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What do you send your dc to uni with?(47 Posts)
Didn't want to derail the accompanying your dc to uni thread, but just wondering what you sent them to uni with in terms of possessions. We are in NI and dd wants to go to England so my plan would be to order bedding from the local Argos, do a shop once there to fill fridge/freezer. I hadn't actually planned on any kitchen stuff, I thought the kitchens would all be furnished? Everyone on the other thread is bringing pots and pans, is that a thing?
Also how much is storage for over the summer so that dd doesn't have to lug everything back home?
Yes kitchens aren’t normally furnished so will need plates, cutlery, frying pan, etc. Most people do a Wilkos run on move in day. No idea about storage.
Imagine you are filling one top cupboard, one bottom cupboard and a shelf in the fridge in terms of shopping. This includes space for the pots and pans. Having the necessary pots and implements to make Bolognese or a simple casserole plus take away cartons to freeze space portions got my DC through the first year. Make sure you get distinctive plates and cutlery- much easier to pick out a dirty pile by a sink after a party.
Depends on the accommodation. dd gets bedding supplied but not the duvet and pillows, although you can preorder them to buy there. ds was supplied with duvet and pillows but not bedding! Most do not supply pots, crockery and kitchen items. However kitchens in catered accommodation may only have kettle, toaster and microwave with limited fridge space. If there is an Ikea or large supermarket in the area the SU may arrange a minibus trip in first few days of Freshers. Second year lets often begin in July so you can move from one to another without storage but not all halls accommodation covers Christmas and Easter vacations so she may have to vacate and use storage then.
Think carefully about the plan to go shopping in drop off day. At both my kids universities you had one slot to park at the accommodation to unpack. Going off campus then returning was literally not possible (you had a printed permission slip with a timed slot). Many unis work with companies who provide a generic kit that will be delivered to the accommodation. Otherwise the student could shop as they go depending on what they need. Having just emptied my first year student’s flat much of her kitchen stuff still had labels on but she’s a nuggets kind of girl - some of her friends are more “proper” cooks who will have had and used a wider variety of pans and utensils
Make sure you get distinctive plates and cutlery- much easier to pick out a dirty pile by a sink after a party.
Yes distinctive is a good idea, but also cheap because they will get used by other people and some things will inevitably get broken.
Also if she likes nice food or has a particular diet then a mini fridge for her room is a good idea for a present. Food & booze will get stolen from the communal fridge.
Not all accommodations allow items like fridges or kettle in rooms, and they do check. ds kept his crockery and cutlery in his room after his glasses disappeared at the first party. Some kitchens do have lockable cupboards though.
Condoms. I made up a little first aid kit and put condoms in it ( for the boy and the girl). Yes they'll probably already have thought of that themselves, but it gives a signal that they can call you if they're in a pickle about anything, that nothing is unacceptable to talk about if they have a problem.
Everyone will say pack a doorstop. No need. Just make sure they know its a good idea that once you're gone they should prop their door open with some books so the room is welcoming to corridor mates. Ditto drying rack. There were so many drying racks on DD's corridor that it was like a barricade. And no one was territorial about their drying rack because there were so blimmin many!
Pots/pans, cooking utensils etc seemed to become communal after a few days at both halls my DSs stayed in so my advice is give them your old pans, or accept now that they will come back at the end of the year in a sorry state.
We found that using the enamel baking dishes lasted better than casserole pots, plus they’re lighter and very forgiving in terms of cleaning off burned on food (not necessarily burned on by your DS/DD)
A permanent marker pen is good to use for marking your food/ leftovers if it turns out you have a less than honest flat mate. Or you have very limited space in the fridge/freezer.
Basically don’t take anything you’re too precious about, halls are the first time most students have lived away and getting the communal part right (ie sharing but respecting others property) is skill that has to be learned.
At the start of each term we filled a box with dried pasta, long life orange juice, pasta sauces etc which DS stored under his bed and used as needed as storage space in the kitchen is very limited.
If you are travelling by ferry you can get together what you need in advance & load up the car. If your dd will be flying over then probably best to buy when she gets here. If it’s catered accommodation she won’t need as much kitchen stuff in first year. Not sure how much storage for the whole summer will be - and will she have access to a car to bring it to a storage depot? My Dd generally just stores her stuff for a few weeks, then moves it into her new accommodation - which you usually are paying for from 1st July anyway. Do many unis provide storage on site?
When my parents dropped me at uni as well as what's mentioned above they brought cleaning supplies
and helped me clean the kitchen that had been left in a sorry state by the previous occupants and a set of tools to do basic bits of DIY. That'll depend on what sort of accommodation your DC is moving into of course but I was grateful to be able to fix the leaky sink that developed within the first fortnight there, and later on assemble some flatpack furniture that we bought for the communal areas. Also I was the only person I knew with an iron so that got lent out whenever someone was going on a date, job interview etc!
I had enough cutlery for just me, one pot and one frying pan. And also one shelf in the fridge. The kitchen was shared by the whole block (about 20 students) so food notoriously kept getting taken. I would have a small amount in the fridge but I had a box of dried foods which I liked which I kept in my bedroom so I would always have something to eat even if my food did get taken;
Example; rice/pasta/canned soups etc.
The cupboard everyone got in the kitchen had a lock on it but it was extremely small and didn't hold much.
Also in terms of other things - basic bedding from Argos/Primark. I had my own bathroom thankfully so I didn't have to worry about getting flip flops to go to the shower.
I was in uni about 10 years ago - maybe things have changed now but it was a very old building and the communal showers were always dirty so I was very lucky to have an en-suite
It depends on how much cooking your dd wants to do. I cook "proper" meals for myself most of the time at uni, so I have two saucepans, a small frying pan, chopping board, sharp knife, bread knife, wooden spoon, kitchen scissors (not essential, make certain tasks easier as a dyspraxic), serving spoon, casserole dish, pyrex jug, 2 plates, 2 bowls (useful when I have visitors), 2 glasses, 2 mugs, grater, foil baking trays for brownies and flapjacks, and, for some unknown reason, 2 eggcups. Some people eat catered food, some live on cereal and chicken nuggets cooked on foil. Most are somewhere in between, and those that cook quite often share resources between themselves (e.g. I borrow my friend's garlic crusher, she borrows my grater). One of my international friends used the communal saucepan and frying pan plus borrowing our stuff for the whole of first year, but they weren't as fussed about how clean it was. In first year I kept all my stuff in my room because about 30 people had access to the kitchen, although nowhere that many actually used it on a regular basis.
What was really helpful was a fully stocked store cupboard from DPs, with pasta, rice, couscous, onions, potatoes, cereal, a variety of tinned fish, fruit, and veg, curry powder and chilli flakes, and in my first term, a couple of those John West tuna salad things and couscous pots. That meant I always had something to eat even if I hadn't managed to shop. For my first term DM also gave me a full week's shop of fresh stuff, but I didn't actually use it all because of the amount of free food -pizza- available in fresher's week. Now I prefer to get bread, cheese, milk and fruit when I arrive, eat in Hall for dinner for the first few days while I'm doing exams, then do a full shop at the weekend.
Apart from that: the usual clothes, towels, books, a few photos maybe, flip flops for the shower. At the start it's handy to have a first aid kit and a toiletries kit made up, of course your DD can buy stuff for herself but it's nice to do that if you have space, or get some stuff on move in day, so when she hacks her finger making a fancy dress costume on day three she has plasters and bandages!
It's all quite expensive though, so you have to consider whether all this kitting out comes out of your money or your dd's loan/ part time job money - or if you do it as a going-away present, establish whether that's expected every year.
Oops I wrote that on the laptop and didn't realise quite how long it was
As I am stingy my twins took their duvets and pillows off their beds at home but were in catered halls in year 1 (Bristol) so did not need pots and pans. I think they took a glass each from the kitchen. They took their clothes, some pens, not much stuff really. I think their sisters too more but that was in the days of CDs. I did buy them each a new lap top which are still going strong 3 years later thankfully (they are about to finish).
When they go in September remember they will be there when it is much colder in December so I suggested taking gloves, a coat etc.
(I am not sure about the condoms idea! I graduated a teetotal virgin with prizes in law and did a lot of chamber choir singing, music, choir trips and the like. University does not have to be about constant sex.)
Don't buy too much .... all Uni cities and towns will have a Poundland or Wilko to buy what's needed, we sent our DS off with lots of stuff for the kitchen, more than half was unused when we picked him up .
Thank you all so much, this has been very helpful. Will start looking for kitchen stuff in the sales
Has anyone mentioned an extension lead and maybe a usb hub yet?
LOTS of extension leads! And blue tack or tacks for the giant pin board they’re likely to have.
Xenia, I still maintain condoms are a good idea. You can have sex and still graduate with Firsts and prizes, and sing in choirs and play in teams. Those things are not mutually exclusive you know!
I am cringing at the idea of gifting condoms to adults.
Not planning on buying much for DC, they can take kitchen stuff from home - it will help with decluttering the place. Mattress topper is a good idea though, and high tog duvet.
My son started last September. If you google 'Mumsnet University List' or something like that you'll find a list on here. I used that. I also second not trying to do too much on drop off day. We had to get a few bits from Wilko and it was heaving with overseas students who hadn't been able to bring much (although that might not be an issue this year!). I got a big delivery from Wilko for kitchen stuff and other bits and then brought it to the Uni in the big box it arrived in. Also got towels and bath mat, an iron (not used!) and a bun and lamp for the room. It wasn't Uni accommodation but a private hall, but we never got a list of what was included. Someone has probably already said door wedges to prop open fire doors for a bit so they're not shut up in their room.
Here's the link to the list: https://www.mumsnet.com/teenagers/university-essentials-checklist
DD arranged a grocery delivery on drop off day, which I don't recommend as the traffic and parking were utterly chaotic.
@ChippyMinton cringe away! They weren't presented on a gold platter. They were put into a general purpose first aid kit. Mums I know thought nothing of it and their children no doubt thought goodo, another freebie. It's a matter of fact thing unless you want to make something else of it.
The kitchens in halls aren't fully kitted out, my dc has the basics like kettles/toaster supplied but nothing beyond that.
We bought a plastic lidded box and bought the following to put it in:
Two of each (in case of breakage)
Plus....chopping boards, scissors, set of sharp knives, garlic press, fish slice, decent frying pan, two saucepans, couple of wooden spoons, a George Foreman grill. All of these things you could order on click and collect for him, or do an amazon order.
Other things for the bedroom...duvet, pillows, towels, two sets of bed linen, lamp, first aid box that we filled with various useful bits.
Anything else he bought as he went along when he realised he needed it. We did notice the local supermarkets had sold out of a lot of kitchen stuff so don't rely on him being able to pick up things on the day he arrives.