Last week was results week, congratulations to those who got into uni! I remember the day after I got my results my mum went into a uni frenzy, she entered full-on moving out mode but I was too busy being hung-over from results night to get to her level… However, once I had recovered from my wine flu I realised I should probably start packing for my new chapter in Birmingham. It wasn’t until I arrived I realised I’d packed too few necessities, and too many things I like to call ‘no-cessities’. Now I’m entering my third year I have formed a list of things which you might not think of, but have come in really handy!
No. 1 – A Laundry Bag
I think most people may think to bring a laundry hamper or something to that effect to uni, however, I think scratch that. If you are living in halls in your first year your room might not be very near to the laundry room, so I recommend just getting a large bag that you can use as a laundry hamper. Throw your dirty clothes in that and then it can be easily transported to and from the laundry room. Furthermore, you can keep your laundry detergents in the bag and then you don’t forget to take them with you! I got mine from Primark for a couple of £££, https://www.primark.com/en/product/blie-stripe-rope-handle-laundry-bag,r35397118102135.
No.2 – Cleaning wipes
It’s no rumour that the cleanliness of student halls kitchens is questionable and if you’re a neat freak like me these are a lifesaver. Asda and I’m sure other supermarkets sell a pack of 40 cleaning wipes for 70p, https://groceries.asda.com/product/cleaning-wipes/asda-chosen-by-you-surface-cleaning-wipes-lemon/32660. I use them to give the kitchen a quick clean either before or after cooking, and I use them to clean my bathroom.
No.3 – Plastic Carry Wallets
Each year I buy a set of plastic carry wallets; you can get five for £4.99 at Ryman’s (where you can claim your student discount) http://www.ryman.co.uk/ryman-carry-folders-foolscap-pack-of-5#. I think you can get cheaper ones at a pound shop also. I use one per module then I will Sharpie the module titles on and take them to my lectures. I keep all my hand-outs and lecture notes in them for each specific module, then when it comes to doing assignments you have all your information in one place.
No. 4 – Coat hangers
You don’t really think about coat hangers until you unpack all your clothes and you’ve got nothing to hang your coat on! Buy good quality ones and then you can put multiple items on one hanger. (https://www.primark.com/en/product/5pack-black-wooden-hangers,r35397118774721.)
No. 5 – Photos
I feel that it’s really nice to have a lot of photos around your room, it makes it feel more homely and brings back nice memories. A lot of photo printing websites have good deals for example at https://www.snapfish.co.uk/2/vouchers-deals-offers students can enjoy 50% of their products and at https://www.photobox.co.uk/shop/prints/standard-prints you can get 50 free photo prints with their current offer.
No.6 – HE Calendar
At UCB you can go onto the undergraduate calendar page, http://www.ucb.ac.uk/our-courses/undergraduate/key-dates.aspx and you will find the Higher Education academic sessions calendar which is a PDF document. At the moment only the 2015/16 calendar is up but I have printed this off every year as it shows the University term dates week-by-week. I use this to highlight assignment submission weeks, payday weeks, rent weeks and student loan weeks! I feel it really helps in order to keep yourself organised in terms of how far away submission dates are and how to budget yourself until the next payment week.
No.7 – Freezer food
You can save a fortune buying freezer food (although fresh food is healthier) and it’s easier to manage portions, especially if you’re only cooking for one. Usually you can cook straight from frozen and a lot of meal only take half-an-hour or less – sorted!
No.8 Mugs and Teabags
Whether it’s first thing in the morning, last thing at night, with a friend in the afternoon, in a travel cup at uni or a cure for the dreaded hangover, you can never go wrong with a cup of tea. Or as we say in Yorkshire “a right good brew”. I feel it brings a bit of home to uni, and you’d be shocked at the amount of tea I drink on an assignment day!
National Rail offers a railcard for 16 – 25 year olds that gets you 1/3 off train tickets. It costs £30 for one year, however if you get a Santander Student Account you get a railcard for free. Railcards can also get you other discounts, for example 25% off tickets to see the view from The Shard in London and 20% off London Fashion Weekend tickets. I use my railcard almost weekly and it has saved me so much money, I highly recommend. http://www.16-25railcard.co.uk
There you have it! These are my personal must have items for uni. However, I must admit I took a number of ‘necessities’ too, for example too many kitchen things. If you take loads of plates, bowls and pans etc. you end up just using the clean things and not washing up until you have nothing left but a huge pile of washing up to do! This is time consuming so I recommend just taking what you need such a one plate, one bowl, a couple of pans and then it forces you to do your washing up straight away. I promise your flatmates will appreciate it! Furthermore, I never used the iron I took. I actually don’t know any students who iron. I fold my clothes as soon they come out of the dryer and they cool down neat and flat. Speaking of clothes, I took way too many clothes than I needed. Pack for the season and then it saves you having to bring too many things to and fro.
I hope this helps!