- University preparation: how to prepare for university
- Checklist: preparing for university
- Your go-to university preparation checklist
- Getting you started: planning for university
Have you ever visited the Burning Man festival in Nevada? Preparation is key! In fact, preparation is so important that there is a special term for people who don’t prepare: a sparkle pony! 🦄 When you go to university, don’t be the campus sparkle pony. Don’t stand out like a sore thumb. Don’t be that person who has to drink out of an empty ice cream tub, because didn’t think to pack a glass! As Scar’s famous Disney song from the Lion King goes: Be Prepared! 🦁
University preparation: how to prepare for university
Ok, so you’ve decided that you’re going to study post-18, you’ve chosen a university, you’ve chosen a course, you’ve written your personal statement, and now you’ve secured your place – congrats! But now what?! 🤷
Now it is time to, like a boss, prepare for university! 💪
But what does that mean? How does one plan for university? Why should one plan for university? We have the right advice ready for you!
Checklist: preparing for university
Hold your horses there, buddy – we’re not writing the checklist just yet. No no no. We’re preparing for a university checklist.
Don’t make a checklist on your own. Talk to people. Ask family and friends what they recommend. Read the rest of this article and maybe even try and mindmap what areas of university life you’ll need to prepare for. We’ve listed three things to consider, before creating a checklist.
Whether you are in university accommodation or slumming it out in the private sector, you need to know the rules of your accommodation. For many of you, this will be your first time not living with the family and the rules can be a little bit different. For example, did you know that lots of places won’t let you have a kettle in your room?
Also, if you have a late night party, college security might come and shut it down. 🥂👯♂️🚓
When Lord Byron went to University at Trinity College, Cambridge, he was angry that they had a rule that students were not allowed to bring dogs into their college accommodation. So he decided to bring a tame bear as protest. 🧸 Apparently the college did not have a rule concerning bears (teddy bears are fine of course)!
The surprising thing about the story of Byron’s bear at Trinity College is that it is actually true!
Whether you’re in a city or not, it is a good idea to look at the public transport links. Maybe there is an app you need to download, before you can use the bus or perhaps there is a free university shuttle bus. No one wants to pay for something they could be getting for free! 💸
It’s worth researching where it is best to live in the city (or the university campus) – especially if you are living in private accommodation.
Sadly, not everywhere is safe yet and you might have to research safety on and around campus. Most universities will have a dedicated team of people who work to keep students safe with helpful tips and safety advice.
If you’re not going to Oxbridge, where you have a ‘bedder’ to clean your rooms and wash your sheets (we’re not even joking), you will need to think about where to find – and how to use – washing machines. It sounds boring, but it is important.
Some university washing machine rooms have computer based booking systems, which are so complicated that the world-famous hacking group Anonymous probably wouldn’t be able to figure out how they work! Research your university’s website first to find out what you’ll need to do to meet your laundry needs. 🧺
Getting you started: planning for university
Ok, so there are two ways of going about this: the silly way and the serious way. If you go and ask a bunch of testosterone fuelled monkeys what they think you need to take to university, they’ll probably scream ‘CONDOMS AND BOOZE’! Let’s just not go there, ok – but there is a serious point to be made about sexual health awareness on campus and being prepared.
Time for a slightly more serious checklist. UCAS (who you will know from your university application), have written a handy guide for absolutely everything you need to take to university. Their list includes:
No matter where you end up living you want your sleeping space to be a cosy nest from which you can prosper. Here are some things you might need (or just want):
- Duvet, duvet cover, sheets, mattress protector (take a few of each)
- Pillows, pillow case
- A cute rug to spruce up your room a bit
- Decorations to make you feel more at home – things that hang on door handles, photo frames, candles, fairy lights etc (if you're allowed them).
- Photos and pins (most university rooms will give you a cork noticeboard and not allow blu-tack)!
- Scissors and Sellotape
- Laptop, phone, chargers, camera
- Books, films, speakers
- Purse, cards, ID, passport, important documents etc…
- Bags (including the essential clutch/bumbag for nights out!)
- Posters to brighten up your bedroom
- Clothes (and coat hangers) - suitable for winter and summer!
- Sunglasses (an essential to cover up those massive Freshers’ bags under the eyes)
- A TV (totally not essential but OMG is it a worthwhile luxury!)
- Stationery and books
- Clothes basket
- Ear plugs. Prepare for a few sleepless nights!
- Medicine (paracetamol is a Fresher's must)
Some university accommodation buildings (especially in older universities with listed buildings) have communal showers. Some are gross whereas others are sparkly and clean. Whatever your situation is, make sure you research it beforehand!
- Shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, shavers etc…
- Toothpaste and holder
- Toilet cleaner, bleach, toilet brush
- Towels (and hand towels)
- Toilet rolls – especially if you have communal toilets, as you never know whether they might run out.
Some university accommodation is catered (meaning that you don’t have a kitchen and you eat in a canteen or hall every day), and others are self-catered (meaning you have a kitchen and have to cook for yourself). Some people prefer catered accommodation where you can cook yourself – especially if you’re into healthy food – while others prefer self-catered accommodation (especially if you are used to being fed)!
If you are in self-catered or private accommodation and your parents won’t let you take the family butler, chef and cleaner, you might want to consider packing the following:
- Pans (take quite a few of these too)
- Chopping boards
- Cutlery (a key item which I left at home), sharp knives
- Plates, bowls, side plates etc
- Bin bags, sandwich bags, foil, cling film, tea towels
- Wooden spoons, pizza cutters, fish slice
- Baking trays
- Tea bags (an ESSENTIAL)
So there you have it: a comprehensive checklist of things to take to university for the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. Don’t forget to pack clothes and change your underwear regularly! 🩲
Your go-to university preparation checklist
- Check if you have any preparation reading (required by your university) over summer. There is nothing worse than turning up and realising that you are the only person to have not done the reading!
- Many universities require you to buy some books before taking a course. So make sure you come properly prepared.
- If you’ve got any special education needs like dyslexia, ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, or anything similar, make sure that you apply for Disabeled Students’ Allowance and contact your university’s disability resource centre to let them know.
It is a good idea to try and connect with people online before heading to university. Most universities will have social media groups for freshers to connect with one another before heading to campus. Quite often you will find that people set up Facebook groups for specific courses, which you can join so you can get to know people in your department. These online forums are a great place for asking questions and getting past the awkward ‘getting to know you’ - phase.
The greatest piece of advice we can give you before entering university, is to enjoy every second you have between now and then. Starting university is not only starting a new chapter in life, but starting a new series altogether!
Enjoy the summer and relax before university starts.! Have the best time that you possibly can, so that when you start in the autumn, you have your full motivation.
Wherever you are going and whatever you are studying, our GoStudent learning experts wish you the very best of luck. Who knows, one day when you’ve learned enough maybe you’ll even come back to use and sign up to be one of our tutors!
Before you are off to your university preparations, check out more of our GoStudent articles: