Starting university can be a daunting time for many: meeting new people, living in a new environment, being completely independent! You may be thinking at this point, “what do I even bring to uni?”.
Well that’s what we’re here to help with! Here are five things we think you just have to bring to university, and five things that perhaps aren’t so necessary.
Let’s start off with the essentials!
This one may seem obvious, but it really is essential for university life! You can take notes, rewatch recorded lectures online, go through your textbooks online (don’t worry, we’ll get onto that one later on), and work on the go!
If a laptop isn’t quite for you though, you can invest in a tablet and get an attachable keyboard.
If you have a touchscreen device, consider getting a stylus too. This is great if you like creating things like mind maps, or you just like writing your notes, but having them on a laptop or tablet will significantly minimise your clutter!
2. Extension lead
Chances are in halls, you won’t have enough plug points for all your electronics, so a multi-plug extension lead is a must! If you’re an international student, make sure to bring your UK plug adaptors – if you bring an extension lead from home, that’s fewer adaptors you have to buy!
3. Medicine and medical supplies
Plasters, paracetamol, and ibuprofen are good to always have on hand just in case. It’ll give you a sense of reassurance, and also independence, knowing that you can take care of yourself when necessary 24/7!
Just saying, freshers flu is no joke! Make sure to register with your university’s medical centre to ensure you’re covered for any situation.
4. Important documents/financial essentials
Make sure to have your passport/driver’s licence on you in case you need to be identified by your university, or even at shops and nightclubs (if that’s your style). Additionally, having financial items like debit/credit cards, as well as access to these funds, are vital. They ensure that you live independently, as this funds your food, transport, and leisure activities!
If you’re unsure about knowing how much money to spend at university, consider creating a budgeting plan to assign how much you spend each month. Also, keep an eye out for student discounts! Everyone loves a bargain, so make sure to have your student ID on you when you arrive at university to save those pennies!
5. Pack of cards/games
Cards and games are a great icebreaker to create a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere. Who doesn’t like games? You can bond with your new flat mates – fun games will distract people from potential shyness or discomfort, and will help initiate conversations. They can also encourage teamwork and even bring out people’s competitive side! It might be the start of some amazing friendships!
Now onto the non-essentials:
1. Clothes you won’t wear
While you may think bringing as many clothes as you physically can to uni will be necessary, chances are that you won’t wear half the stuff you brought! Bring some casual clothes (winter and summer appropriate!), a couple outfits for going out (if that’s your style), some gym clothes, and don’t forget formal wear (either for balls at the end of the year, or clothes appropriate for any job interviews!).
Chances are that you will probably go on a bit of a shopping spree at some point during your time at university, so you might as well leave some space for new clothes to come in over time!
2. Expensive kitchen equipment
Of course you need kitchen essentials like cutlery, plates, bowls, pots and pans etc, but there’s no need to bring the fancy stuff! Your accommodation will provide items like a toaster, kettle and microwave, so no need to splurge on those! Living with a lot of people can unfortunately mean that some of your stuff is more liable to break, so you might as well stick to the cheap stuff! Stores like IKEA, The Range and Home Bargains are great places to buy cheap kitchen supplies.
3. Old A-level notes and textbooks
We understand you want to have old notes on hand to be extra prepared and to refer back to if you need them, but realistically when you’re starting university, you’re starting your course with the basics, and you’ll be writing notes from the beginning, so your old notes will likely be irrelevant!
4. Excess stationery
Every year we know it’s exciting to get a brand new stationery for the new school year, but resist the urge to do so when joining university! Before your lectures start, you can attend freshers fairs and other events, where you can get enough freebies to last you a lifetime, such as pens, highlighters, notepads and more! Also if most of your course is going to be online, then there’s no point bringing all the fancy gear if it’s only going to collect dust!
5. Your entire reading list
Buying all your textbooks in advance may seem like a good option at first, but realistically this comes at a cost (and an unnecessary one)! Physical textbooks are heavy and take up a bunch of space, eTextbooks are a much cheaper alternative and only weigh as much as your laptop or tablet!
Luckily here at Kortext you can get an extra 25% off eTextbooks with StudentBeans, all of which come with features that you can’t get in your regular textbook. With Kortext, you can highlight and colour code text, take notes, reference straight from the eTextbook itself (and much more), so be sure to check out our bookstore before term starts!
So go get packing!
There are loads of people in this position, so try not to worry! University is a place where you can truly discover yourself, and can create lifelong friendships, so hopefully we’ve been able to ease any stress about starting! Good luck to you all!