My guide to Uni prep & settling in

Hey there! February is nearly over, meaning it’s basically march and therefore, one month closer to University.

This week’s post will be a mish mash of what I would say to bring to University and the easiest ways to settle into University life! So, let’s get stuck right in!

Uni Prep

In the months working up to attending University, I was super excited and made sure I had everything planned in terms of decorating my room & making it my own. I thought that I’d be less homesick if I had a room that I really loved and felt homely, and in fact, it worked. So here’s a list of things that I brought along to uni & you can take ideas and adapt them in any way you like:

  • The room essentials 

    So my first task was to pick a theme for my room, I chose a simple black and white theme because I thought it would be easy to find loads of little bits that would fit in with it. The university doesn’t provide any bed linen, bar a mattress protector which we were given where I was living (in the Meadows); so remember to pack your pillows, duvet & all of that malarkey. Along with that, you’re gonna need things like a toothbrush holder, towel (bathroom stuff etc) plus a lamp for your desk if your accommodation doesn’t provide one. Believe it or not, that pretty much covers the bare minimum you need to survive in your uni room.


Moving in day. Conway House, The Meadows, 2014


  • The study essentials

As you know, you’ll need some study equipment for university, luckily, Essex’s accommodation provides pinboards in each room, but other than that you’ll need to bring the rest! You’ll need the following:

  1. Laptop – I’d say it’s essential, however, if you’re unable to get one, the University has many computer labs for you to work from, along with our Albert Sloman Library
  2. Pens/Highlighters – Pretty much goes without saying, you’ll need to take notes etc etc
  3. Notepad – I use my laptop to take notes in lectures, but some prefer handwritten notes, if so, you’ll need a notepad of some sort
  4. Pins – For the Pinboard, duhh!
  5. Sticky Notes – For erm.. The pinboard? In all fairness, they generally don’t stay sticky for long, so this is where the pins come in! Plus, they come in handy for bookmarking.
Screen Shot 2017-02-26 at 16.03.57.png
The Albert Sloman Library, University of Essex.
  • The Kitchen essentials

Whether or not you plan on cooking (maybe pot noodle every day is your thing), you’re going to need some essentials for your kitchen (or your room, depending on where you wanna keep them).

Hey! sometimes you don’t want to cook OKAY
  1. Pots & Pans – Good for making a casserole or some super noodles when you’ve run out of pot noodle!
  2. Cutlery & Crockery – If you’re like me, you can bring an entire household set, however, many students decide to bring enough for themselves i.e. a couple knives and forks and a mug or two.
  3. Food &Snacks – for when you’re feeling peckish, which I usually just stole from my house on the weekends when my mum wasn’t looking (sorry mum, but it’s hard times at uni!)
The Meadows Kitchen
  • Cleaning Supplies

Sorry to break it to you, but cleaners generally clean the hallways & usually the kitchen (the floors and tables), so the rest is down to ya’ll! It helps if you bring a few of the following:

  1. Bathroom cleaners (especially if you have an ensuite)
  2. Polish (for your desk etc)
  3. Bleach (for errrrrrthang)
  4. Kitchen cleaners, these can be shared between your flatmates though

Now we’ve covered the essentials, I wanted to let you guys know about a few extra things that I brought to Uni, because you know, I’m extra 🙂

I took moving to uni as an opportunity to reinvent my whole living space, I didn’t have much leeway to do so at home (as I’d just moved house), so I decided to do a little interior design:

  1. A Rug – I wanted to make it a little cosy, so I put one beside my bed
  2. A TV – You’ll probably need a TV License & you’ll probably hardly ever watch it (to be honest, I watched everything on my laptop), BUT it pulls the room together!
  3. Fairy lights & Flameless Candles – I’m a sucker for some relaxed ambiance and since you can’t have actual candles, I picked up some battery-powered ones from amazon, along with some Ikea fairy lights without breaking the bank.
  4. Ornaments – I brought my Buddha head with me, I’m a Buddhist too so it was a great choice for me.
  5. Polaroid Pictures – With uni comes being away from your family and friends back home, so some pictures to remind you of them are always handy.
  6. Wall Decals – I’m not actually sure whether you’re allowed to use these (lol) but at the time I thought you were. I had a cute statement printed kinda stuck on my wall, it looked great but to be fair, but it was hell to get off so I wouldn’t recommend it… Maybe try some posters?

This was my room on moving in day:

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My room in The Meadows on moving in day

I hope that’s given you some idea as to what to bring to uni. Before I leave, I wanted to give you some kind words for settling into your new home!

Settling in

Settling into uni & making new friends honestly sounds more daunting than it actually is. On moving in day, everyone is in the same boat and probably equally as scared, so here’s some final tips:

  1. Don’t be afraid to be the first to make conversation, your flatmates will probably appreciate you more for it
  2. Have a flat meeting or dinner to get to know each other at some time during the first night or week
  3. Head out to freshers with your flat at some point, you’ll even have a group to go home with
  4. If you don’t want to have an entire night with them, maybe have some pre-drinks with them, it’s always a laugh

It can definitely be daunting, but at least one of these tips will come in handy from my experience. I was lucky enough to have a close flat in my first year, so we did do a lot together and all of the fear I had at the beginning, dissolved by my first evening at Essex!

Freshers is one of the best opportunities to make friends and feel super comfortable at uni, it worked for me! To read a bit more about it, head over to my post from last week!

For now, check out some pictures I found from my freshers week in 2014!

What’s freshers week without alcohol? Loads of it
More alcohol in jelly form for pre-drinks
Before the Sub Zero UV Paint Party












That’s it from me!

Have a great week,

Mon x


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