Gef’s guide to (pretty much) all the things you need to bring to uni

This year, getting to uni isn’t exactly the easiest thing- with our borders still closed and a quarantine period still in place, the tradition of packing your mum’s car up and filling it up with your every worldly possession is being turned on its head. If you haven’t got the option to bring all your stuff with you, here’s a quick list of how to what you really need to bring, vs. what you can get there. If you can, however, please remember to shop local.

What to bring:

  • Masks! Remember them? They’re a necessity practically everywhere now. If you haven’t go one yet, Vannin healthcare have generously donated masks for students. You can pick one up at the Cooil road branch of Robinson’s Fresh Food.

  • Hand sanitisers are relatively easy to stock up on in town over here. Worth bringing some in case there is a shortage in your new student town/city.

  • A non-screen based hobby. With many universities holding lectures online, students are facing more screen time than ever. Make sure to rest those eyes with something you enjoy doing.

  • Important documents: correspondence you’ve have with the uni, financial information, contracts. If it is boring, bring it.

  • Cute keepsakes! Unless you’re really lucky, most uni accommodation looks like prison. Remind yourself of your life pre-Uni with photographs and momentos.

  • Any medication! Saves you a trip to the doctors in your first weeks. Also worth noting that if you’re on any long term medication, getting an NHS prepaid certificate can be very useful.

  • Laptops. I’ve heard of people who managed to get through uni without a laptop, relying on their university libraries, but in world full of Covid, it really, really makes sense to have your own laptop. If you haven’t got one all ready, refurbished ones can be helpful for a budget, and tech shops tend to have good offers for students this time of year. Something light weight is very handy if you’re moving from space to space.

  • Some food or snacks- depending on how long your journey is from the island to uni is (RIP those who decided to go to uni in the absolute arsehole of nowhere), you might not be able to muster the energy to hit the shops to fill your cupboards. Snack bars and pot noodles might be handy for that first day. Think festival survival.

  • Cash. Hide it in a sock drawer or something, and keep it around for emergencies (vodka is NOT an emergency). If you lose your card, you’ll thank me for this advice xx

What to buy there:

  • Duvets, covers, pillows. If you’ve got room, these are good to get before you go, but otherwise you should be able to some pretty good quality stuff from a big supermarket. Top tip: get a double duvet. Far cosier, and it’ll save you from having to buy one later when you end up in a student house.

  • A good mattress protector. I spent my first year feeling like my spine was being penetrated by springs. Learn from my mistakes.

  • Your big shop. Unless you’re in self-catered accommodation (which, god bless you, is a cracking decision), you’ll need to stock your shelves. Fridge space is at a premium at uni, and don’t underestimate how powerful a tool a packet of fruit winders can be in making friends. Remember toiletries, as well. No one likes a smelly housemate.

  • Kitchenware. A fun tip is to see what everyone else has, and then find out whether it is actually necessary to have 9 spud peelers in one flat. You’ll still need your own crockery and cutlery though, and maybe a few pots and pans.

  • Stuff for laundry. You’re grown up now, you have to do it yourself. Sorry hun x

  • Extension cord. An essential.

Things you don’t need:

  • Your school leaver’s hoodie. If you take anything from this article, please let it be that.

  • A printer. Printers are expensive to run, and while uni printing prices can be astronomical, the likelihood of you having to print a lot, especially in a digital learning environment, is low- unless you’re the printed notes kind of person.

  • Your whole wardrobe. Truth be known, you’ll probably end up wanting to change your style up to fit in with the uni crowd, and be hunting up charity shops and depop for some edgy garms. Just bring your staple pieces, and some knickers and socks.

  • Endless stationary. A binder is handy. You’ll be given endless free pens from freshers fairs. A few highlighters will help with revision. Maybe a notebook. Anything else is truly unnecessary. Save the money you’d spend on a stapler for sambucas.

  • An iron. Be realistic. You’re not going to iron your clothes.

Where to shop:

  • Ikea is handy for all the big basics, but they do tend to be on the edge of towns- which means you really need a car. You can book in for deliveries though!

  • You will be amazed at how cheap Aldi and Lidl are. The middle aisles have all the chaos of TK Maxx, and often special buys around September anticipate students stocking their new gaffs.

  • Wilko is very, very good for basic homeware.

  • Jeff Bezos may be the devil, however Amazon is incredibly handy if you can deal with the impact it will have on your soul. Proceed with caution x

Now, go enjoy the freedom away from your parents and the restrictions imposed by the UK government, you wild young things xx

The Uni Series is in conjunction with UCM.

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