Wardrobes are pointless without hangers to put your clothes up on, and universities don’t usually provide these in halls. You might be thinking there’s no point because you’ll just throw stuff on “that chair” (you know, the one chair that everybody has with a pile of clothes on it higher than Mount Everest) but, as it’s been said, a tidy workspace makes for a tidy mind! Or something like that… Hangers are relatively cheap, and don’t take up much space, so definitely bring them!
2. Bottle opener
This is pretty much self-explanatory. On the off-chance you don’t bag one at the Freshers’ Fair, bringing one from home will be useful. Whether they’re drinking beer or J2O, you will be revered by your flatmates.
3. Can opener
It’s surprising how many students plan on surviving on baked beans for the majority of their degree but don’t own a can opener. Bring one; they’re safer than sawing tin cans open using a sharp knife.
It’s your first night in your flat. You look around at the bare walls, and wish you’d packed those pictures that epitomise “#squadgoals” (along with some of your family). You don’t have to admit it, but you’re going to miss home. Homesickness is an illness that affects nearly everyone, and being surrounded by the people you love will make the situation much better. It doesn’t have to be limited to pictures. Go ahead and put up that Star Wars poster! One of the greatest things about university is not being judged like you might have been at school.
[N.B.: Make sure you check your halls’ policies on using Blu-Tack or Sellotape; you risk a fine if you stain the walls!]
5. Laundry basket
Admit it. You aren’t planning on ever doing laundry. It’s expensive, and takes far too long when you have things to do and episodes of Game of Thrones to watch. You could just wait until you go home and take your laundry back then, right?
Unfortunately, this won’t work. Yes, it’s pricey, but it’ll be worth it when your bedsheets smell like ‘orange blossom and pomegranate’ rather than ‘sweat and your mother’s disappointment’. Moreover, so many diseases are associated with bad hygiene; trust me, you do not want to be known as that person in the flat who lacks basic personal hygiene. Bring a basket to pile your dirty laundry in, and keep everyone, including yourself, happy. Your flatmates will avoid your room like the plague if they see more dirty laundry than carpet.
6. Tea towels
You’ll most probably attempt cooking at one point or another at uni, and kitchen tea towels will come in handy when mopping up a spill, wiping your hands or drying your utensils. Don’t forget to wash them regularly too!
Bring at least one cushion with you. Big or small, size doesn’t matter. You can use it to cuddle up to when it’s 2AM and you’re freezing your extremities off, or when you’re watching The Cabin in the Woods with your flat on movie night and you need to hide behind something.
8. USB or external hard drive
This is important. Universities do not accept ‘computer failure’ as an excuse to hand in an essay late. If your laptop breaks down on you, you will be well and truly screwed. Bring a USB to uni, and save your work on it to avoid the panic that will inevitably ensue when you have 10 minutes to submit your essay online, but no laptop to submit it from. If you’re ever in that situation, beg a flatmate to borrow theirs. (Their laptop, I mean, not the essay.)
9. Extension cord
If you’re unlucky enough, your room will probably consist of 2 sockets on the other side of the room from your desk/bed, and 2 sockets behind a bookshelf (I was actually in this situation in first year). You should buy an extension cord that will allow you to watch Suits in bed while charging your devices and using your lamp at the same time.
10. First aid kit
Freshers’ flu is a not a scare tactic; it is an actual, very horrible, very disgusting illness. 90% of students in your first lecture will be sneezing, coughing, and sniffing. You’ll be pretty repulsed… until you become the next victim. Bringing a first aid kit will have you equipped with medicine to get you through your flu. It will also be handy for when a very drunk flatmate injures themselves and needs an antiseptic wipe and plaster or two. There are loads of things you’ll probably use from one kit, so it’s a really good idea to bring one to uni.
11. Clothes rack
After doing a load of laundry, you’ll bring back the bag of clean clothes (and stick your head in the pile because it. Just. Smells. So. Good.) and put everything away in your wardrobe and cupboard. But, wait! Some items are still damp! You’ll vow to send a good complaint to the laundry service on your campus about the unreliable dryers, but what then? Are you really going to fork out another £2.90 for a dry? Probably not. That’s where your clothes rack comes in. Not only will it leave your room smelling nice and fresh, but you might also save money (and energy) if you decide to dry all your clothes on it instead of using a machine at all.
12. Desk lamp
Contrary to popular opinion, your first year isn’t all fun and games. It might not count towards your degree, but you’ll still have to pass your exams. When you start doing the seminar prep you forgot all about at 4AM and the main light is singeing your retinas, a desk lamp will save your life (and your eyesight).