What to bring to Freshers
The Social Side
It will seem like the most important aspect of freshers is making the new friends that you're going to spend your time with. You'll meet lots and lots of people, and the good thing about university is that it's so big, you only need to be with friends you like!
Here's a checklist to make sure you get the right start:
- Bring a doorstop. Very important for propping your door open and meeting people who walk past.
- Bring white tack. Important for sticking posters up, flyers, events you want to go to - white tack so it doesn't stain your walls (you could get charged for this).
- A flatmate of mine baked a batch of marvellous brownies when we first moved in. I definitely liked him after that...baking helps.
- Money, for going out. If you feel sad that you're away from home, or you can't wait to hit the town, make sure you go out! This will probably be with your flatmates at first. Remember that you're still making an impression.
- Going-out clothes, of course. I'd say don't bother with getting fancy dress stuff, as most of the fun with this is going out with your new friends to buy ridiculous outfits.
Things to do when you get there:
- Actually go to your course introductions, even if you feel horrible after a night out. Meeting your coursemates is very important.
- Join as many societies as you can! This is a great way to meet people, and they'll organise great socials.
- Understand that everyone is a little bit nervous, and nobody is going to look at you weirdly for talking to them. Don't be afraid to approach people.
- Go to freshers fair! There are usually free giveaways.
Note: a lot of universities will have wristbands that allow you into blah blah event. I personally didn't bother with all this - a guy in my flat did, but ended up going to other events. Remember, you don't know if those you live with are going to have wristbands.
Note 2: a lot of freshers pages are on facebook, where students post their flats and those in the same flat tend to make contact. This is a great idea, I did this and it made me feel much better about moving.
The Practical Side
You are at university to learn...obviously. I accidentally went to university without a pen, but don't worry, they give loads of free ones out.
- Stationary. You only really need a good, solid biro, unless you're one of those with a full pencil case. Be my friend?
- Lined paper. Most of your lecture notes will be on random scraps of paper.
- A lever arch folder with dividers. You need to actually pass.
- Hole punch. So important - someone offered to buy mine off me!
- If you're doing a course where you need a calculator, or mechanical drawing, make sure you have these. Calculators are expensive.
- Knife, fork, spoon. If you get multiple, leave the extras in your room otherwise you'll end up with a pile of washing up.
- Plate, bowl. Spare for visitors.
- Saucepan, frying pan, baking dish
- Cheese grater, microwave-proof bowls, chopping knife, chopping board
- Mug, glass.
- Straws? Fishbowls are lovely.
- Electronics and chargers
- Tea towels
- A bath towel, a hand towel
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, floss
- Washing sponge, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel
- Hair gel, makeup, perfume, deodorant, ladies' sanitary things, moisturiser
- Nail clippers, tweezers, razers
- Jewellery, hair accessories
- Underwear, socks, everyday clothes, coats, shoes, sports wear
- Bed sheets, duvet covers, pillow covers. You'll probably need to bring a duvet and pillows anyway, but check this.
- Check to see if you have a desk lamp and/or bin in your room.
- A printer, if you want one. It made life easier for me. Paper and ink.
- Music speakers if you have them - good for predrinks.
- Deck of cards (can never have enough of these)
- Some kind of bag or rucksack to carry stuff to and from uni
- Toilet roll
- Photos of family, friends, pets
- If you're doing a medicine-related course, bring a print out of the jabs you've had
- Your EHIC card with your NHS number, national insurance number
- Envelopes and stamps
- Noticeboard pins (if your room has one)
Note: lots of students go and buy the essentials when they get there. There was absolutely no toilet roll left in any of the tescos around me when I got there.
Which freshers party sounds the most awesome?
Things to know
- Your food is your food. If you have a massive shared kitchen, label your stuff. If your food does go missing, don't be afraid to ask people if they know where it's gone. If you need to, get a big airtight box to put your snacks in and keep it in your room.
- If, once you get into your room, there are slight faults, like marks on the wall or the floor, take a photo of it with a timestamp. This way, if it's taken out of your deposit at the end of the year, you can appeal.
- Sort out your student finance as soon as possible. There's nothing worse than getting it late!
- Bringing your xbox or playstation can work two ways. Either you become a social recluse and become locked in your room, or you bring it out and play with your flatmates. It really depends on what kind of accommodation you live in.
Suddenly, you have hardly any money and you're supposed to feed yourself. Here are is the student stuff I basically lived off:
- Beans on toast, egg on toast, mushrooms on toast, tomatos on toast
- Chilli con carne
- Every kind of pasta (pesto, tomato, macaroni, bake, stir fry)
- Microwave meals
- Chicken (you can never have enough of it)
- Frozen food, like chicken nuggets, chips, hash browns
- Bacon, sausages
- Mashed potato
- Steak (when I was feeling rich)
- Orange juice
- Lemonade and coke (usually for mixers)
- Nutella, marmite, butter, cheese, mayo, ketchup
Note: Bring or buy cooking oil
If you really like cooking, or you just love food, check out these student cookbooks:
- Nosh for Students
- The Ultimate Student Cookbook
- The Hungry Student Cookbook
Have an amazing time!
University will be one of the best experiences of your life. There are so many new things to do, so many people to meet, so much to learn. Embrace it, and don't forget to work!