A fresher’s guide to what to take to University - Kerrie Watson

Row of 5 suitcases with  5 rucksacks balenced on top

You’re probably frantically thinking of what to take to University as you’ve smashed your qualifications. First of all, congratulations! You’ve got a place at University!

Moving to University can be an exciting and nervous new stage in your life. It can be difficult to know what you’ll need to take when moving into University. Lucky for you I’m going to give all the advice on what to bring and leave behind when moving to University!

What will already be provided in the flat?

You might want to think about what is already provided in the flats at University. Whilst this will depend on the accommodation type, most flats on campus will include the essentials: a bed, a wardrobe, desk and a chair. In the shared areas in the flats there are often ovens, hobs, microwaves, toaster, kettle, fridges, freezers, hoover, iron and an ironing board.

If you have any questions about what is included in the flats you can look on the Lancaster University Accommodation site where you can look at what is available and what to expect. If you have any other questions you can always send an email to the right person on the ‘contact us’ page.

I’ve split the lists below into areas of the flat to help you think about what you’ll need and what to leave behind!

Bedroom -

The essentials:

  • Bedding (a sheet, mattress topper, quilt, quilt cover, pillows and pillowcases - I’d bring 2 duvet sets for when one is in the wash! Make sure to check the bedding sizes before you arrive)
  • Laundry basket
  • Towels (I’d say 2/3 is a good amount)
  • Extension lead
  • Laptop and charger
  • Airer (if you want to save on laundry costs then buy a clothes airer)

Here are some fun extras, it’s really important when moving to university to make the room your own and a home away from home. Here are some of the things I used to make myself feel comfortable and at home:

  • Cushions
  • A rug
  • Decorations to make you feel more at home (photo frames, candles, diffuser, fairy lights, photos, books)
  • Blankets/pillows

Kitchen -

The follow list depends on whether you’re a natural born Gordon Ramsay or a take-away binger! Here is everything for the kitchen:

  • Pans - For this I would suggest 1 frying pan, 1 wok-style pan and 1 small pan
  • 1 or 2 baking trays and a chopping board
  • Plates/Bowls - Two large plates, two small plates and two bowls should be enough!
  • Cutlery - Two sets of cutleries - knives, forks, teaspoon and tablespoon. Cutlery can go missing, it can be a good idea to buy identifiable cutlery or mark it with little stickers or paint as they may go missing!
  • Two glasses and two mugs
  • Tupperware - If you’re going to be prepared and bulk cook then tupperware is a must
  • Tea-towels - 2/3 is a good amount, there will always be one in the kitchen!

Here are some fun little extras:

  • Wine glass - if you’re a wine lover like me then the last thing you want is to be drinking Chardonnay out of a mug
  • Glass baking dish - if you love pasta bake as much as me then this is a must
  • Baking equipment - baking is a fun activity you can do together as a flat!
  • Grater, tongs, measuring jug, wooden spoons and a pizza cutter
  • Oven gloves - your tea-towels can always double up as these
  • Recipe book - let the inner Jamie Oliver be released

My top tip is leaving the toastie maker and the smoothie maker at home until you move in. The last thing you want is 4 of these cluttering the kitchen. Try and discuss with your flatmates on what to bring or wait until you get to Lancaster and go shopping together for extras!

Bathroom -

You might be thinking about your bathroom and toiletries. What you need may depend on whether your en-suite or shared, here are some suggestions:

  • Toothbrush
  • Toilet cleaner, bleach, toilet brush
  • Towels and hand towels
  • Toilet rolls (may be provided dependant on accommodation)
  • Bathmat
  • Sanitary bin
  • Shower caddy

Any other toiletries you can either bring with you or go shopping for when you’ve arrived!

Wardrobe (my favourite place) -

I speak from experience here, I most definitely brought my whole wardrobe and struggled for space! Here is a list of what’s actually needed and a few fun extras:

  • Comfy shoes and clothes for lectures - and those hangover days
  • Clothing hangers
  • Slippers/PJs/Dressing Gown
  • Jacket - make sure you have one for when its warm and one for when it’s cold
  • Gym/workout clothes
  • Seasonal clothing - sunglasses, hats, scarves and gloves - unfortunately the British weather can be unpredictable
  • Costume clothing - this can be fun for themed parties and socials!
  • An interview outfit - unfortunately the above doesn’t count as appropriate interview clothes.

Most importantly bring what is important to you! Make this room a home from home and bring what makes you feel comfortable and decorate it how you like!

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