The final countdown: preparing for life at university

The final countdown: preparing for life at university
September 19, 2018 Biglife Admin

The final countdown to Freshers week has begun. In about a week’s time thousands of fledgling students from all over the country will be heading off to university for the first time. Hopefully most of you are prepared and packed by now but if not, we have a few final tips for you, including a list of essential items to take and some reminders about the household skills you really need to know.


If you haven’t learned any cooking skills over the summer now is your last chance saloon to learn how to cook some basic meals – ask your parents to show you or watch some YouTube videos. It’s better to get some practise in before you go as the excitement of Freshers week may be mean less time to read recipes and look after yourself properly.


Now is also a good time to make sure you know how to use a washing machine, an oven and a microwave! Most symbols on appliances are universal so if you can work one the chances are you will be able to work another. Don’t rely on your housemates for these skills as they might be relying on you too!


Cooking for yourself and washing your clothes, bed linen and towels regularly are all household skills you really need to have before embarking on your new independent life, as no-one wants a stinky housemate after all. Keeping your room clean and tidy and your bed linen and towels washed is essential for good health and wellbeing.


All kinds of germs can fester in unclean bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens. It’s important that when you arrive you take responsibility for your turn when it comes to the washing up and general cleaning. Don’t be the annoying housemate who does nothing … brush up on your household skills before you go.


If you haven’t packed yet, here’s a list of essential items you really should be taking with you:

  • Duvet, pillows, bed linen (plus a spare set and a mattress protector), blanket
  • Towels (bath and hand towels)
  • Personal items to make your room feel like home – for example some pictures of your family, a rug, some cushions, fairy lights, etc.
  • Blue tack (check first what you are allowed to put up on the walls)
  • Laptop and charger
  • Phone and charger
  • Books, DVDs, notebook, pens, scissors, Sellotape
  • Clothes for all seasons
  • Coat hangers
  • Clothes horse to hang your washing on to dry
  • An extension lead
  • A socket adaptor if you are travelling abroad to study
  • Toiletries – toothpaste, toothbrush, hand soap, shower gel, shampoo and conditioner, etc.
  • ID (passport) and important documents you might need to register for things
  • A first aid kit, including paracetamol
  • Toilet paper
  • Kitchen items – check what your halls or accommodation provides. Even if it provides utensils and crockery you might still want to take your own personal mug. If utensils are not provided you will need pans, a colander, chopping board, sharp knives, cutlery, plates, bowls, tupperware, mugs, baking tray, wooden spoons, spatula, pizza cutter, fish slice, etc.
  • Bin bags, tin foil, cling film, tea towels, washing up liquid, sponges
  • Store cupboard essentials – salt, pepper, olive oil, vegetable oil, some jars of herbs and spices, dried pasta and jars of sauces, rice, baked beans, tomato puree, tinned tomatoes, etc.
  • Some food to keep you going for the first week – most importantly the basics such as tea bags, coffee, milk, bread, butter, cereal. Better to do a small shop before you leave to save time while you find your feet (and the nearest supermarket) when you arrive.


So, that’s it, you’re all set. Good luck and enjoy Freshers week.





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