If you’re planning to venture off to university this year, there’ll a come a time when you need to start thinking about what to take with you, to make your experience as comfortable and easy as possible. Although it’s tempting to pack almost every item you own, it’s not necessarily the best thing to do, as you can buy bits and pieces along the way if you really need them.
Write a short checklist of items that are fundamental for surviving university, so your first shopping experience is manageable. Here are a few key essentials you can’t forget:
1. Laptop and accessories
You simply can’t get through university without a laptop. You probably already have one to use, but if it’s slow or isn’t compatible with the software you need, it may be time to buy a new one. Although this will be an expensive investment, it should see you through the whole of your time at university and the years ahead. It’s not worth relying on the library computers to complete your essays, due to the limited opening hours and a large number of students who will be lining up to use them nearing deadlines.
It’s also a good idea to buy yourself a printer for essays. Library charges for printing can be quite expensive, so it’s always worth having your own equipment for convenience and cutting down on expenses. When you come to purchasing long lasting ink cartridges, you may notice the box has a description that states it has the capability of printing 1000 pages at a 5% coverage – but what does that actually mean? In basic terms, it refers to the A4 sheet of paper which would be completely covered in ink if it the contents of the cartridge were condensed into a solid block. Again, ink can be costly, but there are a few ways you can make your ink last longer, such as keeping digital copies of work instead of hard copies, changing the font of the print and purchasing a printer that is completely compatible.
2. First-aid kit
The dreaded ‘freshers’ flu’ hits almost every student, which is where a basic first aid kit may come in useful. Before you head off to university, pack it with those much-needed essentials such as cold and flu tablets, antibacterial wipes, plasters, and throat lozenges to protect you from mild illnesses.
3. Kitchen supplies
While self-catered accommodation tends to be equipped with appliances such as fridges, freezers, and microwaves, they don’t tend to come with essential utensils. You’ll need to shop for the likes of pots and pans, two or three bowls and plates, a number of knives, forks and spoons (in case any go missing!) a colander, grater and a chopping board.
You’ll be in lectures most days of the week, meaning casual clothing will be your best friend, but don’t forget to pack a few smart-casual outfits for nights out, as well as a few formal separates should you wish to apply for a job as soon as you arrive.