Preparing For Uni: The Things No One Tells You That You Need, But You Really Do.

This title isn’t nearly so catchy as my other posts, but there is simply no other way of putting it. When you leave home and move into halls people will literally be throwing pots and pans and cutlery at you. But you know what? You don’t need five different pans. Two is plenty. You end up developing this strange attachment to certain kitchen utensils, and only using that specific pan/dish/knife and fork. In our flat we had one little pan, perfect for cooking rice and noodles, that we all became extremely attached to. It went missing one week, and we all blamed this guy who practically lived in his room (he had a draining board in there, no joke) for stealing it. Eventually it reappeared, but that was one tense week.

This post is mainly aimed at self-catered students, but there are some things on here that all of you pampered catered bunch may want to bring as well. In most self-catered flats the uni will leave you the basics, as we found on our first day. Leazes Parade had given us plates, dishes, knives and forks, several pans, kettle (we’re British, a kettle is a must have. Unfortunately no tea pot. £9000 per year can’t stretch to that), a can opener, and a chopping board. So pretty much everything we had brought with us was now useless. But some of the things the uni hadn’t thought of we kept with us, and as the weeks went on we realised that there were basic things we hadn’t thought of- particularly in the bathrooms and kitchen as these were shared.

THIS IS NOT A DEFINITIVE LIST. It’s just the things you are likely to not have thought of, so make your own thorough list before you leave.


  • Washing up liquid
  • Pan scrubbers
  • Sieve
  • Washing up bowl
  • Draining board
  • Bin bags
  • Dustpan and brush
  • Chopping boards (we never had enough)
  • Peeler
  • Can opener (ours were always breaking; we went through about four I think)
  • Freezer bags (you will be doing a lot of batch cooking)


  • Air freshener
  • Toilet roll
  • Bathmat (for inside the shower, and one to step on as you get out. We had neither and nearly killed ourselves every time we went to have a wash. Eventually we caved and bought them)


  • Alarm clock (I got a better nights sleep if my phone was off, but the alarm clock I had brought was so loud that it could wake up the flat above us as well. Moral of the story: buy one that’s loud enough to wake you, but not the dead)
  • Personal bowl and mug. That no one else touches.
  • Freezer tubs
  • Lunch box (I used the freezer tubs)
  • Change for the washing machines and dryers
  • A clothes airer
  • Extension lead
  • Alcohol of choice and mixers (if you drink this is much cheaper for pre-drinks.)
  • A water bottle
  • LOTS of pens and paper, and a ring binder with dividers and wallets- just until you know exactly how many you will need. (I recommend getting a subject notebook, as it’s a pain carrying five different ones around with you)
  • Fancy dress (at some point you will be convinced to go on a fancy dress night out)
  • A decent coat, with a good hood
  • Gloves, scarf etc.
  • Soap and fabric softener
  • EAR PLUGS and possibly an eye mask for sleeping. Student accommodation can be very loud sometimes, and there is always some noisy eater in the library.
  • Thermos flask

This is just a list of the things I found my friends and I forgot, or didn’t think to bring. How many of you didn’t have these things on your lists either?


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