FRESHERS: What to take and what not to take to Uni

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Abbie, our lifestyle editor gives you some invaluable advice on prepping for your rollercoaster first year…


Doing a supermarket-style sweep through Ikea brought me great joy before I started uni, but it’s safe to say a lot of the stuff I bought was rendered useless as soon as I’d moved in. Bear in mind that, if you are living in the likes of Endcliffe or Ranmoor at Sheffield you could be sharing with up to 11 people… Which could lead to 11 of the same things.

Although the cutlery set you picked up from Ikea was super cute, unless you’re feeding the 5000 you won’t ever need 8 spoons, 8 forks or 8 knives yourself (only if you plan on not washing up for a while!) You can always ask to borrow your flatmates crockery if you haven’t got it. My first year flat had about 20 mugs on the counter, which is Just. Not. Necessary.

So, what’s actually there?

There is usually a toaster; microwave and kettle provided so don’t waste your pennies on those. Spend your money on the following:

  • wash bowl
  • hangers
  • drying rack
  • bin for your room / bathroom

Some of your flatmates-to-be may have already purchased one of the above, so make use of the Facebook groups depending on which block you are living in (and get to know them!) That way you can make sure you don’t waste money on buying the same things.

Spend it wisely…

Before the term begins I find it helpful to bulk buy toiletries so I don’t feel the burn later on in the semester. I’m talking shampoo, conditioner, dental stuff, soap etc. This means that come November you aren’t cursing your bank balance on the way back from Boots – or lugging back industrial sized shampoo bottles on the walk home (which will probably involve a hill, here at Sheffield).

Your room is smaller than you'd have hoped

Your room is smaller than you’d have hoped

Grub’s up

Getting in the salt, pepper and spices to make your food taste a whole less bland is wise when you first get your loan. In terms of food, don’t bulk-buy too many boxes of tea or typical student food like pasta. I found that as summer drew closer I still had heaps of random herbal teas, packets of pasta and jars. Be realistic about your diet and what you plan on eating. Again: don’t get too much stuff when you do a food shop and be savvy.

Make it homely

Its a good idea to have some home comforts ready for when you first move in: this will help with adjusting. Think your favourite Lush scrub that sits in your bathroom at home, a scent that you love, or fluffy cushions that add some sparkle to the mattress that feels a little (very) lumpy. These small details can help you feel comfortable and happy when you find yourself in a new environment.


Anybody who experienced first year always has hundreds of stories and memories. Make your first year memorable by taking every oppurtunity, making lots of friends and trying something new. We would go back in a heartbeat if we could!

Enjoy your fresher’s year,

AJ xxx

Aminah Khan is your Editor-in-Chief

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