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What do I take to university?

23rd August 2013

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Going to university is the most exciting time of your life. You’re leaving the confines of your home town and venturing out into the world on your own for the very first time. Your parents are no longer going to be there to tell you what to do, or what not to do; you’re finally free to do as you please. Going to university is an exciting time, but there’s also the feeling of apprehension and a few lingering nerves. We’re here to offer advice!

Deciding what to take to university for the first time is difficult. Do I need this, should I take that, and will I really wear this? At Scape we’ve created a guide containing twelve musts when you finally get around to packing for university. They might seem a little bit odd, but trust me they’ll all come in handy during your first year.

1. Alarm clock

Unless you’re the type of person that gets up at the crack of dawn, an alarm clock is probably the most essential item to pack when you go to university. One thing to bear in mind is that you probably want to buy a really loud and annoying one; the type that will actually get you out of bed, and on your way to the lecture you were supposed to be in five minutes ago.    

2. Pack of cards

This comes in really useful for breaking the ice and making new friends. One thing that I did learn at university was how to play poker, though we don’t condone gambling I see no harm when you’re playing with friends.

3. The basics

The basics include everything from cutlery, to bedding, bathroom essentials to kitchen cupboard fillers (tea, sugar, salt, spices) and everything that you use on a daily basis at home.

4. Important documents

You could call it a rite of passage (or not) but every new university student has to go through enrolment. Now trust me when I say that bringing your passport with you is another essential not to be forgotten. That is unless you want the hassle of having to catch the train home and collect it, just for the purposes of enrolment; something that I might have had to do in my first year…

5. A decent bag

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt it’s that having a good durable bag is not just necessary it’s pretty much vital to university life. It doesn’t have to be the latest fashion piece; your bag just needs to be able to carry a pad of A4 paper, a pen and a bottle of water. Though these are the three essentials that you’ll need, it would be handy if your bag could hold a few library books. And if you’re the type of person that likes to type up notes in lectures, then a bag big enough to hold your laptop is needed.

6. A printer

This made it to the list but it very much depends on your university on whether it’s an essential. In my first year I had to print off everything, from plans to essays, and even presentation hand-outs. But now at Queen Mary everything’s gone electronic, so I haven’t needed to use the printers as much as I did in my first year. But you might find it handy to have one just in case, I know I do.

7. A first aid kit

A student first aid kit has two essential components, pain killers and plasters. Fresher’s week is a period of getting to know your new friends, and it’s highly unlikely that you’ll remember much of it. That’s where painkillers come in, because they’ll get you through fresher’s week and keep you functional. And they’ll also come in handy for the next ten months of first year.

8. Laundry basket

Now that you’re living on your own and away from home, you’ll realise that your laundry soon starts to pile up. To keep your laundry organised the solution is simply to own a laundry basket. It will keep your room tidy (although you may need to do a little more than just owning a laundry basket to keep your room tidy) and if you put it in the bathroom, it’s out of sight.

9. Home comforts

It’s something that you won’t ever admit to anyone, but it’s pretty much guaranteed that you will miss home. Therefore, it might be nice to have some familiar items in your room, such as photos of friends or family.

10. A planner/ diary

We all remember the days when we were at school, it was the first day and your tutor hands out that year’s diary to you. It most cases that diary never resurfaced again, and it was never used for the purpose that it was given to you. At university your diary takes on a whole new level of significance. This is where you’ll go to find out when your deadlines are, when you have that first presentation or an important meeting. Keeping a diary or planner (call it whatever you like) is key to succeeding at university.

11. Electricals

Electricals includes everything from your phone to your laptop, to your chargers. It basically covers everything you use to function on a daily basis.

12. Alcohol

This final essential item to pack is an important one for the first few days when you’re getting to know your new flatmates. Though we do advise you to drink carefully; think of bringing alcohol as a sort of ice-breaker.

We hope that this short guide of what to bring to university makes your packing a little less stressful. From all of us at Scape we hope you have an amazing time at university, wherever that might be.

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