Whether you’re a parent or a student, university is an exciting time in someone’s life: it’s the beginning of a new stage of learning and independence. While some university students remain at home while studying, others decide to move out and live on campus in a student dorm or college, or in their own place with friends or flatmates.
Uni students famously live in small places on small budgets, and with just the essentials, so if you’re moving out to attend university, you’ll want to ensure that you have the basics covered.
If you’re moving into a dorm, call ahead to get a checklist of exactly what’s provided to ensure that you don’t double up on existing items. For things that aren’t provided, be as minimal as possible – dorm rooms and first flats are typically small, and you can always buy additional items cheaply online or at second-hand shops.
It’s tempting to buy everything you might possibly need all at once, but universities don’t exist in a vacuum, and are typically well-served by nearby shops, second-hand stores and supermarkets. Depending on where you’re living, one thing that you may need to look into is renter’s insurance.
If you’re moving into a dorm, your university will provide items such as a bed, desk, chair, mini-fridge and so forth. However, the onus is likely to be on you to bring your own sheets and other manchester, as well as any extra furniture that you just can’t do without.
If you’re moving into a rental property, chances are that it’s unfurnished, so you’ll need to arrange all of your furniture from scratch. Flat-pack furniture is easy to move and is often cheap, but bear in mind that you’ll need enough room to put it together. Chances are that you’ll be moving around frequently over the next few years, so buy things that you don’t mind getting damaged or broken.
If you’re new to uni, chances are that this is the first time you’ll be studying without having a required uniform. You may need to buy some basics for your wardrobe accordingly. Stick with key basics that you can comfortably wear to class, with extras for exercising, sleeping and going out.
Rarely worn items such as formal wear can be picked up from your parents’ place when needed, or purchased when the time comes. Start with a small wardrobe and build it up as the seasons change or you realise that definitely need a certain item. The same is true with toiletries: bring only what you’ll definitely need over your first few days, then add to your collection as the need arrives.
A laptop or desktop computer are pretty high on the list for any student, and unless you’re on a serious budget you’ll want to make sure that you have yours handy. That said, if your budget doesn’t allow for it, your uni will have computer labs you can access free of charge, and many companies provide student discounts on new computer hardware, so ask your university about whether you can pick up a discounted product.
Stationery and a bag to carry your notebooks around in them are handy, but remember that carrying is the key word, so don’t go all out with hard-cover, heavy accessories. Wait for a back-to-school sale and pick up some cheap items there. The same goes for textbooks: see if you can pick up your books on campus at a discount, and even better, second-hand.
University is not the time to unleash your inner Masterchef. To start with, stick with absolute basics such as a can opener, a plate and bowl, a few pieces of cutlery and a bunch of plastic bags.
Add extras as you need them, but bear in mind that uni students generally live on a fairly tight budget – and that if you find yourself desperate for a particular kitchen item it can be easily sourced from the supermarket or the nearest Salvos store.
The student lifestyle is about doing a lot with a little, so there’s no need to fret if you feel like you’ve under-packed. Picking up extras from the shops or borrowing from friends is the way to go at university, and it’s much easier to add to your basics than it is to move heavy furniture and unwanted items in and out of dorms and apartment
. Keep your moving list simple, and put your focus on your studies and making new friends.