Top Tips for University Preparation
For those of you who are currently awaiting A Level results and the confirmation of your top university choice, the main thing on your mind right now is preparing to move to university. For me this was a daunting prospect; where on earth should you start?! But fear not, this post is all about how to get started with your university packing and the essential things to get for your year ahead.
Although realising that your mum isn’t going to cook your meals every day is a scary thought, an even scarier one is knowing where to start with your kitchenware. How adventurous will my cooking be? Will I need my own kettle? (The answer to this is no – the university provides them). How much pasta am I actually going to eat? (A lot!) All of these questions were swirling through my mind the summer before university and hopefully I can clear a few things up for you! Make sure you bring more cutlery than you think you’ll need! Although it may seem okay buying one fork, spoon etc. I can guarantee that when it comes to exam season (or even when you have friends over) you’ll be leaving your washing up for a more convenient time, so you’ll definitely need some spare spoons. I bought a pack of cutlery from IKEA with 4 of each item (side note: IKEA will become your best friend when packing for university!).
Things you’re likely to forget:
Student loans are an absolute lifesaver, allowing you to have a full university experience without draining the bank of mum and dad. However, budgeting is singlehandedly the most important thing to remember – especially during the first year of university when there will be hidden costs around every corner.
Freshers Week: Remember that you will need to buy tickets for quite a few Freshers events as well as spending money if you’re planning to drink there too. I personally budgeted about £15-20 per night (not including ticket prices) but obviously some nights I spent more or less than this.
Textbooks: This is one thing I definitely did not prepare for and so it came as a huge shock to me (and an even bigger shock to my bank account). Unlike at school you have to buy the textbooks or reference books that are used at university. If you’re lucky your course will tell you about these books during the summer so you have time to find the best buys, but most of the time you will have to buy these books whilst on campus. The campus bookshop usually has all the textbooks you’ll need but I personally bought mine from places like Amazon where the used copies were significantly cheaper. This is also a good time to sign up for the 6 months free Amazon Prime trial as it means you can get your textbooks delivered quickly. The cost of all my books did come to about £200 but as long as you save up or remember to include this into your initial budget you’ll be fine!
What to take for your room…
Although car space is obviously a large factor in how much you can take to university, don’t forget your personal belongings as well as all of the practical stuff. I personally found moving away from home very difficult so I decided to take as many things from my room at home to my room at university – this definitely made things a lot easier for me! Having things around me like my own jewellery box and photos of friends and family eased me into life in a new room and soon I started to feel like I’d put my own stamp on an initially bare room. A printer is also something practical to think about because it eases your mind about printing off coursework. But don’t worry if this is not something you want to invest in, I can guarantee someone in your flat will have one!
Other useful things to remember:
Sticky bath mat (if you have your own bathroom)
Fold-up clothes airer
Washing capsules for the laundrette (capsules work better in the university washing machines than powder or liquid!)
Door stop (for hot days or even so you socialise more during Freshers)
I hope this helps you to start your packing and eases your mind about things you might forget!