This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Starting Uni 2016 - what do they need...(48 Posts)
My eldest is on a gap year, and was due to start at the local uni in Sept.
She has now got a place to study 300 miles away, I'm thrilled for her it's the course she wants.
While I get my head round she's moving out in 2 months time, on a practical level, what do they need?
She's hoping to go into catered halls for the first year so I'm thinking probably not much.
But wise MNs can probably advise of things that wouldn't even occur to us.
I'll look at previous year entry threads for ideas, but I couldn't see a thread for this year's starters - sorry if there is one!
If she's catered there is a lot less to buy. You need to check (probably in their website) how many meals are provided, especially at weekends.
Apart from bedding & towels, we sent dd with a small amount of crockery & cutlery as in theory she just needed to make lunches & snacks. She did buy a saucepan during the year but it didn't come home with her!
A door wedge is usually recommended but not sure if it gets used much beyond freshers week.
She also took a kettle so she could make hot drinks in her room but there was probably one in the kitchen anyway. Also a desk lamp & chopping board
Great so list so far:
I appreciate this may vary greatly between different unis and different halls but how much storage space do they have in their rooms?
Posters for the wall, and cushions for the bed.
Files, paper, pens etc.
I would take my own mug, and keep it in my room. Tea and coffee.
Halls will have rules on electricals and many require inspection or PAT testing if an Item is not new. Often kettles etc are not allowed in rooms. We're also waiting to hear which hall ds has been allocated. Self catering has proper cooking facilities whereas catered only has microwave, kettle and toaster. Some have double beds, others singles. So we're largely holding fire for now.
Don't forget an extension lead as most rooms will have one or two sockets at most and they all have lots of electrical goods.
Also coat hangers. A friend suggested an iron to my DD but we all fell over laughing at that one.
My dds say their best item was a drying rack. For hanging clothes on and as an extra shelf/storage space. Apparently everyone else used it for their wet stuff/small as well. Very popular! Also a narrow plastic drawer unit came in very handy for toiletries and 'stuff'.
Best advice I got when DS went (just finished 2nd year), fleece blanket & stamps. Also passport photos for joining clubs etc. These come in the bracket of less obvious things clearly.
Pins for noticeboard, whitetack, pen holder, small plastic storage boxes for putting in shelves, pop up laundry basket (99pish at B&M), plastic drawers for under bed if space, battery operated fairy lights & fake tea lights. DD said her best thing was the hang overdoor full length mirror (home bargains).
Bag to take to laundry e.g. Ikea,
cheap pans - ones you won't mind being stolen
Mugs - lots of cheap ones
Warm blanket - heating is not always that good
Slippers & dressing gown - for middle of the night fire alarms (They WILL happen)
Good shoes - for walking back and to, buses can be expensive
DD is sitting next to me she says small bag for toiletries especially if sharing a bathroom toothpaste in particular goes missing.. Rubber gloves because you never know what you will find in the bathroom.
Don't buy anything until she gets there. See what others have brought as to avoid unnecessarily purchasing appliances, crockery etc. there will be shops there too. so much 'stuff' parents buy gets binned within weeks, I've seen it first hand. Terrible waste.
i have collected for my dd:
and an assortment of tins thus far,
oh and two pillows
Does anyone know what the bedding packs are like that you can preorder at most universities? I think I may be trying to take 2 DDs to different places on the same day and that would lighten our load.
I disagree with NearlyTeaTime
You don't want to drive 300miles to get there, then have to start shopping.
Check how much is catered / what facilities they have for when they get the munchies outside of normal food time - be that just toast and a drink, or something more substantial.
When they get allocated their room, they can join a FB group with others in the flat / hall, and glean a lot of info from that.
Bedding will be needed, but you need to find if double or single. They won't have a 'comfy chair' so spare pillows / cushions for sitting on bed, leaning against wall.
Extn cable (rarely enough sockets)
Airer (for their towel each day before even begin to think of washing)
Easily carriable big laundry bag to carry stuff to the launderette
Homemade cake (+ knife?? not sure what the situ is for catered) to put in the kitchen on the first day, to get to know the neighbours.
This is brilliant - see stamps who'd have thought when everything is now electronic to pack them.
Please keep them coming.
I do get the wait and see approach but my plan is to get majority before we arrive then we are seeing them 3 weeks after start of term due to family occasion so expect that to be the the "oh I need this" mop up.
A rugvis nice because the carpets can be crappy.
I had a cheap kettle and a range of mugs, handy for hot drinks as well as pot noodle type thing.
A shower tote (I used a plastic storage basket with a handle) is nice to have if the showers are separate.
They really don't need much and if they find they need something then its easy to find cheap stuff at supermarkets. I find these huge lists very OTT. I've 4 DC at Uni so I speak from experience.
Saying that, I got my DC to sort out a file for all their important paperwork with photostats of important documents (and stamps and passport photos).
My kids found Over radiator clothes racks useful.
Another big hit was a good quality foam more mattress topper than can be used as a spare mattress if they have guests.
They won't be allowed a kettle in their room. The university will send a list too so you will know if they need desk lamp. DD went last year. They had 5 pairs of kitchen scissors etc etc but no washing up bowl! We haven't brought knives & forks or pans home again.
Extension leads-there's never enough plugs
Bag for laundry
Bucket or good carrier bags. There's little worse than carrying someone else's sick in a holey carrier bag!
My nephew went last year and his flat was extremely well kitted out for things like cutlery but everyone brought some anyway and the was no where to put it all. My sister went a bit mad buying and loads of it was inappropriate, single bedding but when they arrived he had a small double, also things he just didn't have room for as his room is small. According to dnephew the best thing you can send them with is the ability to cook three meals, some housemates struggled to make pasta!
Big difference between catered and self catered.
My DS2 will be going this year and I hope I will have learned some lessons on over-packing from DS1.
Check the small print for what is provided and what is not allowed.
For example DS1 was not allowed any kind of kettle / toaster /mini fridge. There was no need anyway. People take Far Too Much.
Some halls provide bedding.
DS1 has never to my knowledge used a stamp! Or the photographs that someone on MN said were essential. Everything is digital. Things have changed since many MNers were at uni.
A printer is not essential but is nice.
DS1's room in halls was tiny. Plastic underbed boxes were a great way to store stuff.
DD took a keyboard and her guitar last year!
thing is you need to measure under the bed to ensure the storage box will fit
Join the discussion
Please login first.