Things You Should To Take To Uni (But Don't Really Need To)

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There’s thousands of lists online about what you need to take to university, and if you’ve had siblings go ahead of you, you’ve probably got it covered. If not, generally saucepans, underwear and pens are all quite useful things to have. I was one of those people with siblings at university already so they basically just gave me a list, and we headed out to IKEA, Wilko, and Primark and set off to Oxford. I’m also one of those people with a lot of stuff. I have books and knick-knacks coming out of my ears, and I like having them with me here too. So I thought I’d write a little list on things I think people should have at uni, but don’t really need – plus the occasional thing you really do, but is easy to forget.

1. Coat hangers
The one thing, aside from my strapless bra and favourite jeans, which I forgot in first year and suffered for. How could I forget coat hangers? Most people don’t transport hangers that much, so you’d be forgiven for making the same mistake, but most halls rooms come with more hanging/rail space than folding/drawer space so I really recommend remembering this one. Especially next year, and the year after when practically nothing will be included with your student houses.

2. Entertainment
In second and third year (and any after), I guarantee there will be a brief period of time where you will be waiting for internet to be installed in your new student abode. No Netflix, no Amazon Prime, no anything online. This is where a good stash of DVDs comes in handy. Having DVDs was really useful in first year too as I spent many nights watching them with my new housemates in the shared kitchen. It’s good as well to have favourites to hand for when you’re feeling down, and need a quick pick-me-up. If you’re not a film person, that’s fine but they are definitely lighter than the books I cart up and down the motorway every year.

3. Some kind of first aid
I have always been a little bit clumsy, but I honestly must have created a record for burns gained by a student in their first year. Whether the oven (usually the oven), or a tray left on the side, or boiling water, getting burns is easily done. They’re also incredibly painful, and two have left very minor scars on my arm so aside from the arm-length oven glove my mum got me for Christmas, a burn kit was a really good investment. You can get one like this for £3 at a supermarket, or your parents can help you put your own together. You can also get regular first aid kits that would fit in your drawer quite easily. If freshers lives up to its name for being a bit drunk and messy, it seems reasonable for injuries to happen. Cuts and scrapes can be fixed with a bit of Savlon and a plaster or bandage – all things that could be found in a kit like this. Even if you’re not as clumsy as me, you might befriend someone who is, and needs a plaster. Trust me, my housemates went through a whole box of plasters in first year…

4. Extension cord
You may be alright in your first year halls but the minute you move out, you will need one of these. In my second year house I had two plug sockets in the middle of my room, and miles away from my desk or bedside table. Thank goodness my brother gave me this. Now in third year, the socket I have here charges my little old iPod, my kindle, and my laptop and is conveniently by my desk. Thankfully I have four plug sockets this year, but these are pretty useful for our generation and their gadgets.

5. Home comforts
I know boys and girls alike with teddy bears on their bed, and cushions and blankets, and cosy things. I probably have too many soft toys but it’s hard to leave cute things behind. I have three in my bed, as well as cushions, a blanket my Dad brought me in first year, and a crochet blanket my mum made me last year. It feels comfier, and more like home. I really recommend anything that makes your new home a little more familiar. Soft toys, pillows, photos, slippers, maybe music boxes, or just simple decorations like fairy lights or posters. When you first move in, you’ll be grateful to have something like home with you; I know I was.

I think that’s pretty much everything you don’t need but ought to have… My room is probably an extreme version, but whatever you consider to be homely and happy is good enough! Hopefully these suggestions can help to make your new home-away-from-home a lovely place to be.

Let me know what you think is useful to have at uni, but not essential!