In the next couple of weeks, most of you will be settling in to your new homes for the year whether it be in private accommodation, or one of the 17 residences at Cardiff University. I made the mistake of packing everything I owned into my parents’ tiny car (and borrowed roof rack!), only to find that my uni room was way too small to fit anything into… Here’s a handy list of things you’ll DEFINITELY need, and a few added extras for moving to university.
- A duvet, and pillows. Preferably good quality, because everyone needs a good night’s sleep
- A couple of sets of sheets and bedding sets (remember to check if your room is a single, or double). Like the duvet and pillows, I’d pay a few more pounds and buy good quality bedding, or bring yours from home if you can because you’ll need to be able to sleep at uni. My mum also washed all mine before we went so they didn’t have that horrible, new itchy feeling.
- A blanket/throw and a couple of nice cushions – because it’s always nice to make your room look homely!
- Added options: I’d get a mattress protector because you don’t know who was sleeping on that mattress before you, plus I also bought a foamy mattress topper (I had that delivered to uni), because my mattress was so hard!
- Coat hangers! Your wardrobe is likely to be small however, so really consider what clothes you want to take. I love those velvet type ones you can grab in Primark as they mean you can pack more in and your clothes won’t fall off.
- Laundry basket: One of those foldable ones are good, or just a big laundry bag that you can also drag down the laundrette.
- Alarm clock: The amount of times I forgot to charge my phone and the alarm never went off…
- A door stop! It’s really good to be able to have your door open at university, it makes things more sociable, and is great on your first day when everyone is moving in.
- Photos of friends and family. Whether it be to pin on a noticeboard, a couple of nice frames, or if your halls allow it, stick on the walls.
- Optional: But ear plugs… I don’t know what I would have done without them during exam weeks.
- Clothes… obviously. Plus a couple of nice sets of pyjamas, hoodies, slippers, dressing gown, gym kit, trainers, sturdy shoes for walking to uni in the rain, umbrella, coat. Trust me… you will NOT need all those fancy clubbing clothes, and pretty summer dresses (no one dresses up at uni it seems…)
- Sauce pan – two max. One will be good enough, and trust me, you all end up using each other’s anyway.
- Wok. The best thing you can ever own at uni when it comes to cooking…
- Cutlery (again, a couple of pieces of each will suffice)
- Glasses – a pint glass for non-alcoholic and otherwise and a wine glass. Although you may get a lot during Freshers week as freebies.
- Mugs – a couple will do. I highly recommend really big ones that hold A LOT of tea and coffee.
- A plate, a bowl and one of those bigger pasta sort of bowls (if you only buy one set it forces you to wash it up and not leave it stinking for ages…)
- A couple of sharp cutting knives.
- Cheese grater
- Bottle opener (mainly for beer, however I’ll be impressed if you buy wine that requires a cork removal).
- A baking tray. Don’t make the mistake I did and buy one that was too big for your tiny uni oven.
- Tupperware – good for storing things, good for taking as a lunchbox, and good for labelling.
- Remember: Tin foil, clingfilm, freezer bags, bin bags, and some sort of sturdy, reusable shopping bag.
- If you want to take a smoothie maker, coffee machine, slow cooker etc – double check the halls’ regulations, as you don’t want to be fined!
- A couple of towels. I did a huge laundry day every fortnight, but I liked to change my towels once a week, so have enough clean for a fortnight.
- First aid kit + Paracetamol, some of those fizzy energy tablets/sachets, throat sweets, antiseptic cream, plasters, things for upset stomachs and condoms.
- Medication. DON’T forget these, and this includes the Contraceptive Pill if you take it, asthma pumps, diabetes pen, contact lenses and solution, plus anything else you might take.
- Toilet roll
- Washbag complete with toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, make-up if you wear it and any other moisturisers and lotions and potions you might use.
- Toilet brush, cleaning products for toilet and sink, and some Febreeze of some sort
- From Ikea I bought one of those stand-alone metal racks to put all my stuff on too…
ELECTRICALS (Apart from the laptop which I consider essential at university… these are all just options)
- Laptop and charger – essential…
- Mobile phone and charger
- Small TV. Most will watch telly on their laptop, but some do like bringing a TV too. Remember, if you watch TV (this doesn’t include Netflix etc), you need a license.
- USB cable to link TV and computer.
- Power extension cable – this is really important because there are never enough plug sockets.
- Printer, with ink. Although wait until you arrive as you could all chip in together and buy one as a flat.
- A USB memory stick that holds a lot of memory.
- IMPORTANT: I would 100% get an external hard drive if you haven’t got one already and back your computer up onto it every time you do work. I’ve had two instances at university where my whole computer was wiped and I lost important coursework.
- Other options include a camera and speakers.
OTHER IMPORTANT STUFF / DOCUMENTS
- Any documents that your university asked you to bring, acceptance letter, student finance, accommodation agreement etc.
- At least one form of ID – passport/driver’s license. I’d bring both as license is good to take out with you as a form of ID, whilst you will need your passport if you want to get a part-time job and may need it for other things.
- A strip of passport photos in case.
- Bank debit card. Set up your online banking if you haven’t done this already.
- Insurance documents. And yes, GET insurance (room contents should do it).
- Others: NI number, NHS number and anything else you might need to register for your new doctor’s, sign up to a gym etc.
- A couple of games – a pack of cards (for drinking games and otherwise), Monopoly, Cards Against Humanity – whatever floats your boat.
- A bike if you’re planning on cycling to places.
- A 16-25 railcard is REALLY useful, as well as an NUS card which gets you good discounts.
- Cleaning products for the kitchen, bathroom and your clothes.
- Make sure you have an up-to-date copy of your CV, plus one nice, smart interview outfit. If you’re not planning on going home, you should also bring with you a formal suit/dress for any balls you may have at the end of the year.
- A couple of pieces of fancy dress (trust me…), plus bright face paint, glitter, whatever you can find that will be good for a fancy dress night out (which there will be a lot of).
- Added optionals that are nice for decoration = a rug, some ornaments, picture frames, a vase, anything that will make your room personal and make you feel more like you’re at home!
Have I missed anything?