Your accommodation

What to bring with you

With all the excitement of moving to a new city and starting university it’s easy to forget some of the hundreds of things that you will need. Our students have come up with a list of most important items they think every student needs in their room.

Top tip: Before you start packing make a list of absolutely everything you use in an entire week – start Monday morning when you wake up and keep writing down everything you use, from toothbrushes to toilet cleaner to wooden spoons to coat hangers, make sure you include everything (including things your parents use if you don’t do everything yourself).

This will make it so much easier when you come to writing a shopping list and a packing list. Basically, make sure you bring everything you need – don’t over-pack, because it will be a nightmare come the end of the year when you have to take it all out again.

Jessica Louise & Lauren Jepson – University of Lincoln Students

  1. Everyday clothes (for lectures, the library etc)
  2. Pyjamas, dressing gown and slippers
  3. Night out clothes
  4. Smart clothes (for careers events or interviews)
  5. Sports/gym clothes (in case you join a gym or take up a new sport)
  6. Fancy dress (uni nights out often include fun themes)
  1. Sheet x2
  2. Duvet cover x2
  3. Duvet
  4. Pillows
  5. Cushions and blanket (to make your bed feel cosy)
  6. Towels (two body towels and two hand towels)
Electrical items
  1. Laptop and charger (if you don’t have your own, don’t worry! There are PCs and Macs you can use to do your uni work on campus and also laptops you can borrow from the library)
  2. Phone and charger
  3. Extension leads
  4. Hairdryer and/or straighteners
  5. Headphones
  6. Electric toothbrush and charger
  7. Speaker (non-essential but will be guaranteed to win over your flatmates)
  8. Battery powered Fairy lights (again, non-essential but will make your room cosy and homely)
Miscellaneous items
  1. Toiletries
  2. Pain killers and cold medicine (freshers flu is inevitable)
  3. Medication/contact lenses
  4. Stationery (pens, plastic folders and wallets, highlighters, diary and notebook)
  5. Textbooks
  6. Coat hangers
  7. Clothes horse
  8. Room decorations/plants
  9. Blue tac for putting posters up (but try not to leave any marks on the wall!)
  10. Pack of cards for games with your flat
  11. Cleaning products (anti bac spray, bleach etc)
  12. Loo roll/kitchen roll
  13. Multivitamins
  14. Washing tabs/Fabric softener (tablets that contain fabric conditioner as well are a great option!)
Kitchen items
  1. Plates x2
  2. Bowls x2
  3. Mugs x2
  4. Glasses x2
  5. Set of cutlery x2
  6. Wooden spoon
  7. Spatula
  8. Sharp knife x2
  9. Grater
  10. Peeler
  11. Tin opener
  12. Sieve
  13. Frying pan
  14. Saucepan
  15. Baking tray
  16. Chopping board
  17. Oven gloves
  18. Sponges and cloth
  19. Washing up liquid
  20. Tupperware
  21. Student cookbook
  1. Valid passport and/or driving licence (ID)
  2. University admission acceptance letter
  3. Course acceptance letter
  4. Accommodation contract
  5. Student Finance documents
  6. Scholarship or bursary letters
  7. Insurance documents (cheap student contents insurance)
  8. Passport photos
  9. Vaccination history (speak to GP before you go)
  10. Prescription copies
  11. Bank debit card (best student bank accounts)
  12. Student discount cards (e.g. 16-25 railcard)
  13. NHS Number
  14. National Insurance Number

What you might not think you’ll need…

Clothes horse

The cost of washing and drying your clothes can quickly add up, so to help reduce this cost invest in a small clothes horse. Not only is this better for the environment you’ll also save a few pounds.

Quick tip: use a dryer after washing bed sheets and towels as these are too big to hang out to dry in a uni room

Mattress topper

If you’re in halls a mattresses topper will make your life a whole lot comfier. Not only do they transform your bed into a cloud of happiness, they’re very affordable too!

You can get a double size mattress topper for £20 and it’s definitely a good investment. If you’re a bit short on pennies, try cutting down on takeaways/going out and you’ll have that £20 spare in no time.

Shower Caddy

This is the one that is most forgotten! Buying a little shower caddy, particularly ones that can hook over your shower and ‘float’ is a must – it ensures you’ve got all your essentials in the shower without cluttering up the limited floor space.

Extension leads

Investing in one or two extension leads is a must as not only will you have all your chargers for your tech bits, you’ve got space for other essentials.

Just make sure you check in your tenancy agreement that extension leads are allowed in your room and never plug one extension lead into another!

Kitchen Accessories

Only get the the kitchen accessories you’ll personally use. Your flatmates won’t necessarily be up for sharing – especially straight away – and you will be happier with the freedom of being able to cook whenever you like without having to worry about washing up your flatmates’ pan.

This will include plates, bowls, mugs, cups, pans and maybe a spatula or two, but just enough for yourself mind (1 or 2).

Pizza tray

As much as we tell ourselves when we’re at uni we’re gonna eat healthily and go to the gym, sometimes our busy schedules can get the better of us and before you know it you’ve had takeout pizza twice in a week.

To try and cut back on your spending (and to give you a slightly healthier option) invest in a good pizza tray. Frozen pizzas are (in my opinion) almost as good as a takeaway pizza, plus they’re 20% of the price so you can’t go wrong!

What not to bring

As for things not to bring… different kitchen appliances that you will rarely use (rice cooker, toastie maker, etc.), an iron (just hang your clothes around- nobody has time to iron) also, don’t bring every single item of clothing you own (you will need some clothes when you go back home). Make sure to check what is and isn’t allowed in student accommodation as well, for example candles are strictly not allowed.

Jessica Louise & Lauren Jepson – University of Lincoln Students

Settling in

Making your room feel homely

As for your bedroom, lamps and/or fairy lights are great for relaxing in the evening and a big fluffy dressing gown to get cosy in when it’s cold can feel like a lifesaver! A whiteboard is an essential as it comes in very handy when revising or for writing daily reminders on. Coat hangers are also must and something that people commonly forget.

Living in University accommodation

Living on campus is convenient for getting into uni and a great way to meet new people. Courts is just one choice of university run accommodation blocks, with many more to choose from both on and off campus.

Residential Wardens

The Residential Wardens are a diverse team of current students, who support those living in University owned and Managed accommodation, as part of the University’s 24/7 support.

Living with others

Bonding with your flatmates

Sharing your flat with a group of strangers could feel very daunting and unfamiliar – AT FIRST.

Here are ideas for activities you can do together, to unite you everyone and bring you together as a group.

Harry Rofe – Media Studies graduate

1. Games night

Be it classic board games such as Monopoly and Cluedo, or card games like Uno and Cards Against Humanity, games are a good way of getting everyone in one room doing something fun. Studies have shown that board games can reduce stress and improve mental health, so a games night is a perfect way of recovering after a day of hard work and study.

2. Flat movie night

Everyone has a favourite film so why not take it in turns to share yours with your flatmates? Grabbing your go to snacks and watching a good (or very bad) movie allows those who are quiet and less social to get involved too, but it also opens up the conversation afterwards (or during if you’re one of those people!)

3. Group meals once or twice a week

Cooking as a group is not only cheaper but a great way to get everyone socialising too! Food varies all across the U.K and around the world, so why not bring a bit of home with you to university and cook your flatmates a dish that is special to you. Sharing memories and life experiences through food is good way of connecting with each other, whilst still embracing your individuality.

4. Bake off!

Nothing brings people together like friendly competition. An easy way to do this is to pick a bake-off day and then one person each week takes their turn to bake. The bakes are then scored and the highest scored wins. This could also coincide with The Great British Bake Off on TV because nothing’s better than having a snack while you watch!

5. Get creative

If you and your flatmates are more creatively inclined why not try; jigsaws, making a collage, scrapbooking, or even pumpkin carving!

6. Explore Lincoln

There is so much to discover in and around this beautiful city. If history and heritage is your thing (or even if it isn’t) be sure to check out the Cathedral, Castle and The Collection. If nature and walks are more your thing then the West Common, Fossdyke Canal and Hartsholme Country Park are worth checking out.

7. Not a night out, but a night in!

Why not recreate a night out in your own flat/house. Throw on some great tunes and get the dance moves going! If you are feeling courageous, flat karaoke could be an easy way of breaking the ice whilst showing off your amazing (or non existent) singing skills.

Being a good housemate

This is essential knowledge for anyone going to University. For many students this is the first time you will be living away from your parents. No longer will dishes magically disappear from the sides, clothes won’t disappear off the floor by themselves anymore and miraculously end up clean and folded in your drawer. These are things that you will have to do yourself, especially if you want to be a good housemate.

Owen Liggins – 1st Year MChem Chemistry for Drug Discovery and Development

1. If you cook, make sure you clean!

There is nothing worse than coming into the kitchen after a long day at university, ready to cook a nice meal and seeing dirty dishes all over the side and blocking all the hobs. Therefore, it is essential that you clean up after yourself in order to maintain a clean and tidy household. Not only will your housemates be happy with it, it will make your life easier as well.

2. Clean up other messes in general

Whether this be in the kitchen, the living room, the bedroom, or even unfortunately the bathroom. Make sure you clean up after yourself, whatever the circumstance. If you don’t have time to clean something, message your group chat and give them a heads up.

3. Having guests over

Picture this, you’re in your room watching Netflix in your pyjamas, and it’s midnight snack time. You head to the kitchen to grab some food, and suddenly you’re welcomed by 30 people (government guidelines permitting) looking at you as your grab your chocolate and head back to your room. So, make sure you tell your housemates in order to avoid any uncomfortable interactions.

4. Communicate

If you feel like someone isn’t pulling their weight in the house, don’t just judge them silently and let it become a bigger issue than it needs to be. Let them know that they aren’t doing enough to keep the house tidy and they will more than likely be apologetic and correct this.

5. Pay for your share

House products can be very expensive, especially if you’re having to buy them most weeks. So, make sure you do your bit and buy some toilet roll or washing up liquid for the house every now and then. You can always create a rota to make sure everyone is spending an equal amount of money.

6. Don’t eat your housemates’ food

This should go without saying. If you haven’t bought it, don’t eat it. Nothing else to add here, just don’t eat or drink anyone else’s things.

7. Check up on your housemates

Most importantly, check if your housemates are ok. Being a student can be stressful so make sure everyone is coping ok, this is the best way to be a good housemate.

If you’re ever worried about one of your friends or housemates take a look at this guide:

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