgotten!