Leaving for university can come with mixed emotions. On one hand you are buzzing to get away, meet new people and have some fun. Yet you are also in a state of panic getting everything ready that you think you might need for the first year of mayhem. Emphasis on the ‘might need’ here, because chances are, you don’t need it.
That list you’ve written? Forget it, it’s probably a mile too long and most of the stuff you won’t even use (yeah, put down the coffee maker!). Here at Ryman, we have sought the advice of past university students to create our expert guide to help you prepare.
This will be the room you will study, chill and cure those hangovers. So you should make it as homely as you can. Most university accommodation halls come with the basics; a bed, mattress, desk, drawers, shelves and a lamp. The rest is up to you! Now, this depends on how high maintenance you are, of course! So, think about the necessary accessories that can spruce up your room!
Don’t forget the essentials like a few changes of bedding, a mattress topper and some storage boxes for your files and notes. Here’s a few extra accessories our ex-students said helped them settle in!
1. Fairy lights! These give you extra light during all-nighters, but aren’t as harsh as your main bedroom light. They also look cute! A small lamp is also essential to give that much needed extra light during an all nighter!
2. A small rug will come in handy as university halls can get quite cold. Not only will it keep your feet warm, it will also cover the rank carpet!
3. Candles are a NO-GO in university halls, they set the fire alarm off and no one wants to be stood outside waiting for them to go off! A diffuser is a good alternative for this, they can help you relax when you’re stressed but also cover the smell when you eat your tea in your bedroom (yes you can finally do that!!).
4. Storage - Really Useful Boxes are a must for storing and organising all of your everyday must-haves including clothes, shoes, DVDs, files and folders.
5. Anything sticky to hang photos, posters and prints up. You will lose your deposit if you put nails in the wall or leave a hole behind, so find a no holes solution with Command You’ll need lots of this come revision time too because your notes will be plastered all over the walls!
The Bathroom Situation
Stock up on all manner of Cleaning Products once you arrive at your accommodation. Life before University was so simple, which you’ll soon realise the first time you have to clean your shower! Word of warning – don’t leave this too late, especially you long-haired folk. The more you keep on top of it the easier it will be.
You can however have your bathroom as girly or manly as you want. Pink towels? A magazine rack? Why not! Also, make sure you have enough cleaning products to see you through. Don’t forget, if you are sharing a bathroom you’ll need your flip-flops to avoid the slippy floor. They will double up as your ‘nip to the shop’ shoes too!
Shared Kitchen areas are probably the most difficult area to get sorted, particularly in your first year. In shared accommodation chances are you won’t know who your flatmates are until you get there, so you can’t negotiate who buys what. A result of this – 8 cheese graters, 8 potato peelers and 30 different pots and pans. Definitely. Not. Necessary. It’s very hard to avoid this, so it’s best just to take the necessities.
Cutlery (these go missing ALL the time, so the more the merrier), basic pots and pan set, and washing up liquid all make for a good starting point. A good idea is to think about the main meals you like and what you need in order to make those; then you should be sorted!
Everyone needs something that reminds them of being back at home, whether that’s your favourite mug, a blanket you’ve had since you were a baby or even the recipe for your mum’s homemade soup. Before you board that train to your new city, get your parents to write you a little homemade cookbook with all the recipes you can’t live without. This will be handy on the days you’re feeling especially homesick. Don’t be worried about people making fun of your tatted teddy or your ‘blankie’, because chances are, 90% of your university accommodation will have brought theirs. University can be quite overwhelming for first years, so it’s important to make your time as comfortable as possible. These added home comforts will make it feel like you have never left – because, let’s face it, there’s no place like home.
As you prepare for this next chapter of your life don’t forget a few essentials that will make university life easier.
#1 Alarm Clock- Over sleeping and missing a lecture is definitely frowned upon even for freshers so invest in a decent clock that’s going to interrupt that hangover…
#2 Academic Diaries- Keeping a paper copy of deadlines, holidays and any other important dates is a brilliant idea especially if you are prone to dropping/losing or drowning your electrical devices!
#3 Power Bank- Keep your phone or tablet full of charge even when embarking on a marathon library sesh!
#4 Extension Cables- Most university rooms are 2 plug maximums, so take a couple of extension cables to ensure you stay switched on through the year.