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What To Take To The University (A MUST READ FOR ALL FRESHERS)

You’ve got your place at uni sorted but what on earth do you need to take with you? Here’s our definitive guide for what to take to university
Excellent question, fresher – and the answer lies within the mega ‘what to take to uni’ checklist that you’ve found right here.
OK, time for a quick disclaimer. You will not be taking everything on this list with you (or, if you
do, we really want to see the pictures). There’s a lot of stuff listed – all of which has been suggested by current and former students.
The resulting list is an uber packing list of anything and everything you might find handy.
With that in mind, you can use it like a tick-list. Scroll down through it and it will remind you of any university essentials that you really do want to take, but might have forgotten. And, don’t worry. Wherever you’re going, they’re going to have shops. So if you do forget anything vital, you can always buy another when you get there.
First, some quick tips
Aim to travel light. You’re moving into a small room with very limited cupboard space – and you’ll be moving out again next year. One large suitcase of clothes, a couple of boxes of other stuff and a binliner of bedding is about the right level.
Don’t splash out on expensive stuff. You’ll find perfectly decent duvet covers, kettles and stationery at the likes of Ikea, Argos and the big supermarkets. Most stuff won’t survive your first year so there’s no point binning tons of cash on it.
Before you go out and buy anything, make sure you’ve checked what the uni will be providing. You don’t want to turn up with a lot of stuff that’s already been laid on.
Bedroom things to take to uni

An unmade bed
Duvet – one with two different ‘warmth’ layers that fix together is best
Bottom sheets x 2
Duvet/quilt covers x 2 sets
Pillows x 2 (or only one if you prefer)
Pillow cases x 4
Warm blanket/fleece throw
Underblanket/mattress protector
Bath towels and hand towels x 2
Other bedroom items
Family photos
Alarm clock or clock radio
Posters etc
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 don’t provide one)
Small rubbish bin (if halls don’t provide one)
Coffee mug

All the clothes you’ll need

Main clothes
Normal, casual clothing – jeans, shorts, t-shirts, blouses/shirts (both long and short sleeve for layering and coping with changing seasons).
Lightweight jumpers or cardigans for autumn days
Fleece type jumpers or warmer cotton sweatshirts – much, much easier to wash & dry than knitted ones
– for colder days.
Underwear and socks (plenty of these)
Comfortable waterproof shoes
Trainers (even if you aren’t sporty these are useful)
‘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)
Rain jacket (thin nylon type you can stuff in a corner of your bag).
Pyjamas/nightshirt/dressing gown and slippers (for when the fire alarm goes off at 3am – you do not want to be scrabbling for clothes in that situation!)
At least one very warm jumper to pull on when working at your desk mid-Manhattan/late at night.
Smart shoes/heels
Clothing suitable for job interviews/part-time work (ie. blokes – neat trousers, shirt and tie, girls – ‘office’ looking clothes).
Swimwear and swim goggles
Swim towel
Gym and sports clothes
Warm joggers (useful even if you aren’t sporty)
Laundry items
Washing powder/fabric softener (buy when you get there!)
Laundry basket or bag for the corner of your room/bottom of wardrobe
Big nylon bag for carting stuff to the halls’ washing machine or the local launderette
Small drying rack (your university may provide either this or a washing line)
Logistics – or ‘getting all this stuff to uni’
If your parents aren’t driving you to uni here are some ideas and suggestions for making the journey!
.Is someone else from your school also moving to that city (not necessarily the same uni)? Could you car share with them? Talk to them or their parents.
. Ask around your school/college or friendship group. Does anyone know anyone else going to your uni (remember, they don’t have to be a first year…)
.Can you convince someone with a car to drive you for the cost of the petrol?
.If you have to go by train or bus/coach, then take a suitcase (with wheels….), a well-filled backpack and as much other stuff as you can comfortably carry.
.Could you buy your new duvet, towels and pillows when you get there, and just manage with a sleeping bag for a day or two? What other stuff could wait to be bought when you get there to make this journey easier?
.You can either come home to collect more stuff later in the term, or there are carrier companies such as DHL who will do door-to-door deliveries of your heavier stuff.
Personal items

Bathroom kit
Prescription glasses
Contact lenses plus cleaning fluid etc
Copy of prescription
Spare pair of glasses
Brace/retainer and accessories
Everyday moisturiser
Skincare wash
Lip balm
Shower gel, shampoo, soap,
Shaving cream, razors etc
Toothbrush / toothpaste
Hairbrush, comb etc
Tampons/sanitary towels
Make-up and make-up remover
First aid items
Antiseptic cream
Cold/flu remedy
Throat lozenges
Nail scissors
Health tips:
Make sure your vaccinations are up to date before you arrive – especially tetanus, measles, mumps and meningitis
Talk to your home GP or clinic about contraception
Have a dental check up and get any treatment done before you come to uni.
Register with a local GP or the University Medical Centre and a dentist on arrival at uni
Keep the number for your uni doctor and dentist handy/in your phone
Keep a number for next of kin in your mobile phone under NOK or ICE (‘next of kin’ or ‘in case of emergency’)
Familiarise yourself with where the local A&E and drop-in health centres are in your uni town
If you suffer with long-term conditions such as diabetes or epilepsy, make sure your neighbours in your halls or your flatmates know what your condition is – and where vital medication is kept.
Freshers flu – this is the general cold/virus that most people get in their first few weeks at Uni because of the ‘bacterial soup’ of germs/viruses from thousands of other students that your immune system isn’t used to. It’s normal. All you can do is get a few good nights’ sleep and treat the symptoms with cold/flu remedies. Remember, it’s a virus so antibiotics won’t help.
Stationery stuff for uni

If you’re 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. Shops like Tesco, Wilko and Poundland tend to be cheaper than Ryman or Paperchase…..
Noticeboard (all halls rooms should have one already)
Pack of cheap copy paper for printing
A4 file paper / notebooks with tear out sheets
Jotter or reporter pad
Pen drive/memory stick
Permanent all-surface markers
A bag for your stuff
You’ll want an everyday student bag for carting all your stuff around campus; something like a backpack or messenger bag will do fine.
Make sure it’s waterproof, strong and durable. Make sure it has easy catches fastenings AND that its big enough and strong enough to hold several large textbooks, folders, notepads, a water bottle and so on. Plus, make sure it 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
Pen pot (a coffee mug or flower pot will do)
White Tack or Blu Tack
Hole puncher
Paper clips
Post-it notes or flag markers
A4 ring binders
Lever-arch folders
Paper/plastic wallets
Calculator (especially if you’re doing maths, but even if you’re doing English literature)
Student planner/diary
Address book
Language dictionary (if relevant to your course)
International students might want to take an English phrase-book

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)
Driving licence (useful ID)
National Insurance number
NHS medical card
Details of your health insurance
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 your scholarship or bursary 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
DBS 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

Before you pack any of this stuff, check what you’re allowed to bring to halls. Some unis have very strict rules about electrical equipment.
Laptop. All unis will have ‘public’ PCs available for students to use, but most people find a laptop handy for personal use. Get one that is light enough to carry around campus with you.
Extension leads. Surge protected ones offer additional protection for your kit
Socket converter (if you are an international student)
Laptop case/bag
Small black and white printer. You will have access to printers in the uni library, but a small one in your room is always handy. You can get small/cheap ones at places like Tesco and Staples for under N10,000 but check the price of the replacement ink cartridges
USB memory sticks
Packet of white copy paper
Ink (colour and black for inkjet, toner for laser)
Mobile phone
Digital camera
Small CD player
CDs & wallet/case
MP3 player/iPod
USB lead (charger)
Docking station
Alarm clock
Iron and ironing board (only if you aren’t in halls)
Water bottle – cheaper than buying bottled water.
Holdall or ‘weekend at home’ bag
Handbag for nights/days out
Small sewing kit
Books/novels (fiction/non-fiction)
Musical instrument(s)
Private lodge or private flat Occupants

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
If you’re sharing you may end up with many of the same appliance in one house. That’s not great because your storage space in any communal kitchen is going to be very limited. Also some universities do supply these in varying states of working order for those in university accommodation.
Coffee maker
Kettle – usually supplied
Toaster – usually supplied
Rice cooker

Kitchen equipment

Obviously you don’t 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
Vegetable peeler
Cheese grater
Wooden spoons or spatulas
Microwavable bowl
Mixing bowl
Measuring jug
Pizza cutter ( though it can be easier to use scissors )
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


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)

Glasses (pint glasses, wine glasses, shot glasses, cocktail glasses, whisky 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: uni towns have shops – you don’t need to cart all this stuff from home! But once you get there, this is a handy store cupboard shopping list.
Salt and pepper
Herbs and spices
Sugar or sweeteners
Mayonnaise and/or 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 and so on
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.

Tea towels
Baking foil
Greaseproof paper
Washing-up liquid
Bin bags
Recipe book/ instructions from your parents
Sandwich bags/Tupperware box for DIY lunches
Things you won’t need
O-level text books. You will have a great big uni library stacked with books relevant to your degree course. You will not need Introduction to Biology aimed at a 16-year-old. You can leave all your carefully written A-level notes at home as well, because you won’t need them either.
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 Primark, 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 motor at home.
Pets. 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.

Have you thought of anything else that should be added to the list? Let us know in the comments. Also dont forget to like and share

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