Ten things to pack for uni and eight things to leave at home:

As I have spent the past three days packing my room in university accommodation, I reflect upon personal and friends’ experiences on what was a good idea to pack and what really should have been left at home.

Ten things to pack:

1 – Mini kettle: Late night hot chocolate cravings? Pot noodles hunger pangs? A kettle is a true late night saviour. The power is at your fingertips with a flick of a switch. No need to change out of your pyjamas, face your flatmates make-up-less or wander through a kitchen of drunken pre-drinks gathering. A mini kettle would ideally be accompanied with mugs/hot chocolate supplies in your room and possibly washing up liquid as well!

2 – A small suitcase/rucksack: For the weekend away or the quick trip home, a small suitcase is always handy as it saves looking like the new buckaroo carrying multiple bags all the way to the train station. You may not be planning to go home often or take trips away but the opportunities come up more often than you would think.

3 – Toilet roll: paying £5000+ per year, you would expect a complimentary toilet roll to be included in the price but it isn’t. Come prepared with your own resources and avoid having to pay ridiculous prices at the Village store within the first hour of arriving.

4 – Your own cutlery, pots and pans: you may have had a lovely conversation with your future flatmates on the Facebook Freshers’ page about how each of you will be bringing a different item for the kitchen but in reality dinner team each night is war. You will be on each other’s toes ready to pounce for hob space, sharing pans just isn’t feasible…. (however, please see note 4 below)

5 – A blow up bed/sleeping bag: perfect for the friends that come up to visit you at uni in your new found environment, the spontaneous sleepovers with new friends or simply for extra warmth whilst writing late-night essays.

6 – A shower curtain: at the end of the year, many rooms mysteriously ‘fail’ inspection for a dirty shower curtain even if the shower curtain has been through many cycles of the washing machine. Save yourself the hassle, buy your own shower curtain and simply replace the original one in July.

7 – Blanket/dressing gown: Late night snacking is common amongst most of us and the trip to the kitchen can be a chilly one which can easily be solved by a blanket or dressing gown. It’s also rather convenient when you’re wearing rather embarrassing pyjamas or if you’re living in accommodation which has a communal bathroom.

8 – A double duvet – the majority of beds are singles but a double duvet gives extra warmth and makes all the difference in winter.

9 – Wellies: When you left Cheshire this morning it was sunny. By the time you arrive in Sheffield it could be flooding…or snowing. Sometimes British weather lives up to its unpredictable reputation. Best to be prepared for anything really. I wouldn’t have been able to walk up Goodwin’s hill for my exam in January had I not had my wellies.

10 – Passport and other important documentation: Fancy a weekend job, going on a society trip abroad or working as an ambassador for the uni? Chances are that you will need your passport for identification and that 5 hour trip home for your passport isn’t really convenient.

Eight things to leave at home:

1 – Recreational Books – the truth is that you probably won’t have time to read all the material on the recommended reading list, let alone the new John Green books.

2 – A personal radiator/fan – it gets hot and cold here but there really isn’t any need for a personal radiator/fan. A double duvet/sleeping bag/extra layer of clothing will do the job perfectly.

3 – Personal filing cabinets, shelves, cupboards etc. – Sheffield uni accommodation is actually rather spacious and if you need various additional shelves etc. then you might want to reconsider how much stuff you’re taking to university!

4 – Expensive pans/crockery/utensils: the inevitable story with living in a flat with others is that items will go missing… The other story is that unless you have a wonderful stroke of luck, you will have some flatmates who may become a little bit too drunk and have nights smashing glasses in the kitchen…

5 – Beanbags: they’re big, bulky… and irresistibly comfy but undoubtedly unnecessary. Also, if you leave these in the kitchen then they’ll be prone to attract dirt and can easily be damaged during ‘flat parties’ (depending on the nature of your flat’s residents)

6 – Iron/Ironing board/Toaster: If you’re moving to uni accommodation, these items are provided and whilst they’re not top of the range, they do their job.

7 – Car/Motorbike: Living in university accommodation, most of the venues for lectures/seminars/socialising are within walking or bus distance. Buses cost £1 with a student ID card for the centre zone (which includes Endcliffe, Ranmoor, the city and Meadowhall). It is also relatively expensive to purchase a permit to park on University grounds.

8 – Curtains: …a rather random addition to the list but I actually know a few people who brought their own curtains in September and have not used them…You may have been browsing curtains to match your new duvet set but it would probably be best if you didn’t bring curtains. There are semester checks carried out on your room and the curtains are included in the inspection. If the standard curtains are not hanging up by your window then it’s likely that you’ll fail the inspection.

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