Hi, it’s Izzy here, Anna’s daughter. I’ve just graduated from uni so am perfectly placed to advise on 10 essentials for university you might not think to pack. I’ve mentioned a few of these as part of an Instagram live (check us out: @equippthem). But it comes up time and time again because it’s so useful, and so many students say they WISH they’d known this stuff before they went. So, here we go with a full list…
Here is a non-exhaustive list of themed costumes I have worn during my time at uni:
- An angel
- A dad
- ‘Rick’ from Rick and Morty
- A spy
- A dog
- A cat
- School uniform
- The “This is Fine” dog meme
- Festival gear
- A goddess
- A policewoman
- The “yeah boiiiiiiiii” meme
- ‘Trinity’ from The Matrix
- Hawaiian dress
- A snake
- An alien
- A purger from ‘The Purge’
- A bunny
This is genuinely all I can remember because we had to dress up every single week for our weekly Wednesday sports social. Some universities will no doubt do it differently, or even different clubs within the same uni, but it’s a safe bet that at some point fancy dress will come into play no matter which sport/society you end up in (not to mention the usually week-long Halloween celebrations). If I’d brought my childhood fancy dress box, I’d have saved a lot of money. Trust me – take it!
A more boring practical one, but oh my gosh probably the most useful one by miles. Bring AT LEAST two, seriously.
Doesn’t have to be anything fancy, can be a nice water filter jug from ikea, or a cheap and cheerful bottle with a filter. But the water at uni is often, to put it plainly, grim. I’m not sure if it depends on where you are and so the change is the shock, or whether it’s the pipes in accommodation/student houses. You’ve got to drink your water, especially after consuming copious amounts of alcohol, and this is an easy way to stomach it better. (Bonus: maybe also stock up on the squash. Also makes a great pre-drink with your choice of spirit, because it keeps you hydrated so no headache the next day)
Everybody forgets to bring this home comfort. It’s so warm and cosy, makes all the difference on those ill/hungover days. Also, sometimes it’s bloody freezing, so then it really helps.
Uni kitchens are horrible. Never dare enter without some sliders. Trust me.
This one might seem obvious to most, but lots of my flat (including me) had a sort of giant bag rather than a proper laundry basket. Not only does a proper basket make your room look nicer, it will also force you to actually do washes more often (which you really should do…)
I’ve definitely written about this before, but, again, that’s because it’s so important. Even just a few photos can make a bland, prison-cell-esque room start to feel like your own. Add in a comfy throw and some lights, even better. Pretty much everybody at uni has something to cheer their room up, and for good reason. Don’t forget! And this is not just for girls – loads of boys overlook this entirely and really regret it.
Take a look at our previous post on Teen Bedroom Makeovers for some inspiration.
Something to make the room smell nice
Whether this is a candle (I’d highly recommend one of our lovely candles for this as they smell even more amazing than the usual), an air freshener, some sort of incense, or whatever, something you can use to make your room smell nice will be a saviour. Even if your room is cleaned frequently (which, while you’re in accommodation, might be done by a cleaner, but there’s a fat chance of this for most after their first year), in those freezing winter months when you can’t bear to open a window but have all sorts of smells going on, this is the perfect way to freshen up the place. (Don’t forget to check out the regulations about exactly what you’re allowed in uni halls before you invest, though.)
A hip flask
Need I say more? If anyone asks, you didn’t hear this from me.
A door wedge
You might only use it for the first few weeks, but it’s really useful to be able to prop your door fully open in halls. It really helps you be more sociable while you’re settling in – you can hear what’s going on and decide what you really don’t want to miss out on…
If you’re off to uni or college this autumn, good luck – you’ll have a fantastic time! And if you’re well into your student years, or are a parent that’s an old hand at helping your kids get ready, and you have some great suggestions for essentials for university that aren’t that obvious, please do drop us a comment below.