Your University Checklist: The important stuff
Regardless of your year group, you are no doubt familiar with the endless checklists of food, crockery, furniture, stationary and so on that Google searches have relentlessly churned up when you’ve typed in ‘What do I need to bring to university?” So, we won’t add to that already huge pile and write another one. No, we will provide you with a checklist of things that skips the endless practicalities and are things current students have pointed out as vital keys to joy, happiness and success…Thank us later.
Surprisingly (and yes, I was incredibly shocked) a lot of Halls do not include a toaster in their provisions. And who’s gonna start grilling bread before a 9am lecture? Nobody. (Who even grills bread full stop as a student..?) So, when one of my flatmates brought a toaster with her after a trip back home meaning the whole flat could have toast again, it felt like the world was at peace briefly.
- Colour Catcher sheets.
You will soon learn that washing clothes is expensive. And annoying. And the only thing that makes it worse is when you have to do a separate colours- and whites-wash - like an actual adult. Nobody got time for that. Buy colour catcher sheets (they come in packs of 25) and throw it all together and it will make the whole experience virtually plain sailing.
- Endless underwear.
Reiterating a previous point, washing clothes is dull. And there is no clearer way of the universe telling you that the next load is due than running out of underwear. Bring more than you need and avoid the rookie error of running out of clean options.
Okay, so even though you can’t physically pack Netflix in your suitcase, an account needs to be installed into your laptop/xbox/playstation/so on. Now you’re a student, you no longer have access to all of the TV shows, movies and programmes you normally watch unless you buy a TV licence which is a bit of a pain. Instead, allocated a measly £5 a month for a cheap, private TV experience whenever you want it. Best investment ever.
- Hard plastic cups.
No, not the flimsy ones used in beer pong. The almighty solid plastic cup. I have learned the hard way that there is absolutely zero point in buying glass cups – you’re lucky if they make it across one term. Plastic cups can literally get thrown around and they will never smash. Plastic cups = friends for life.
Although you are studying a subject of your choice, sometimes your lectures will be dull. And, sometimes your lecturer will talk at the speed of light. One thing I have found that maximises your concentration and keeps you up to speed with the important bits is taking a highlighter with you. It also makes revising said lecture notes more appealing.
- Expensive food.
If you’re lucky, your parents might offer to go food shopping with you before you head off to start the year. Take advantage of this. I’m not telling you to buy the entirety of Tesco’s but be strategic – I’m sure your parents won’t mind helping you out with the more expensive groceries to get you started and save your own pocket. I’m thinking Nutella, cheese, anything Heinz and so on. You will soon realise what I’m talking about when you have to eventually buy these. You’re welcome.
- NUS card.
A lot of the time you will see a whole bunch of discount cards being marketed your way as a student. But none will trump the almighty NUS card – this will give you endless savings across the year, from high-street stores to restaurants. Get yours before the year begins!
- Measuring jug.
This probably sounds strange – but no one EVER brings a measuring jug to uni with them. And so what happens when you want to make gravy, custard, measure water and so on? Catastrophe. Take one for the team, bring one with you.
A lot of students, or soon-to-be students, are encouraged to focus on the practical things to bring to university. Immediately the mind goes to kitchen/bathroom/bedroom lists. But one thing to really make sure you keep on top of at university, throughout the whole experience, is your mental health and wellbeing. Realistically, take a look at your list of things that you plan to bring – and try and find something that makes you feel comforted and relaxed. Usually, a saucepan or washing detergent don’t bring a lot of joy. So think about what makes you feel calm and happy – it could be anything – and put it on your list as a priority.