Calling all Freshers – Get yourself organised in your last few weeks before you leave for University so you can really enjoy your freshers week without worrying about what you’ve left back home! I’ve dug out my list from this time last year, and picked out the bits and bobs that really came in handy over my fresher year.
Not all University Halls come equipped the same, so it’s definitely a good idea to ring up or check online to see what will and won’t be in your flat – that way you’ll avoid turning up with a load of kit that is already there, e.g. ironing boards, Hoovers, kettles or toasters!
My mum brought me an expanding box file last year, and as boring as that sounds it actually really comes in handy to keep these important documents easily accessible. Rather than putting that important piece of paper in your drawer or pile of paper and no doubt losing it, put it in your folder!
- Passport photos: you’ll need these in your induction week for ID verification
- University Documents: UCAS letter of acceptance, A-level/BTEC results, offer letter
- Passport & National Insurance Card
- NHS Number
- CV/References from work, work experience or school/college
- Bank Account Details: account number, sort code, card number etc
- Doctor and Dentist Details: you’ll need your old details and also your new – make sure you sign up at your local NHS doctors and dentist in your first week so you don’t forget later down the line.
- Local maps, train/tram/bus times and guides
- An academic diary and calendar: key to keeping you organised with your day to day activities
- Student Finance Documents
- Any textbooks, tasks or research you were set over the summer by your University: if you did get set any, make sure it’s completed! First impressions count, and you don’t want to be the only student who didn’t do their homework on the first day. If you got a reading list then learn from my mistake – don’t spend loads of money on every single one hoping to impress your tutors, it’s usually a ‘recommended’ reading list and there will be tonnes of them for loan at the library when you get there.
- 2 sets of duvet covers and duvet: Your typical student bedroom will come with a single bed, so stick with single covers. Only buying two will give you an incentive to keep on top of your washing, whenever I changed my sheets I’d make a habit of washing and drying the dirty sheets the same day so that they can go back in your cupboard and are ready for the next time.
- A good quality mattress topper: Unless your accommodation is brand spanking new, the chances are you’ll need a mattress topper to stop the springs digging into your back whilst you’re trying to sleep. You’ll be spending a lot of time there, so it’s definitely worth spending that bit extra on a good quality topper.
- Washing basket: keep all your dirty washing in one place, and remember when its full – it’s probably time you did some washing!
- Desk tidy: It’s a good idea to stock up on all stationary, like paper pads, hole puncher, folders, highlighters etc - there are always good offers on at this time of year too. Your desk tidy will help keep some sort of organised chaos at your desk.
- Alarm Clock: for obvious reasons
- Bedside lamp: get a few spare light bulbs too, good for reading/doing work in bed.
- Home comforts: Photographs, fairy lights, posters, rugs etc. Anything that will make your, at first, very unwelcoming student room into a space that you can call home.
- Bear in mind about what I said before – don’t go out and buy yourself every kitchen appliance. Chances are your flat will at least come with a kettle, toaster and microwave (but double check!). And don’t panic if you don’t get around to buying everything, if you ask your flatmates nicely then you can always use theirs.
- Plenty of tea towels and oven gloves.
- 2 sets of cutlery: don’t be tempted to buy 4 sets, as its unessaccary and having less will force you to keep on top of your washing up!
- 3 sets of pans and a frying pan: 1 small milk pan, 1 medium and 1 large. They usually come in sets of 3 and range from around £5-£10 depending on the quality.
- Set of scales: great for measuring your portions for pasta, rice and serving sizes to prevent over eating or waste.
- Tinfoil and Clingfilm
- Tupperware Boxes: great for storing leftovers in the freezer or fridge and taking your lunch around with you. Get a big set with different sizes.
- Freezer bags: freeze single portions of your favourite dinners.
- Cooking tongs: tongs are a must!
- Chopping board and a set of knifes
- Baking trays and an ovenproof baking dish.
- Store cupboard stock up: before moving in go shopping and stock up on all your store cupboard essentials. Things like dried pasta, rice, noodles, teabags, coffee, tinned goods (beans, soup, chopped tomatoes etc.), jars of sauces, herbs and spices. So when you finally move in, all you will need to buy is fresh things and you won’t be starting from scratch.
IKEA is great for cheap essential student shopping, but you could also try Home Bargains, H&M Home, Primark Home, B&M stores or even ALDI! Have a look around, but just make sure you’re all organised for the big move and your new adventure!
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Your stomach gurgles. The PowerPoint presentation flickers before your eyes. You try in vain to write some useful notes, but to no avail. Is it Fresher’s flu? A hangover? Maybe.
But then again, maybe not.