On moving in you’ll find yourself determined to get all the essentials bought ahead to be fully prepared. However, some of those might not be as “essential” as you first thought. Here’s a handy guide to the things you might, in hindsight, not need…
Okay it’s good to have a few things on hand for cooking whatever it is you go for on a day to day basis, but beyond the obvious (cutlery, spatula, pasta strainer etc), you really don’t need to spend a small fortune on the more elaborate bits and pieces that won’t ever get a use. I mean come on, how often do you expect to have need of a potato masher or a dozen different kitchen knives?
Besides, half this stuff will probably end up lost or stolen within a month of being there, and if you do by chance rediscover them a month from leaving for the summer, chances are they’ll be met with a look of bafflement as to why you ever bought the things in the first place.
This extends to other such kitchen appliances, beyond a toaster and a microwave (which should already be provided) anything else will just gather dust and take up space. Do you really need a slow cooker? Really do you?
Assignments tend to require a little bit of printing now and again, as you might have guessed. It’s reasonable to think therefore that the most cost effective way to prepare for this is to buy your own printer complete with a hefty amount of ink for the coming months, right? Wrong. Printer credits are usually dirt cheap at uni libraries – we’re talking around 5p a page or thereabouts – so in the long run you’ll probably save money and space, more importantly, by not bothering to bring all that along with you. Especially since the price of ink is about on a par with most rare precious stones, maybe give this one a miss for the sake of your bank account. If nothing else, you can always use this in a bartering system should the collapse of the banking system comes about during your studies…
As someone who insisted on bringing a guitar with him for EVERY YEAR of university and never learned, this comes from a very personal place. Do. Not. Bring. An. Instrument.
Unless you’re a music student or something similar, this will do nothing but gather dust in the corner of your already tight for space room. On the few occasions that you do decide to stretch your musical muscles, it will become the single most annoying thing for your flatmates to endure.
Consider this a handy side note for those of you who think bringing a guitar to a party is a great idea: don’t. People there are already having a good time without you ruining the vibe by playing “Wonderwall” five times in a row, and they’re certainly not thinking you’re the hottest thing in the room purely by being the loudest. Give it a rest.
A small bookshop’s worth of notebooks
Don’t let the technological marvels of 2016 fool you, a lot of people still use pen and paper to make notes in class and so a little bit of budgeting should go towards stationary and other such supplies. It’s important though, to know where to draw a line and to stop buying notebooks. Before you know it you’ll be up to your neck in planners, pads and ledgers with no room to breathe. There is such a thing as being over-prepared after all, and honestly even a notebook for every module is borderline excessive given that so much of the resources are online, you’ll likely fill less than half a pad for each class.
On the bright side, at least you’ll have enough paper for notes to last you the rest of your life, so those of you that will have designs to write those life changing novels you’re so certain to complete…
A whole new wardrobe
University is a great time to reinvent yourself from the inside out, so it stands to reason that you’d extend this to the way you dress. For the fashion conscious among you it may well be a necessity to get a new autumn/winter look ahead of Michaelmas term. The reality is that you’ll get so comfy in a particular set of clothes that you’ll never bother with anything else. To quote the Alanis Morrissette classic, it’s like 10,000 spoons when all you need is a pair of sweats. Or something. But seriously, while it’s tempting to hit the shops and spend big on a lot of shiny new threads, you really are better off getting what you know you’ll use for the duration.
Of course, your mileage may vary with all of these things. Maybe you’ll get use out of more of the stuff on this list, maybe you won’t. And while we’re not saying don’t treat yourself with a few of these things, maybe hold off until you’re settled in? After all it’s you who has to sit in the back of the car next to the mountain of shopping on moving-in day, so we’re just looking out for your personal safety…
Words by Simon Whitlock