If you’re going to university for the first time this September, you’re probably going to spend the few weeks leading up to your departure frantically trying to decide what to take to university with you.\r\n\r\nDepending on whether or not you’re a light packer, it can be easy to spend too much money when thinking about what to take to university, especially if you want to ensure you’re prepared for anything. But, remember, university life isn’t much different to normal life back at home – except that at university you won’t have a parent around to iron your favorite t-shirt or buy you toothpaste.\r\n\r\nBelow is our comprehensive university checklist, covering all the things that any university student could possibly need… plus a few extras. Essentials are listed first and optional things second. Take a good look at the whole checklist and tick each item off while you pack.\r\n\r\nUniversity checklist: Important documents\r\n\r\n\r\n\tPassport (or other ID)\r\n\tDriver’s license (if you have one)\r\n\tAll official university correspondence, including acceptance letter\r\n\tAll student loan correspondence (to keep track of when your loan is due, and so you can follow up if necessary)\r\n\tDetails of accommodation and contract\r\n\tBank account details and recent bank correspondence\r\n\tBank card\r\n\tNational insurance card/details\r\n\tStudent discount cards (e.g. 16-25 Railcard, NUS card)\r\n\tInsurance documents (for international students, who may be required to take out health insurance)\r\n\r\n\r\nNote: Keep all these things either in your wallet (ID, bank card etc.) or in a safe place within your room. If you keep all your documents together, you’ll always know where to look.\r\n\r\nUniversity checklist: Electricals\r\n\r\n\r\n\tLaptop or desktop computer\r\n\tMobile phone and charger\r\n\tExtension cable/s (more handy than you might imagine)\r\n\tUSB memory stick (for backing up important assignments)\r\n\tDesktop printer (with ink and printer paper)\r\n\tiPod or MP3 player\r\n\tHeadphones\r\n\tGames console (yes, we’re in the “optional” category now!)\r\n\tA small TV\r\n\tCamera\r\n\tSpeakers\r\n\r\n\r\nNote: With electrical items, be careful to bring only what you know you’ll use. For instance, having your own printer can be handy, but most university libraries will provide student printing services. For items such as games consoles and televisions, ensure your reasoning for bringing them is well justified – you don’t really want to be spending too much time alone in your room, do you? Why not see if you can survive the first term without all those home comforts before making up your mind.\r\n\r\nIf your electrical products are worth more than you can afford to lose, you should consider taking out insurance before going to university. Sometimes student housing is covered by external contents insurance already, but never assume this.\r\n\r\nUniversity checklist: Stationery\r\n\r\n\r\n\tPens and pencils\r\n\tA4 lined notepad(s)\r\n\tA4 binder(s)\r\n\tHighlighters\r\n\tPost-it notes\r\n\tCalendar/diary\r\n\tPaper clips\r\n\tStapler\r\n\tSticky tape\r\n\tCourse readers and other study books\r\n\r\n\r\nNote: Don’t be tempted to splash out on overly expensive stationery when you decide what to take to university. You’ll be getting through paper and pens like a mouse through cheese, so stick to a limited budget!\r\n\r\nUniversity checklist: Kitchenware\r\n\r\n\r\n\tCutlery (tea spoons, tablespoons, knives and forks – enough for yourself)\r\n\tCrockery (plates, bowls and mugs – enough for yourself)\r\n\tOther utensils (e.g. chopping board and sharp knife, wooden spoon, spatula, cheese grater, potato masher, colander, bottle opener, tin opener)\r\n\tSaucepan and frying pan\r\n\tScissors (do not attempt to double up as toenail clippers)\r\n\tBaking tray\r\n\tOven gloves\r\n\tTupperware container(s)\r\n\tWashing up liquid and sponge\r\n\tRecipe book\r\n\tSnacks (going to university without biscuits is like going to Barbados without a sunhat)\r\n\r\n\r\nNote: Often, if living in halls or other shared private accommodation, you will already be provided with a kettle and a toaster, as well as some cutlery and crockery. If in doubt about what you can cross off your university checklist, contact your university’s residential services for more details on what will be provided.\r\n\r\nUniversity checklist: Bedroom\r\n\r\n\r\n\tMattress protector\r\n\tDuvet and pillows (opt for a higher tog duvet – e.g. 13.5/15 tog – you’ll thank me for the tip on those long winter nights)\r\n\tDuvet cover and pillow covers\r\n\tBlankets\r\n\tLaundry bin (doesn’t have to be wicker, a large and strong plastic bag will do!)\r\n\tClothes hangers\r\n\tAlarm clock (as a backup for the day when you inevitably drop your phone down the toilet)\r\n\tDesk lamp\r\n\tEar plugs\r\n\r\n\r\nNote: Most halls of residences will provide students with standard single-size beds in their first year, but check with your university’s residential services before buying any bedding. Also, the more blankets you have, the better. I don’t remember much about my first year of university, but I do remember it being very, very cold.\r\n\r\nUniversity checklist: Clothing\r\n\r\n\r\n\tCasual clothes (t-shirts, jumpers, trousers)\r\n\tUnderwear (pants, socks, bras)\r\n\tDressing gown and slippers\r\n\tWinter coat and jacket\r\n\tGloves, hat and scarf\r\n\tShoes (trainers, smart shoes, casual shoes)\r\n\tSmart office outfit (for possible part-time job interviews)\r\n\tSportswear/swimwear\r\n\tFancy dress\r\n\r\n\r\nUniversity checklist: Bathroom\r\n\r\n\r\n\tToothbrush and toothpaste\r\n\t\r\n\t\r\n\t\r\n\t\r\n\t\r\n\t\r\n\tWash bag (especially useful if you’re sharing a bathroom which is a short walk away from your bedroom)\r\n\tSoap\r\n\tShampoo and conditioner\r\n\tShower gel\r\n\tDeodorant\r\n\tRazor/ shaving foam\r\n\tTowel (x2)\r\n\tHand towel\r\n\tWash cloth\r\n\tHair brush\r\n\tToilet roll\r\n\tTampons/sanitary towels\r\n\r\n\r\nUniversity checklist: Healthcare\r\n\r\n\r\n\tAny personal medications and prescriptions\r\n\tBasic first aid kit (e.g. pain relief tablets, plasters, cold and flu medication, allergy tablets, antibacterial lotion or spray)\r\n\tDetails of current GP and doctor’s surgery\r\n\tGlasses and prescription\r\n\tMultivitamins\r\n\tBirth control pills and/or condoms\r\n\r\n\r\nNote: All new university students should register with a local doctor’s surgery early on in university life. This will save you having to wait for hours at a drop-in center filling out forms on the day that you’re actually ill.\r\n\r\nUniversity checklist: Miscellaneous\r\n\r\n\r\n\tSturdy bag (capable of carrying stacks of books)\r\n\tPhotographs of friends and family\r\n\tSmall sewing kit\r\n\tMatches or a lighter\r\n\tBooks for personal reading\r\n\tFilms/TV series boxsets\r\n\tBoard/card games (e.g. Monopoly, Hungry Hippos or a pack of cards)\r\n\tHair dryer/ hair straighteners etc.\r\n\tBike (plus helmet and a strong lock)\r\n\r\n\r\nIf you are still unsure of what to take to university and whether you need to buy anything beforehand, consider going to university with just a very light load. This will make certain you don’t buy anything useless – after all, it will be just as easy to buy what you need once you’re settled in, either on your own or as a group with your new fellow flatmates.\r\n\r\nImage credits: Chris Bianchi; JimBobArt\r\n\r\nWant more content like this? 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