Moving out is a big deal. I’ve been terrified about it for a long time and now it’s very real. I was so scared that I barely thought about what I needed to bring, right up until I was stood in the middle of Argos bordering on a breakdown. That’s my first piece of advice - bring an adult. Not someone who’s just a legal adult, but an adult adult. Someone who knows the difference between a frying pan and a wok.
Terror aside, it’s an opportunity to get creative. I made Pinterest boards for some inspiration - what patterns do you want? Themes? Colours? I ended up going for black and gold. University halls are notorious for having terribly coloured curtains and carpets. It’s also worth thinking about where you’re living in terms of location. I’m in central London so the weather is easily predictable. Grey. Rainy. Cold. I brought a lot of blankets.
It’s also important to feel comfortable. At first, university halls might not feel like a room. I remember visiting mine and thinking it felt more like a Premier Inn room, but much less glamorous. With that thought in mind, I spent a regrettable amount in the Primark home section. At least it’ll look nice.
I almost completely forgot about this part entirely. I was so focused on making it look nice that I blanked on the things I needed. To narrow it down: knives, forks, plates, bowls, pots, pans, utensils and tea towels. Bare in mind that you’re mostly cooking for one and cheap sets from Ikea and Argos will suffice. I got a great kitchen set for £32, and it included a potato peeler. I truly feel like an adult now.
My bed at home is my haven. You’re going to want to feel comfortable at uni as you do at home. Realistically, this won’t happen, but you can sure as hell try. Primark is really good for bedroom shopping, and reasonably priced too. I was at a slight advantage because I worked in the home section for a few weeks (perhaps a story for another time) and I’d eyed up some things.
I’d recommend getting two sets of sheets, because that way you’re not spending forever waiting for them to dry once they’ve been washed. Mattress covers are also a must - it’s likely that they cleaned the beds before new students come in, but it’s a bit of extra reassurance. They can also add a bit more comfort.
This will differ for some people as bathroom situations vary. Some halls will have en-suites whilst others will have shared bathrooms. Some halls I looked at had bathrooms between two people whilst other had up to six. Some universities will provide shower curtains and toilet brushes but others may not, but they often provide lists of what they do and don’t have. If you’re sharing, you may want to buy a shower caddy or bag to get your stuff there and back. Some halls may also have cleaners, but it’s worth buying some basics - toilet cleaner, mirror cleaner - just in case.
I also brought a laptop case and bag, as I’m going to be taking mine on the London Underground twice a day and want to keep my computer safe. If you’re commuting or even just walking, it is a worthy investment as laptops are super important. On top of that, I also brought some drawing pins for the board in my room. We’re not allowed to hang anything up so pinning pictures to it can add some color and life.
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