The excitement and anxiety are mounting as the start of the new University term looms. To help you prepare for your first term we have prepared a check-list of things you will need to take.
Don’t take too many! There will not be much storage space in the halls. But you will definitely need:
• Fancy dress kit. Freshers love to dress up.
• Some kind of formal wear – prom type dress for girls, black tie for boys (charity shops are a good source for these)
• And a dressing gown and slippers for those late night fire drills.
A University hall bed is never as comfortable as yours at home so make sure you take:
• A good duvet, changes of sheets x 2, your own pillow and a mattress topper
• When choosing your duvet cover bear in mind that people will form first impressions of you based upon your bedroom, so best to leave the embarrassing ones behind…
• A hot water bottle or electric blanket also helps if you are heading to the northern hemisphere.
3. Cheering up your room
The cold welcome of a bare room in halls is sure to put even the most confident undergrad on edge so go prepared to make it feel more like home…
• Bean bags are homely and people will plonk themselves in your room to chat rather than propping up the wall.
• Rugs are great for covering up unsightly carpet stains and bare floorboards. It’s handy having a bedside rug – it makes the cold mornings less chilly when you leap out of bed.
• Really important to remember to bring lights – a desk lamp and probably a bed side one too – fairy lights go along way to making a room look a bit more sparkly.
• Buy a couple of plants to add something green and living. If you are guaranteed to kill them within the week stick to a cactus.
4. Things for the walls
• Photos of family/friends/ your gap year can be a great icebreaker. Memories of recent parties and childhood will serve as reminders that ‘old friends are gold’ and encourage you to keep in touch with everyone back home.
• Posters liven up a blank wall but bear in mind the advice re duvet cover when it comes to selecting your posters!
• Keep your eyes peeled for Student Union fairs selling innumerable discounted posters in all shapes and sizes. A multitude of websites sell every poster imaginable.
• Don’t forget the white tack to stick them all up.
5. Practical things
• Pack some basic kitchen kit – veg peeler, non stick pan, plates, bowls, cutlery – best in a bright colour then if it disappears into someone else’s room it is easy to identify.
• Take your own tea towel – you don’t know where the others have been. Wet wipes and some washing up liquid never go amiss.
• Don’t forget the electricals – Laptop, ipod, speakers for ipod, extension leads, adapters, hair dryer.
• Don’t worry about a printer – there will be plenty of cheap places to print out your work.
6. And Finally…
• A door stop - to prop your door open as you unpack and decorate, so that new corridor buddies can drop in and say hello.
• A jar of cookies or big tin of celebrations or the healthy option a bowl of fruit always help to encourage visitors as does having some mugs, glasses and a big kettle.
-- xx --
Fiona McKenzie, Gabbitas Dubai
& Jane Phelps Admissions Tutor, New College of the Humanities