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Essential kit for freshers...

Charlotte Pike, author of The Hungry Student series of cookbooks, offers a few tips to anyone about to set off on their fresher's year...

Posted on 19th August 2013 by Waterstones

Charlotte Pike

Heading off to Uni can be such an exciting time. There’s so much to think about, but don’t stress about what you need to take with you. Here’s a quick run through all the essential kit you’ll need.

First things first. Once you’ve arrived at Uni, you’ll need to find your room, settle in and unpack. If you can, it’s always a great idea to take some things with you to make your room your own, especially if it’s your first time away from home. Take a dock or some speakers for your music, and some pictures, posters, or photos for your walls. A lamp, a throw, some fairy lights and some cushions are all likely to be useful and will make your room more comfortable. Pack some adhesive putty and drawing pins for setting up. You want to take enough stuff to personalize your room but not too much – you will, most likely accumulate an awful lot of stuff throughout the year!

If you like your home comforts, you might like to think about taking your own pillows, duvet and sheets. Hangers, a clothes horse and a collapsible laundry basket are all useful, too. If you’re sharing a bathroom, then flip flops, a dressing gown and a shower bag or caddy are all worth considering taking with you.

Sooner rather than later, you’re going to have to think about feeding yourself. In terms of kitchen equipment, the bare minimum you’ll need to cook is a decent quality medium-sized saucepan, a good medium frying pan, a chopping board and a few utensils, such as a sharp knife, a couple of wooden spoons and a fish slice. A colander, a peeler and a grater are also really handy to have. You’ll find a full list of essential kit in The Hungry Student Cookbooks. Take a couple of plates, bowls, glasses, mugs and cutlery. A kettle is very handy for your room, too. Oh, and a biscuit tin.

If you can, it’s a great idea to go shopping with a parent or get an online shop delivered so that you have all the essential store cupboard bits and pieces you need in at the start of term. This will also save you loads of money over the coming weeks, as you should only need to top up your shop with fresh ingredients. Stock up on things like olive oil and tinned food, pasta, stock cubes, flour, sugar, tea, coffee, herbs and spices which will be invaluable over the coming term. Whilst you’re at it, stock up on laundry detergent and other essentials, such as washing up liquid, cling film and foil, too. 

The first few weeks at Uni are generally pretty full-on, and you may find yourself going out every night for weeks on end. Some effervescent vitamin tablets are helpful to have to hand, as is some cold and flu medicine for when the inevitable Fresher’s flu strikes.

In terms of making friends, it’s a great idea to take a good stash of DVDs which will always come in handy. Take plenty of tea, coffee and biscuits, and some wine or beer if you fancy it (not forgetting a corkscrew and bottle opener!) – and your room will be the place to be!

Charlotte Pike, for Waterstones.com/blog


The Hungry Student's Cookbooks are available at your local Waterstones bookshop (http://bit.ly/Yu5LpV) or online at Waterstones.com (http://bit.ly/1anOXoE)