Well, I had a very nice weekend in Wales helping out at a food festival, and now I’m home and getting ready to head back to Leicester on the 22nd. It’s a bit daunting when you start to pile up all your belongings and realise how much stuff you actually have, and you might have to be a bit ruthless in choosing what comes with you. But here are a few things I’d say are essential for moving in in your first year:
1. Important documents
The last thing you want is to get to uni, only to discover that without one piece of paper you can’t enrol/sign up for/do something important. Make sure you bring all your UCAS correspondence and your acceptance letter etc, but also you’ll want photocopies of your passport, driving licence, birth certificate just in case. You might need your national insurance number too, and anything that might be helpful if you want to get a part time job/volunteer should make the journey with you, for instance any CRB certificates or qualifications you have. You also might want to print off a few passport size/style photos just to have to hand, so you don’t have to find somewhere to get your picture done when you’re rushing around trying to settle into a new university.
2. A first aid kit type deal
It seems to be an unwritten rule of freshers: you’ll get some sort of vile cold. Lecture theatres will chime with the sound of sniffling, the lecturer will punctuate information with a hacking cough, oh it’s lovely. It actually kind of is because there’s a real sense of solidarity, but also no one enjoys feeling ill so…whatever you rely on to get you through being ill (for me it’s lemsip) make sure you stock up! But also you’ll want a reserve of plasters and little scissors and things like that, just because accidents happen (especially after nights out) and even if you’re not the injured party you can be the knight in shining armour swooping in with the life-saving plaster.
3. Bottle/tin openers
Another way to be a knight in shining armour is to be able to come to the aid of some poor soul who just can’t get into their bottle of beer or whatever. But also, I think I might genuinely have just lived on tinned food for a good proportion of my university experience- actually there’s no need to talk in past tense, this love of food in a can is still ongoing! Having a tin opener is always going to come in handy at some point, so if you’ve got one I’d definitely bring it, or invest.
4. Door stopper
This one always crops up on ‘things to take to uni’ lists and arguably it isn’t essential, and other items will act as a stand in. But basically it’ll really help you with making friends if you have your door open so people can stop for a chat during the first few weeks of term, so it helps to have it on the list so you can mentally prepare yourself! 🙂
5. Home comforts
It can be a bit daunting to move to a new place and sometimes you probably will get homesick, so if you have some nice, homely things, it can really brighten up a student room. Plus, things like posters and your favourite dvds etc will provide talking points with new people, once you’ve enticed them in with your welcoming and propped open door…
I remember I was so nervous in my run up to moving into Leicester halls, but once I was there I got so swept up in everything that I didn’t really have time to register that I was scared any more. Going to university is a great experience and a lot of freshers are in the same position, so everyone’s keen to make friends. I had a great time, and hopefully you will too 🙂