Freshers is fast approaching! It might be a little premature to start packing your bags now but it's definitely time to start giving it a thought. You don't need to raid Ikea but it might be an idea to pop out there; use it is an excuse to get some meatballs! Remember you're coming to halls for a year, not moving to the moon permanently, so don't go overboard.
So, what should definitely be in your suitcase for university?
Stuff for Freshers Week: Shorts, shades, sandals, inflatable sharks, school uniform, everything you'll need for a music festival. Freshers Week has a lot of big party nights so make sure you're prepared! One night this year is a little on the fancy side too so bring some smart-casual stuff!
Alarm clock: If your phone isn't going to wake you up for your morning lectures, this could be a good idea!
Bank account details: We’re throwing a Bank Fair on Friday because, as new Students you qualify for Student Bank Accounts! You'll get a whole range of benefits, some even give you free Railcards and other great freebies! If you use a card reader for setting up new payments, don’t forget this one!
Bed Linen: Nothing makes you feel better than lying in your own sheets. Personal comforts are important - it’ll help with the homesickness.
Bottle Opener: You'll be the legend at pres with this handy item. A bottle opener key ring is even better. You may even find free ones at the Freshers Fair!
Chargers: Laptop, phone, tablet – don’t forget them! And if you’re an international student, be sure to grab a travel adapter for your sockets.
Chewing Gum: With all the people you’re going to meet, it’s nice to have fresh breath. Also, what better icebreaker than to offer someone you’ve just met a piece?
Clothes Hangers: How else are you going to hang your clothes?
Coffee: Or tea, if that’s more your, um, cup of tea. A nice hot drink might wake you up in the morning and keep you awake when writing your reports. It’s also nice to make a cuppa with a flatmate if you’re both in and at a loose end.
Condoms: If you do meet that special someone in Freshers Week, or after, make sure you stay safe. We even provide free condoms - available through the Advice Hub's C-Card service.
Cooking Stuff: A couple of pots and pans, frying pans and baking trays should do you well. The Chaplaincy is giving away free kitchenware on Monday to help you furnish your new homes – be sure to grab some while they last!
Dishes: You'll only have a cupboard or two in your kitchen so don't bring your 4 piece dining set. A couple of plates, bowls, glasses, mugs, knives, forks and spoons should be fine. Just be sure to wash up, afterwards!
Documentation: This one’s really important! Don't forget all the important pieces like your offer of accommodation, your course acceptance letter and your student loan/financing confirmation. You’ll need to use some of this stuff to finalise your enrolment and prove your student status to regional councils for discounts on tax.
Doorstop: Keep your door open on the first day at least!
Dressing Gown: Be the envy of everyone when there’s an early morning fire alarm and you’re in your snuggly dressing gown. They’re also just nice on the chilly winter nights!
Extension Cable: You might be lucky and have a plug next to your bed for charging your phone, but more likely it'll be in a really inconvenient place. Make sure you can always get charged with an extension cable – Ikea or Amazon do some ones at a great price!
Flags and Jerseys: If you’re coming from overseas or from down the road, flags are a great decoration for your room, they’ll make you feel right at home. They’re also particularly useful when your home team is playing!
Food: If you're lucky your parents will take you for a food shop before or after you check in to halls! Make sure you stock up on student essentials like pasta, baked beans, eggs, ramen noodles, and any other faves.
A lot of supermarkets offer delivery services to campus so you can book one for a few days time then grab some light essentials until it arrives!
Headphones: If you want to listen to music or a movie in peace (or don't want to disturb your flatmates), headphones or earphones are a must.
Identification: Make sure you have a passport or a provisional/full driver’s licence with you. Edinburgh is pretty strict with ID and you'll need this for bars and shops selling alcohol. You'll also need this for registering as a student with the university.
Laptop: Incredibly useful to have! These save you from going to the library to find a computer, let you go paperless in tutorials/lectures (most slides tend to go online) and give you something to Netflix and chill on. You’ll also need something to do essays and other coursework on – but hold off on buying them; there’s usually big discounts available just as you enrol so wait a little and grab a bargain!
Medication: Some paracetamol and other cold/flu remedies will be useful when Fresher’s Flu and those hangovers strike! Don't forget any other medication you usually take too! A vitamin tablet now and again wouldn’t go amiss either. There is a Health Centre on the Edinburgh campus as well for anything else.
Memo Board: Having a dry erase memo board for the kitchen can come in handy when keeping track of whose turn it is to put out the bins, who needs to buy the next pint of milk, and can even be used to keep track of each other's phone numbers during Fresher’s Week too! Post-it notes or any other method is just as good also!
National Insurance Number: Most students end up doing some sort of extra work in their spare time. Student finance isn’t always able to cover everything and you either have to live very frugally or find some sort of work. You have to pay for those nights out somehow!
Photos and Posters: Some photos of friends and family from back home will help make your room feel more personal. If you're sticking anything to the wall just make sure you don't leave a mark – blue or white tac is best!
Stationery: Some note books and pens are a good place to start, your lecture slides should mostly be online so making brief notes or jotting down ideas helps to when you come back study later on. A few highlighters and maybe a set of post-its also make for helping the important stuff stand out.
Toastie Maker: Toasties are a student’s best friend. You can pretty much put anything in a toastie maker, they're even cheap and quick to make. Share with your flatmates and they’ll love you even more. Heads up though, the only cooking devices not allowed are chip pans! You’ve been warned!
Toilet Roll: There's none provided when you move in! Don't get caught short.
Towels: Again, these are not included so bring a few along with you. Your roommates won't appreciate you air-drying in the kitchen!
Washing Powder/Tablets: You'll have to do some laundry eventually when that big pile of clothes mounts up in your room! Listen to your mother and be sure to separate any darks and lights!
Washing Up Liquid: between you and your flatmates, you’ll probably end up with at least five bottles, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!
Last but not least: You. Might be an obvious one, but you don't want to miss Freshers Week, so make sure you're following us on Social Media @HWUnion so you know what's happening and when!
...better start packing up the car then?