Tips for packing for Freshers' Week

Thursday 15-08-2019 - 16:56

Important documents 
The University will give you a list of important documents and pieces of paper you may need to bring with  you. 

If you’re living in halls of residence, rooms will be furnished with all of the essentials; a bed, a desk, a desk chair, etc. So, all there is left for you to worry about is the basics such as a duvet, pillows, bedsheets etc. You can check what's in your room here.  

Miscellaneous items 
These miscellaneous items might slip your mind whilst packing! You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how handy some of them will be:

  • A bag/rucksack for everyday use. 
  • Umbrella
  • Headphones
  • Small sewing kit
  • Holdall or 'weekend at home' bag
  • Clothes hangers
  • Slippers/Shower shoes - you might not want to walk in bare feet from the showers!  
  • Pack of cards 

A laptop is pretty essential! Having your own laptop for essays and desk research will come in handy, especially when wanting to study off campus! Laptops are also great for film nights or for catching up on TV! If you don’t already own a laptop, or you’re still considering buying one, the University do have computer facilities that you can use.

Basic toiletries & towels 
Whether you will have your own ensuite or share a communal bathroom with your flatmates, you will need to bring your own towels. It’s a good idea to bring more than one, so you have a spare when yours is in the wash! You will also need to bring basic toiletries such as a toothbrush and toothpaste, shower gel, shampoo, soap - Basically anything you use at home to wash with. Ensuite? It’s worth bringing a bathmat, toothbrush holder and a basket to keep your bathroom tidy!

Health and medical supplies 
If you take regular medication, remember to bring these with you. Try to bring enough to last you until you can register with the medical centre here at Brookes. Also, Freshers’ flu is a real thing, so be sure to pack some tissues and tea bags!

It’s easy to overpack! Try and only take the clothes you need. Some comfy clothes and footwear for long days on campus, sportswear for activity, as well as things to wear for nights out. British weather can be unpredictable so it's a good idea to bring a range of clothes. Perhaps a few warmer jumpers, a waterproof coat, shoes, t-shirts, jeans etc. Remember to pack a smart outfit too, if you plan to apply for jobs!

Even if you’re planning on using a laptop to take notes in lectures, it’s still a good idea to make sure you bring a supply of stationary with you just in case. E.g. Notebooks, diary, pens etc. 

Essential non-essentials 
Whether you’re staying in University halls or you’re in a student house, you want to make sure that your room is a positive environment. Why not take some home comforts with you? These items aren’t exactly essentials, but we can almost guarantee that you’ll want them for your new room, to give it that touch of home. Whether it’s photos, a particular cushion, a teddy bear, blanket, fairy lights (battery powered only), or something else, these little bits and pieces can help you feel at home and make the place look cosy! 


Food supplies
Bring enough food supplies for the first few days. It’s a good idea to see how much storage space you will have before buying lots of food in bulk. Plus, there are plenty of shops in the local area where you can stock up on food after the weekend. Remember, there's free food at our Arrivals Festival Welcome Party on campus on Arrivals Weekend too (Don’t forget to bring your voucher from the Brookes Union welcome booklet)! 

It’s a good idea to check what is supplied in your accommodation before you buy anything. Electrical appliances such as kettles, fridges, microwaves etc are generally included and all the residences will have basic cleaning equipment, ie mop and vacuum cleaner. However, in general, you will need to bring the basic items such as pots, pans, crockery, cutlery, cups and perhaps your favourite mug! 

**If there are items you've forgotten to pack, it's not the end of the world. Most things can be bought from nearby shops, or collected from home at a later date!

What not to pack *Tips*

Let’s get the tough bit out the way first…Unfortunately you cannot take your dog, kitten, budgie, rabbit, or hamster to halls with you (No, not even a goldfish!). We don’t allow pets of any kind, so we’re afraid you’ll have to leave your pet friends at home, as wherever you’re staying, they won’t be allowed. Brookes Union do however, endeavour to host wellbeing events throughout the year, featuring the wonderful Guide Dogs Charity (So plenty of doggy cuddles)!

Excessive stationery 
Whilst we recommend keeping organised from the start of term, do you really need highlighters in every colour of the rainbow or your geometry set from school? Not only can this take up a lot of space, but you can purchase all the stationery items you will need once you arrive. For now, we would suggest you pack a notepad and pencil case with a few pens! 

Your entire wardrobe 
Do you really need fifteen pairs of shoes, ten coats, or that prom dress from school? Whilst it may be tempting to pack for all occasions, try to resist the urge in bringing your entire wardrobe. Remember, space can be very limited in student accommodation! You can always take a selection of clothes you’ll need for your first term and pick up anything extra you need the next time you visit home. It may be useful to research the average weather you can expect day-to-day where you’ll be studying. 

All your textbooks and previous study material
You might have the best intentions, but it is unlikely that you will need all your textbooks and notes from your school days. At University, you’ll be starting afresh, so for now it would be sensible to leave your old study material at home, unless it turns out that something may come in handy! Each University course will have a reading list. You may want to buy any books you think are essential in advance, but it may be worth waiting and checking the list with your lecturer or seeing whether the library has them! 

Large appliances 
No need to bring your whole kitchen! University halls provide large appliances such as washing machines, fridges and cookers, so just the smaller kitchenware will be necessary! If in doubt about what you can cross off your checklist, contact the university’s residential team for a list on what will be provided.

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