Halls of residence, Housemates, Jobs and work experience, Living away from home, Settling in

5 Unexpected Things you Need to Pack for University

So now exams are pretty much finished y’all be looking to party all the time, laze around in this glorious weather, some of you may even be about to jet set off for a holiday of a lifetime that you’ll remember forever…well at least the sober parts of it! However upon your return it will then be time to start packing everything up ready to move out and into what will be the best three/four(sometimes more) years of your life.

But what to pack?

My advice would be to make yourself a list and keep adding to it when to think of stuff you’ll need. It’s so easy to forget things when you have to think about so much. For example when I moved up to Liverpool for my year in Industry it wasn’t until I started unpacking my duvet and pillows ready to make the bed, that I realised I hadn’t bought any of my bedding! Mum wasn’t happy seeing as now on top of having to get the flat organised, we had to go shopping for bed sheets. Not the first thing you want to be doing especially after having driven four hours to get there. This is why it can be beneficial to have a checklist.

Making this checklist is a daunting task in itself so here’s a few items that may help to give you some inspiration!

Bed Sheets: Learn from my mistakes!! And I know it sounds odd but there is a common opinion that I’m sure you will hear many times during the moving in period, and that is ‘the place will feel a lot more homely with a made bed’ and actually, I have to agree. So first thing to do as soon as you arrive is stick the kettle on, make your bed and then you have a comfy place to just chill for a few moments before the intense ‘room organisation’ commences.

Old School Notes: WAIT! Before you tear up and burn all those revision notes, if you’re continuing the subject at uni, it might just be useful to hang onto them. The number of times I’ve been writing an essay and i’ve wanted to reference a study, but for the life of me I can’t remember who the researcher was or what the paper was called, and the frustrating this is I knew that i’d studied it at 6th form! So keep your notes with you, as it may just give you that upper hand when writing essays and revising for exams.

Appliances: Double check what gets provided by your accommodation and what other flatmates are bringing. You don’t want to end up with 5 kettles, 3 irons and 7 toasters! ‘But how do I know who I’m going to be living with?’ I hear you ask. Well, it’s relatively easy to check, and the way to do it is through Facebook…

It’s worth pointing out at this moment in time that if you don’t have Facebook, I would highly recommend it – especially seeing as you’re about to go to uni. Facebook becomes your social calendar; it’s one of the main platforms for being invited to parties, it’s where you hear about all the quirky events Cardiff has to offer, and most importantly it will become where the vast majority of memories will be stored. In fact we’re moving into such a social media era now that even graduates are finding job opportunities and being hired through their Facebook pages! If you’re still dubious, Facebook has a variety of privacy setting to suit your needs. You can control what information people see, you can control what information about you is put up there, and you can even control whether people can search for you or not.

But anyway…back to the case in point. How to find your future flatmates via Facebook. Well:

  • search the name of your halls along with the year you’ll be staying there
  • scroll down the group to look to see if anyone has posted your flat/house number
  • If so, drop them a line…if not post up ‘anyone staying in House A, Flat 5?’
  • Sooner or later you may have an inbox from your new roomie introducing themselves and voila! A new relationship is born!

Plenty of Fancy Dress: Absolutely critical! Even if you don’t like fancy dress, you’ll definitely need some sort of outfit at some point. So that fireman’s hat you wore 7 years, is actually going to come in handy – despite your mum insisting you throw it out. See… you knew you were right!

Biscuits/Sweets/Tea: Or at least buy them before you arrive. Why? Well it’s a perfect way to break the ice! And to be honest if you’re nervous and a bit apprehensive about what the next few years are going to bring, if someone welcomes you into the flat with a cup of tea and a biscuit, that person is probably going to be a best friend for life. Or at least make a good impression on you, so make sure that person is you 🙂

Hopefully that’s given you some idea or some inspiration for what to bring. There are plenty of guides out there on the internet for all the obvious stuff like toothbrushes and clothes etc, but hopefully this may help your creative side to remember those little quirky thing so you don’t have to buy a million and 1 items that you wish you hadn’t forgotten!

Until next time,




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