40 Things You Might Not Think to Take With You to Freshers Week!

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A new academic year is right around the corner, so we’ve created the ultimate guide of things to bring to uni with you!

Forget about the obvious things like clothes, suitcases, bedding, kitchenware and toiletries. This is a list of things you might not think to bring with you, courtesy of a previous fresher, Paradox.

1. Extension leads

Trust me on this! My room in student halls had a double socket at my desk and a double socket by my bed. It was hard to juggle plugging in all my electronics including my laptop, printer, TV, games console, fan, and chargers. Bringing extension leads will save you the headache.

2. Towels

Don’t roll your eyes at me. I see you. It may seem obvious, but some people in my halls legit forgot to bring any. No one wants to be borrowing other people’s towels. Nasty. Bring at least two towels so when one is dirty and you’ve forgotten to wash it, you have a spare.

3. Extra blankets

The heating in student accommodation breaks all the time. Sometimes the windows are rubbish or the buildings are old. Just make sure to bring one or two extra blankets so you can snuggle up in the colder months and not be shivering away.

4. A heater

Not all halls will allow heaters in the rooms for health and safety reasons, but halogen heaters are a gift from God if you can take one with you. You might want to invest in some sunglasses though (not included on the list).

5. A hot water bottle

If you can’t take a heater then a hot water bottle is always a good option. Especially if you get a cute cover for it! Good to keep warm and for aches and pains.

5. A fan

Just like it gets cold in halls, it also gets hella hot! With a small room and usually just one window to crack open (in most halls you can’t even open them fully for health and safety reasons), a fan will be an absolute lifesaver in the summer months or if you’re on one of the higher floors.

6. Photos and decorations

There’s no place like home. But unfortunately, you have to leave it for this next step in your life. So my advice? Bring photos of your friends, family and pets. Take a few of your favourite posters, paintings, or any other decorations from your old bedroom. It may be nice to go home to your room being how it was when you left, but you are going to spend most of your time at uni, so don’t be afraid to bring half of your room with you for comfort!

7. A kettle for your room

You can get travel kettles that don’t take up too much space and you can still get at least 2 mugs out of most. Handy for tea, coffee, Lemsip, soups, Pot Noodles, ramen and filling up that hot water bottle you’re going to take.

8. A toaster for your room

Hear me out. Not only can it be used for toast, but you can keep Pop-Tarts, cheesy pocket snacks toast, crumpets, and hot cross buns in your room. I’m sure as a student you will find more items to toast, too!

9. Your own shower curtain

If you are lucky enough to have your own bathroom and it’s one that comes with a shower curtain instead of a door, please take your own one! Mine was so dirty. I immediately ran out and got a new one. You don’t want that sticking to you mid-shower. Seriously.

10. Laundry basket/bag

Trying to carry all of your dirty washing in your arms to the laundry room is not fun. You’ll lose pants and socks and all sorts. Get yourself a laundry bag to make life easier.

11. A lamp

Unless you want to have to turn on your main light and blind yourself in the middle of the night then invest in a lamp. They are pretty handy for studying or reading too.

12. A jug/sealable bottle

Having something to store water in overnight is a good idea, especially in the summer or after a night out! Nothing worse than having to leave your bed at 7 am when you are hungover, in search of hydration!

13. A small TV

My halls did have a couple of common rooms with a TV in each. But you share these halls with a lot of people, so if you want to pick what you watch in the evenings or on a lazy day then get a TV for your room. This means you can also bring a games console with you and watch DVDs.

14. Earplugs

You will need to drown out a lot of sounds. Most nights. Just get some.

15. Mattress protector

Who knows how long your mattress has been in that room? How many people have slept on it? How many people have… done other things on it? Just do the sanitary thing and get one and try not to think about the answers to those questions when you are trying to sleep.

16. Fancy dress outfits

You’re a student now. There will be a fancy dress party at least once a week. Maybe invest in a couple of outfits now, before you spend all your loan during Freshers.

17. Speakers

Pre-drinks, flat parties, annoying your noisy neighbours early in the morning? They will come in handy, trust me.

18. Headphones

They help drown out all the questionable sounds of halls and you can play music as loud as you like without disturbing anyone. Plus, if you are trying to ignore someone, headphones never let you down.

19. A doorstop

Be social in freshers week! When you are setting up your room or just chilling in there listening to Spotify, prop that door open! It makes you seem more welcoming and friendly. People walking past might even pop their heads around your door and comment on your amazing taste in music!

20. A pack of cards

Ring of fire. You will play this game. If you are not familiar with it you will be.

21. Food to share with new neighbours

OK, first of all, I need to warn you – keep your good food in your room unless it has to be in the fridge/freezer. People will steal it. But on your first week, maybe buy some sweets or crisps, a bottle of vodka or whiskey and share it with your new friends.

22. Clothes drying rack

Sometimes it feels like a bit of a waste of money to use the tumble dryer when you could just hang it up to dry on a rack. The shower is a good place to put the clothes rack, and the curtain rail in there can also be used to hang clothes on hangers to dry.

23. A torch

My halls electricity went all the time. A torch is a good investment. Or perhaps you have to share a bathroom? Instead of turning the main lights on, use your torch.

24. A lighter

Smokers may need one, you might want to light candles or incense, and the hob may need manually lighting if it’s as useless as mine was.

25. A sewing kit

Even if you can’t sew, bring one. Someone else may be able to and be willing to help you out or teach you. Don’t throw clothes away if they can be fixed. You won’t be able to afford new ones towards the end of term.

26. A first aid kit

You’re going to be a student. You will need one. Make sure you have plasters, antiseptic, pain killers and cold and flu supplies.

27. Blu-Tack and pins

This one is obvious. Putting up your photos and posters etc.

28. Batteries

Remote controls, alarm clocks – you don’t want to be without either.

29. An umbrella

We live in the UK. Don’t be silly and forget to pack one. Even if you are lucky enough to live near campus you can still get drenched in the time it takes to get to your lecture and no one likes sitting around feeling damp all day.

30. A dressing gown

If you are cold, don’t want to show off your awesome Power Ranger PJs or, like my halls, the fire alarm goes off at ridiculous times and you are, ahem, wearing less than most, it’s handy to just grab it off the back of your door.

31. Slippers/flip flops

I don’t know what your bedroom floor is gonna be like but trust me, you do not want to be walking down the hall or in the kitchen barefoot. Invest in some ‘easy to put on’ footwear. They are also handy if the fire alarm goes off.

32. Fairy lights/lava lamp

My room was always pretty chill, I had fairy lights strung up of different colours and styles (blue and beige woven globes, yass) and a tapestry pinned above my bed so it was like I was in a fancy tent. Give your room a bit of ambience. Fairy lights on Amazon have student-friendly price tags.

33. A throw

If you have friends around and you all sit on your bed to watch a movie, especially if you have snacks, you don’t want them sitting on your duvet or blanket. Invest in a throw, they are practical and they look pretty cool if you get a decent one.

34. Scatter cushions

Again, if you have some pals over for movie night you don’t want them leaning on what you put your head on at night. They also look really nice scattered over you bed during the day.

35. A spare light bulb

The last thing you want is to be plunged into darkness and not have a spare light bulb. Seriously, do the adult thing and get one.

36. Extra storage

Bring some storage boxes like those long thin plastic ones. They can fit under your bed or on the bottom of your wardrobe. Halls rooms are small so make the most of your space and don’t let things get too crowded.

37. A small toolkit

You may need to assemble an Ikea coffee table or take apart something to fix in your room. They are always handy to have around. Even if you can’t use them. Plus, a neighbour may need to use some but not have any with them. Go be that hero you know you can be and give your neighbour a spanner.

38. A mirror

Most rooms don’t come with a mirror unless you have a bathroom. Sometimes there won’t even be one in your bathroom. Bring a mirror and drape your newly acquired fairy lights around it for a diva feel.

39. Snack box

Get yourself a nice little box and store any dry good snacks in there. If you keep them in the kitchen, they will be eaten. Plus, most of your snacking will be done in your room when you study or watch movies. Or you’re just hungover.

40. A beanbag

If you have space in your room, a beanbag is awesome! More seating for friends, somewhere else to sit and stare at your laptop and it will go with all the other cool stuff you bring with you!

Related Information

Now your room looks awesome, get out. Go mingle! Meet your new neighbours and make some friends! Talk to as many people as you can! Freshers week comes but once a year. Plus, it’s kinda weird to knock on someone’s door in February and ask to be their friend.

Need some more support about being in uni? Visit our education info page.

This blog was originally published by Paradox in 2016 but was reposted after being edited in line with TheSprout’s new style guide.

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