What to pack when moving in to halls
When I moved into Brook Street, I’d just come from Manchester so I was very nervous and didn’t know what to expect, but when I got talking to my new flat mates, they were from all over - Portugal, The Czech Republic, Essex, Birmingham and Milton Keynes. So wherever you come from, I guarantee you’ll meet people who’ve come equally as far.Shaun
Firstly, congratulations on getting in! I'm Shaun and I'm going into my third year of Film and TV Production. I lived in Brook Street for my first year and private housing for my second year. This post is all about what you'll need to bring along for your first year of university and other tips that are handy to know.
Living and Essentials
|Clothes and Towels||Bring enough clothes for all seasons of the year. You’re also going to need to bring towels and bedding. I recommend bringing 2/3 sets of bedding and changing your bedding at least once every 2 weeks. A trip to Primark wouldn’t go amiss either. Also, bring some flip flops, slippers or sliders for shared bathrooms, walking to the office for your post etc.|
|Dressing Gown||Fire alarms aren’t rare in halls, they sometimes get set off by deodorant, so bring a dressing gown or something to lug yourself down the stairs in at all hours of the day.|
|Toiletries||Toothpaste, shower gel and deodorant. All the essentials, if you’re in Brook Street, you’ll have a sink in your room with a cupboard underneath it, if you’re in Hughenden or Windsor you have your own private bathroom, so plenty of room for all your toiletries. You’ll also want paracetamol or pain killers, vitamins, plasters, disinfectant wipes, nail clippers, a first aid kit and ear cleaners.|
|Photos and Posters||Fight homesickness. It’s always good to liven up your living space a bit and truly make it yours, try fairy lights, throw blankets, fake plants. I never got homesick, but I know a lot of people who did, especially international students. So, bring some photos of your friends and family or a couple of posters from your room. I know a girl who brought a teddy bear from home and it comforted her, so maybe try that (don’t worry about people judging you for sleeping with a teddy, no one cares). Also, get an alarm clock. They’re great.|
|Kitchen||You’re going to need pots and pans, however you might not need to bring as much as you’d expect. If you’re in Brook Street, you’ll probably be living with 9 other people, so you’ll be able to share pots and pans - just make sure you wash it after you use it! Bring cutlery, a pan, a frying pan, tea towel, oven gloves, a baking tray, potato peeler and a couple of plates and bowls. Some other useful bits and pieces are can openers, bottle openers, cheese grater, weighing scales, knives and chopping boards. If you’re an international student, halls will have a stand where they’re giving away all of the things people living there last year left behind. My Portuguese flat mate got all of his kitchen stuff from it last year, so try that before you start spending. No matter what halls you’re in, a supermarket is never beyond walking distance.|
|Sports Gear||If you play a sport, they probably play it at the university, so pack your boxing gloves, ballet shoes, tennis racket or football boots.|
- Laptop or notebook - Take notes in your lectures, you’ll regret it if you don’t. You’ll also spend a lot of time on Netflix, so a laptop is pretty ideal.
- Headphones - when you’ve got a 9am lecture and your flat mates come back from the SU in the early hours of the morning, you don’t want to be waking up earlier than you have to. A girl I lived with in first year used to wear earphones to sleep every night, so if you’re a light sleeper, bring some earphones or earplugs.
- Phone charger - Grab a sharpie and put your name on your chargers, they go missing very easily.
- Webcam - if your laptop or computer doesn’t have a webcam, you should get one to video call your family. You can pick one up on Amazon for about £20.
Cash: When the loans come into your bank, there’s a very strong urge to go out and buy a TV, book a holiday or buy everyone in the SU a drink. In order to combat this urge, I took £200 out in cash and didn’t use my card at all during freshers. Stick to cash, it’s harder to spend.
ID: Even if you don’t drive and have no intention of driving, get a drivers license or an ID card or a proof of age card. Losing one of these is a lot cheaper to replace than losing a passport, if you’re an international student, losing your passport is obviously especially bad. I’ve seen it happen. Get a form of ID.
Bring your documents: I keep all of mine in a big folder. Bring your acceptance letter, your Student Finance document, your halls paperwork and your bank papers. In your folder you’re also going to want the information for your home doctors, you’ll need it to sign up to the doctors in High Wycombe or Uxbridge. You’ll want your passport, just don’t take it out with you. If you have an old payslip or a P45, bring that with you, it has your national insurance number on it and you’ll need it if you apply for a job.
Drinks - On my first night in halls, I got all shy and stayed in my room for a long time. My advice to you is don’t do that. Your heart rate might be through the roof but everyone is in the same position, get yourself some drinks and go and see what the SU is up to with your new best mates.Other tips
Diary - I mean a week to week planner or a calendar. Use it to write any events, lectures, days out or whatever you’ve agreed to do. This isn’t essential but uni is a great time to get yourself organised and you don’t want to be missing lectures! Your lecturers are professionals and put effort into their lectures, so missing them or turning up late isn’t appreciated.
Apps to download - You’ll want Instagram and Snapchat if you use it, they’re pretty good for making friends. Download an app for budgeting (I cannot stress the importance of budgeting enough). If you don’t have a Monzo account, you should get one. It allows you to put your money in pots so you can stick to your budgets, it also tells you how much you’re spending every day. LinkedIn is good for making professional connections, you’ll want Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp for the group chats. Spotify, Soundcloud, Netflix and YouTube are all pretty essential for me. Download your online banking app too.
Learn your sort code and account number, there’s a lot of ‘Pay for this and I’ll transfer it to you’ in uni (it’s pretty much daily, learn your bank details to speed this process up. If someone borrows money, make sure you get it back.)
My biggest piece of advice is don’t stay in your room, get out into your flat and make as many friends as you can. Remember, most people you’ll meet in the first couple of weeks are in the same boat as you are, so go and make a pal. Nobody wants to feel lonely in a new place.
When I moved into Brook Street, I’d just come from Manchester so I was very nervous and didn’t know what to expect, but when I got talking to my new flat mates, they were from all over - Portugal, The Czech Republic, Essex, Birmingham and Milton Keynes. So wherever you come from, I guarantee you’ll meet people who’ve come equally as far.