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What to take to university?

(44 Posts)
BecauseImWorthIt Tue 20-Apr-10 09:37:51

DS1 is - hopefully - off to university in September/October, and I'm starting to think of all kinds of practical things (not least of which is money!)

I want to make sure that we send him off with enough stuff, but not too much, IYSWIM. Those of you who have already been through this, can you tell me what the absolute essential things were, and what you forgot to send your son/daughter with/wished you had sent them with?

Hopefully he will be in self catering, university accommodation, but I don't yet have any idea what kind of basic stuff is likely to be provided, so I'm assuming we'll send him off with everything!

I know that from his point of view as long as he has his guitar and his phone he will think he's fine, but I suspect that won't be enough ... !

schneebly Tue 20-Apr-10 09:46:18

If you have a search on the uni website it should specify exactly what is provided in rooms and kitchens so that you will have a better idea. For example some places provide duvets and some don't - same with certain kitchen equipment.

BecauseImWorthIt Tue 20-Apr-10 12:52:42

Thanks schneebly - but I was thinking more along the lines of the personal stuff to take - yes, what kind of kitchen stuff beyond a pan or two, but things like alarm clock, chargers, etc

justallovertheplace Tue 20-Apr-10 12:56:32

If he doesn't have one, make sure he has a decent laptop. Coathangers, mugs, saucepans. I took a big mirror with me and was glad of it as there wasn't one in my room. Bed linen, towels and hairdryer. Also a big pack of washing powder.
Also, before he leaves, get him a decent contents insurance package. Hopefully he'll never need it. but moving in time is notorious for people just walking in and taking stuff, and really, you don't know who you're holding the door open for as you move in, they really could be anyone confused

Lilymaid Tue 20-Apr-10 13:10:52

Most universities will provide a list of essentials but beyond that there are lots of things that they might need to take such as a basic sewing kit, a screwdriver, a cuddly blanket for the week they are down with "freshers flu", some basic medical stuff such as paracetemol/ibuproven/plasters, mobile phone charger, extension leads, coat hangers etc etc.
Most cars arriving at university for the start of the new year are chock full of stuff, which often has to be taken back at the end of each term whilst the student is in university provided accommodation.

BecauseImWorthIt Tue 20-Apr-10 15:10:10

You see, I knew there was a reason to post this! I would never have thought of coathangers.

<starts list>

This is brilliant btw, thanks v much.

Any more suggestions?

RustyBear Tue 20-Apr-10 15:17:19

I started this thread nearly 4 years ago, when DS first went off to university - lots of advice - best bit was Lilymaid's 'vodka and chocolate cake' tip -better than coffee & biscuits for making friends!

CMOTdibbler Tue 20-Apr-10 15:23:36

Teach him to cook 5 pasta sauces with realistic ingredients (ie, in terms of cost), how to wash clothes properly (in terms of what washing powder to use, not to boil wash coloureds), how to make basic clothing repairs, and how to change a plug.

This, combined with 'Cooking in a Bedsitter' (best cookery book I had at uni as it assumes you have no money, no facilities, and little skill), a detailed chat about how much money he will have and how long this has to last and cover, and a really good kitchen knife will do wonders.

scurryfunge Tue 20-Apr-10 15:27:34

Check what electrical appliances are allowed in rooms also....there may be a limit (I remember one girl brought a sun bed with her when I was at college many moons ago)

BecauseImWorthIt Tue 20-Apr-10 21:50:46

PMSL at sunbed!

I remember when I went, all the rooms on campus had special, small plugs, so that you couldn't plug electrical stuff in without an adaptor/changing the plug.

I lived next door to a Chinese girl who was always fusing the lights because she was using a rice cooker in her room.

seimum Tue 20-Apr-10 22:00:02

It's also worth reading all the info re accommodation that the uni send - your DC won't!

This will tell you what's provided, and also what is not allowed. e.g at DD1's uni they are not allowed candles, or any kettles or other cooking equipment in the rooms.

There was only 1 3-pin plug in DD1's room (+ a small socket for the desk lamp) - so an extension flex with multiple sockets was really useful.

liamsdaddy Wed 21-Apr-10 08:21:08

My university did provide bedding, but little else (OK, this is going back ~15 years).

I ended up taking my own bedding, specially since I preferred my nice (double) quilt to the blankets and sheets the uni provided.

A couple of thermometers might be useful. I remember having various arguments over fridge temperatures. The cleaning staff kept on turning the fridge down so the temperature rose above 10°C (to save electricity and money). The room thermostats were set to chilly for the same reason. Putting a jumper on isn't a problem, food poisoning is.

webwiz Wed 21-Apr-10 13:12:37

DD1 got a list of what to bring sent to her when her place was confirmed after A level results. She had a Saturday job at a shop that sold household items so we used her staff discount to buy all her pots and pans and duvet cover and towels. Certain things weren't allowed ie no kettle or candles and she did need an extension flex with lots of sockets so she could plug in her laptop and her lava lamp.

In addition we did a toiletries shop and a non perishable food shop (pasta, rice, breakfast cereal etc). She did also take various fancy dress items - school tie and white blouse for
"School daze disco", dayglo orange tights and pink tutu for "Rave night" and some beachwear for "Baywatch beach party". She is now an expert at rustling up a fancy dress outfit at a moments notice, I'm not sure how helpful that is as a life skill thoughsmile.

RustyBear Wed 21-Apr-10 15:48:39

I think it is a life skill that is acquired at most universities, webwiz - DD is also an expert and her fancy dress bag is one of the first to be packed when she leaves each term.
'Gangsta night' is another popular one - achieved in DD's case by simply putting a trilby & a flash tie on with her posh frock

BecauseImWorthIt Wed 21-Apr-10 21:51:42

Oh no. DS will not be going out. There will be no alcohol and no young floozies throwing themselves at him. Oh no. Not ever.


RustyBear Thu 22-Apr-10 07:20:21

<<decides to allow BIWI to keep her illusions a liitle longer....>>

BecauseImWorthIt Thu 22-Apr-10 16:30:27


recireci Fri 30-Apr-10 13:27:51

Tin opener, laundry liquid, tea towels

EduStudent Sun 09-May-10 19:46:34

COATHANGERS! Seriously, everyone forgot them (I'm a first year Education Student knocking about for 'research' purposes wink )

Essential things we all forgot:
Passport Photos
Extension Leads (I have 2 sockets hmm )
Cheese Grater
Clothes Airer (saves paying for tumble dryer)
Iron (It does get used!)
Sewing Kit (Mine gets borrowed all the time)
Speakers for iPod (essential for music in the kitchen )
Laundry Basket (Pop up ones are good, and cheap)
Big bag for the launderette (Those Ikea ones are ideal)
Alarm Clock
White Tack (We're not allowed blue, it stains the walls)
Torch (In case of power cuts)
Offer letter/Exam certificates
First aid kit (with paracetamol etc)
shot glasses
Drawing Pins (you will have a noticeboard, the local shops WILL sell out because everyone forgets)
Sellotape (we always seem to need it for something)
Cheap Birthday cards (It'll be someones birthday in freshers)
Fancy dress items. Anything. At all. Trust me.

I wouldn't worry too much about changing plugs - if it's anything like my halls we have maintenance who do everything for us. Wouldn't want to risk us blowing ourselves up grin
It's worth thinking about getting a printer, printing credits on campus can work out expensive.
Also, we've all ended up with little blackboards/whiteboards for writing notes on, very useful.
Also, cake is definitely the best way to make friends!

Oh, and make sure he finds out about arrangements for Freshers - we had to buy our freshers packs online and they were sold out by the time we actually started.

pop1973 Sun 09-May-10 19:50:40

You normally have to take your own duvet, if not take one. and your own pillows.
Bedside lamp. Stereo, laptop if you have one.
Comfort food - biscuits, tea etc. small kettle - you aren't always allowed them - so you have to hide them in a drawer.
TV - again we weren't allowed them as we should have all paid tv lic. but we didn't and we all had tv's.

Blue tac for pictures photographs as you get homesick often.

Bearcat Sun 16-May-10 18:40:06

Plenty of £1 coins and 20p coins for the halls washing machines.
My son also took a mini fridge to cool his lager!
A suit, shirt and ties for formal dinner nights in hall (and smart shoes)
After first term bought a set of flat pack metal drawers from Argos as a bedside table (nothing provided).
A clothes airer to dry damp clothes on (don't want to shrink all your nice t-shirts in tumble drier).
Do boys use irons? Has never had one of those in 4 years!

Ponders Sun 16-May-10 18:46:16

A small sturdy pine bedside chest of drawers has accompanied my daughter ever since her 1st year at uni, quite a while ago - incredibly useful!

catinthehat2 Sun 16-May-10 18:49:07

Were you to allow your darlings out of the house with their exam certificates, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE at least scan them first as you may never see them again.

elvislives Sun 16-May-10 19:00:58

Another "what do I take" thread here

When DS2 started Uni he needed chalk to leave messages on the blackboard outside his door. He was the first to get some, which earned him some kudos grin

mumeeee Mon 17-May-10 12:43:01

Check about mini fridge. Neither DD1 or 2 were allowed to have them. We actually did give DD2 a several coat hangers,but when she got to halls we found the wardrobe in her room was full of them. We did stock up on some basic food items Dd2and did a small shop with them when we dropped them off.

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