Halls of residence, Settling in

What you might not think about taking to uni…

There are countless – and endless – lists online advising you on what is best to take to university when you’re leaving home for the first time. I don’t want to state the obvious – I’m sure you’ve thought about taking your clothes, shoes, etc. and that’s why I’ve made a list of the things that you might not instantly think of…

  • Your passport

    You never know when you might need this. Cardiff University Jobshop requires your passport as a form of ID when registering, and you might decide to take advantage of some of the trips abroad that the University puts on so it’s a good idea to have your passport to hand should you need it. Remember to keep it safe – and if you don’t have a passport you can always take the long version of your birth certificate (like I did as I didn’t have a valid passport when starting university).

  • Other important documents

    You might need some other important documents to hand whilst at uni. I bought myself a folder and put them all in there so I didn’t lose them. You might not need these, but it’s worth taking them just in case.

– University admission acceptance letter

– Accommodation information and contract

– A-Level certificates

– Insurance documents

– Student finance documents

– Instruction booklets for any electronic items you might have bought for uni (they might include a hidden warranty should your item break whilst you’re away

– TV licence information

  • An extension lead

    University halls usually don’t have many plug sockets, so it’s worth taking an extension lead just in case you need to have more items in use at once. This is also handy if your plug sockets are no where near your mirror and you want your straighteners plugged in nearby, for example! Of course, always be careful not to overload extension leads, and unplug/turn electronics off when not in use.

  • A TV licence 

    The TV licence applies to students too, and although quite a hefty sum, there are a variety of ways that you can pay this to make it a little easier – weekly, monthly or in one go. The officical TV Licensing website states: “You must be covered by a TV Licence to: watch or record programmes as they’re being shown on TV or live on an online TV service, such as All4, Sky Go and YouTube, or. download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer.” If you have a separate tenancy agreement for your room – that’s if you’re in halls – you’ll need a licence to watch TV in your room, but if you have joint tenancy – a student house – you’ll usually just need one licence to cover the whole property. You might not need a licence if you’re watching catch up TV on equipment – like a laptop – that is powered solely by it’s own battery and not plugged into the mains as you might be covered by your parents’ licence.

  • Sleeping bag and spare pillow

    It’s always a good idea to have at least a spare pillow should you need one – or if you have a friend stop over. Similarly, it’s a good idea to have a sleeping bag in case you visit a friend at another university.

  • Laundry basket

    This might be pretty obvious, but a laundry basket is a must. Even if you chuck all of your dirty clothes in a large blue Ikea bag (which come in handy when you need to carry your washing to the washing machine), make sure you have somewhere to keep all of your dirty clothes.

  • Coat hangers

    Just in case your new uni wardrobe doesn’t have any!

  • A smart outfit

    This might come in handy if you have an interview for a part-time job for example!


Please do add any of your own suggestions in the comments! Otherwise, good luck with packing 🙂


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