Welcome to the first in our three part series – The Gabbitas Guide to University! Where we share top tips to ensure you are ready to start university this September.
In this first blog we look at what to pack. A common mistake can be to take simply too much stuff, we share what the essentials should be as well as other top tips to think about putting in your suitcase this summer.
What do you need to take?
Our biggest tip, don’t take too many! There will not be much storage space in the halls where you stay in your first year and remember you can always wash them! But you will definitely need:
- A basic fancy dress kit – freshers love to dress up!
- Some kind of formal wear – prom type dress for girls, black tie for boys.
- And you will also need a dressing gown and slippers for those late night fire drills.
Make sure you take a good duvet, two changes of sheets, your own pillow and a mattress topper. Trust us, a hall bed is never as comfortable as yours at home. After a hectic night of socialising, you’ll be grateful for an inviting bed.
Bear in mind that people will form first impressions of you based upon your bedroom, worth bearing in mind when contemplating taking your beloved Thomas the Tank Engine linen set.
A hot water bottle or electric blanket also helps if you are heading to the northern hemisphere.
In terms of stocking your kitchen, we recommend some basic kitchen kit to get you started. A veg peeler, corkscrew, non-stick pan, plates, bowls and cutlery will cover the essentials of what you need. Our top tip would be to get these in a bright colour so if it disappears, it is easy to identify as yours!
We would also suggest bringing your own tea towel (or two) as you don’t know where the others have been. Plus, wet wipes and some washing up liquid never go amiss.
Other useful essentials for your room are things like speakers, an extension lead, adapters, an umbrella (particularly if you are in the North!), washing powder, hair dryer, bin bags, white tack, loo roll, doorstop, alarm clock…but remember, there is always an affordable place to pick these up in town so don’t feel like you have to take everything.
Cheering up your room
The cold welcome of a bare room in halls is sure to put even the most confident undergrad on edge so go prepared to make it feel more like home.
A couple of bean bags are homely and people will plonk themselves in your room to chat rather than propping up the wall.
Rugs are great for covering up unsightly carpet stains and bare floorboards. It’s handy having a bedside rug – it makes the cold mornings less chilly when you leap out of bed.
Really important to remember to bring lights – a desk lamp and probably a bed side one too – fairy lights go a long way to making a room look a bit more sparkly. Candles are usually a no no, for obvious health and safety reasons.
If you have the cash – buy a couple of plants to add something green and living. If you are guaranteed to kill them within the week stick to a cactus.
Photos of family/friends/your gap year can be a great icebreaker. Memories of recent parties and childhood will serve as reminders that ‘old friends are gold’ and encourage you to keep in touch with everyone back home.
Posters liven up a blank wall but bear in mind the advice re duvet cover when it comes to selecting your posters! Keep your eyes peeled for Student Union fairs selling innumerable discounted posters in all shapes and sizes. A multitude of websites sell every poster imaginable.