What should freshers take to university?

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Tuesday 28th August 2012

Like thousands of other teenagers, my son is counting the days till he starts university. He’s bought the Freshers’ Week wristband (it gets him into every Freshers’ event – alarming for me, thrilling for him), has worked out which student block he’ll be in and has “met” most of his new flatmates on Facebook.

But what should he take with him? I mean, apart from the obvious things like his beloved road bike, tea bags and industrial-sized packets of pasta. His list comprises essentials like a bike pump, puncture repair kit and iPod dock, while I’m more worried about how many saucepans he’ll need and whether he should buy a mini fridge for his room.

A blog I’ve just read has got a host of other ideas. Key recommendations include a cake tin (because “everyone loves cake”), a laundry bag (he’s not convinced), a clothes horse (he’s definitely not convinced) and a sewing kit.

If anyone can offer any suggestions, I’d love to hear them…

PS. He’s off in three weeks’ time and even though I’ll be bereft I’m not going to cry. And I’m not going to be the sort of parent (apparently increasingly common) who muscles in on his university life. Apparently parents have been known to move into their children’s student halls, bedding down next to them while they settle in. I just hope they don’t snap up a Freshers’ Week wristband while they’re at it.

17 comments so far

  • I’d say one decent sized saucepan is enough, along with a student or one-pot cookbook. Pot noodles saved me more than once at uni 🙂

    An alarm clock is vital, unless he can use his phone, a decent pillow, basic medical supplies (especially aspirin, LOL) and a huge bag for all those books. Hope he has a wonderful time!

  • The one thing I now wish I had taken was a little humility and courage- to admit when I was lost and to ask for help from peers. When I talked some years after with other Warwick chums I discovered that the girls had all been able to admit their vulnerability and found help. I (and a number of other blokes) had disguised my struggles and found no help. How I wish I had been a little more grownup. Off to Italy tomorrow with the Rev.
    love to you all. John x- still can’t work out how to leave my name.

  • In these modern times prescription meds, passport and a credit card should cover it.

    Having said that, the dort plans to load up our car on Saturday and then take the train so that not a cubic inch of space is wasted on anything so mundane as her little body. I’ve seen the size of her room, and I have no idea where she thinks she’s going to put everything!

    We plan to drop off her stuff on Sunday and see her the next time she chooses to see us.

    And… No… That isn’t a tear…

  • Thank you so much! Some great suggestions here, especially the alarm clock. Also, it’s good to hear you reckon only one saucepan – I’m sure some freshers take far too much stuff with them!

  • That’s so soon, Nicola! I hope she settles (back) in really well. Sounds like she’s got a lot of stuff to take with her. I think my son has too – but it’s mostly bike-related!

  • This is the younger dort’s first year, and the first time our nest will be truly empty! But she’s immensely resourceful, so I’ve convinced myself she’ll be fine. She plans to take everything, I suspect, which rather suggests she has no immediate plans to return home. I love her confidence, but I can’t tell you how much I shall miss her. I don’t think that ever goes away.

  • For one moment I thought it was a tin in which to cook cakes – which of course would be ludicrous! When I played at being a student at Ruskin a favourite mug was vital, one that stood out and meant every coffee was a pleasure. Come to think of it, I’m like that at home. Good luck to him and to you. My boy went from the south coast to Edinburgh, so muscling in wasn’t an option.

  • A good cookbook and a print out his favourite recipes that you make…one large saucepan and one small…same on fry pans…a roll of duck tape…oh and I gave him one of his grandmother’s wooden spoons…wishing you both good luck!

  • If he’s in touch with flat-mates on line, get them to all take in something towards a first-night-away-from-home meal. Not my suggestion but borrowed from one of elder daughter’s flat mates at UWA. She picked up a chicken and bag of potatoes and they all joined in with tinned baked beans and such. Great as a way to bond on that first day and stop everyone sneaking off to their rooms.

  • Thanks so much, Jackie. I’m going to try not to muscle in but I might have to pop in now and again! Also, I agree with you about favourite mugs – and he’s already marked out which ones he wants to take.

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