Student and Graduate Publishing

Being Prepared for University

Tuesday, 28 October 2014 11:10

 - So, after waiting months for your results, your fate has finally been revealed – you’re going to university in September! To make sure you make the most out of being a fresher, here’s some advice on what to pack, what to expect and what to be prepared for!

What to Pack

Before the fun can begin you will have to spend what little time you have left at home packing up your things, ready for the big move. Here’s a list of the bare essentials that you may forget whilst being carried away packing the outfits that will make you stand out during Freshers week:


- Plates

- Cutlery (including tongs, spatula etc.)

- Cups and glasses

- Saucepan

- Frying pan

- Baking tray 

- Storage boxes

- Colander

DON’T worry about any appliances before you move in, just in case other people have brought things: one shared kitchen only really needs one toaster, not six!

Important documents:

- Passport

- Driver’s Licence

- National Insurance Card

- Acceptance Letter

- Accommodation Paperwork

- Student Finance Letter

- Spare passport photos

Without the correct paperwork you will not be able to pick up your accommodation keys and without identification, your acceptance letter and student finance letter, you won’t be able to activate your student loan! This is essential for funding your studies and should be your priority once you move in. 


- Pens

- Notebook

- Highlighters

- Folders

- Folder Dividers


You are, after all, going to university to study so make sure you have enough paper and pens for each of the modules you have registered for to make studying easy. Another way of making studying a little easier is to keep your notes as organised as possible, which will be incredibly helpful when it comes to writing essays and revising. You will also need your laptop as essays are required to be typed – and don’t forget to back your work up on a USB!


- Bedding

- Duvet and Pillow 

- Alarm Clock

- Laundry Basket and separate bag (for wet laundry from the launderette!)

- Door Stop 

- Earplugs

Much like your kitchen utensils, you will keep the things you buy for your bedroom for each year of study, so invest for the future – buy a double duvet not just to keep you warm over the winter but because you will most probably have a double bed in your houses when in second and third year.

Of course, these are but the essentials – your to-pack is list is most probably reeling with lots of other fun things, which should include a fun onesie and a fancy dress outfit: I guarantee you will need both if you plan to join a society.

Advice for Freshers Week

Freshers Week is possibly the biggest topic of conversation among potential students during the build-up to going to university. There will be a host of activities running all week long, ranging from parties at the local nightclubs to town tours and festivals on campus. With everything being so new and so much going on, it is a good idea to take a moment to breathe during Freshers Week and remember that everything will still be around once the week has finished and classes begin. Over the course of the week, it is important to remember that it isn’t all fun and games and foam parties, you will most likely have introductory lectures regarding your modules for that term/year during the week which are imperative to attend to find out what you will need for each lecture and seminar. Additionally, it might also be a good idea to take some time out during the day to wander round your campus with some friends to familiarise yourself with the area so that you don’t end up 20 minutes late to your first lecture... 

One of the big events of Freshers Week is the Freshers Fayre, which will host lots of tables and stalls full of societies and sports teams ready to recruit you! With hundreds of groups to choose from and the exciting prospect of what you could spend your time doing alongside studying, you will more than likely be drawn into signing up to over e-mail subscriptions from over fifty of them. Whilst appealing at the time, such level of excitement quickly diminishes when trawling through your emails in order to find an important message from a Professor about an upcoming assignment. Just remember that you have plenty of time to join societies so you do not have to plan your social calendar for the year during your first week.

What to be Prepared For

Knowing what to be prepared for when going to university is extremely difficult as it is like nothing you have experienced before. Many people worry that the workload will be heavy and they will spend every waking moment reading. If you are taking a subject or module that relies heavily on reading, such as English Literature, it would be a good idea to look up your reading list before you arrive, order your books and do some reading whilst you are still on holiday. As you will only generally have one lecture and one seminar a week for each module, topics are covered quickly and briefly so preparing in advance will save you from pushing yourself to read an entire novel a week for your literature module. Another daunting prospect when attending university is the stress put on its synonymy with independent learning. Unfortunately, to an extent, this is true – you will find that you will have to find a lot of things out for yourself, so make sure you attend a library tour during your first week – it may not sound as exciting as beer pong in the hottest SU bar, but you’ll be thankful for it when you’re not the person getting lost among the shelves looking for an academic journal.

As for the social scene, you will learn the hard way that some people will live every week as if it’s Fresher’s, which can be a pain if you’ve got a 9am exam and your flatmates decide to carry on their night out in your kitchen and you didn’t follow the list and pack some ear plugs!

In spite of the intimidating nature that University can initially exude, it can almost certainly be said that it will be one of the most significant years of your life. You will find new friends that will become like a second family and you will be overwhelmed by the amount of information and knowledge thrown at you. The best thing to do is to take it in your stride and appreciate every moment, as the experience you have being a Fresher is one of a kind. 


For more advice, see here