So results are in, and hopefully they were not disappointing ones. I remember all too well the mixture of excitement and fear that came with an impending move to University. There is plenty of advice I could give you, most of which you would probably rightfully ignore. Just know this, that when everyone says you should join all the things? You should. I wish I had, everyone wishes they had. You won't of course, and you will pass that advice on and it will continue to be ignored forever more.
If, however, you find making lists and getting organised calms your nerves - or that you have left packing to the last minute and have *no idea* what to take with you, be reassured. You're not leaving civilisation, you will be able to get everything you need when you are there. But there are some things, besides the obvious clothes/books/computer, that I would list as absolute essentials, and they may be things you've overlooked. So have a gander at this list, you can thank me later! And good luck!
1. A Door Stop
This is still the best piece of advice I have ever read on the Internet. The doors of student accommodation are heavy fire doors, and will lock shut as soon as you leave (always be wearing clothes outside of your room, as more than one of my friends will advise you!). A door stop will not save you from the inevitable trip to security, locked out without any shoes, but it will help your room be the most inviting on the corridor. Especially for the first few weeks when you're getting to know each other; when somebody wants a chat then they will come to the open door - which will only stay open with a door stop! Genius! Plus, the opposite is true, if you've closed the door when you usually have it open? Don't want to be disturbed, thank you! It's also great for propping open the kitchen door for party times, and will serve you well in various student houses, and forever more.
Obviously take anything with you that you have been prescribed, that goes without saying. But I am talking about basic first-aid style medicines. Headache tablets and pain killers. Flu capsules are an absolute must. Plasters will not go amiss. I have never used the antiseptic I bought, but I would have been glad of it had the need arisen! Whether it's for hangovers or fresher's flu (you will get fresher's flu, believe me) you will need medicines at some point in your first term. And it'll be too late to get any once you're sick. Plus, it helps solidify your newfound friendships if you can provide the ailing with drugs when necessary!
Trust me on this one, there will never be enough teaspoons. These teaspoons will not come back with you, so don't buy nice ones.
Most student accommodation comes with a big pin board to stop you from sticking things up on the wall. Take a lot of photos, you will get home sick and it's nice to have a reminder of friends and family smiling at you from the wall. Plus, it brightens up an otherwise dreary room, halls are not known for their interior decoration!
5. Emergency Cash
If you can spare it, put away enough money for a train ticket home somewhere secret. My grandma had given me some 'rainy day' money that I was planning to spend straight away but the 'good luck' card that it came in got mixed in with paperwork and was not touched. I was grateful of it when my card got stopped because of fraud. You may never need it, and it doesn't have to be a lot, but having £20 or so in cash which is strictly for rainy days will never hurt. Put it somewhere where you drunk ass can't access it easily when thoughts of Dominos takeaway invade.
6. 4-Way Plug Adaptor (or more if you're so inclined!)
This is a life saver in halls and student houses where there is only one plug in the entire room (this actually happened to me). You have a lot of electrical goods, I'm guessing, so do not forget this essential piece of kit. I had a fancy one where you could independently switch off the plugs which was super handy and assuaged my environmental guilt. Don't forget that you can't plug these into each other to get even more sockets as it is a massive fire risk!
Freshers, what are you packing to take with you? Graduates, got any tips on what to bring?