Tag Archives: school

Part One: Going to university, what to pack?!

This is the first in the series about university life. I base what I write on my experiences of living in halls and private housing while I’ve been doing my engineering degree for the last 4 years. I hope they help! If you have any questions just pop them in the comments and I’ll get back to you. 🙂 

What to take the bare minimum.

Remember that the room/ storage you get given will probably be a lot less than you are used to at home so you are unlikely to have room for everything! Plus when you’re at uni you are likely to accumulate things- even if it’s just notes, so you will need to have room in the car/ suitcase to take them back home with you at the end of the year!

label your stuff that way no one claims your things thinking they are theirs because they didn’t see what Mum unpacked for them!!

  • mixing bowl
  • wooden or silicon spoon, potato masher, spaghetti scoop (great for stews and all types of pasta etc)
  • saucepan (I tend to use my saucepan as a frying pan too as I’m only cooking for 1!) It’s handy to have 2 saucepans one for sauce the other for rice/pasta/potatoes.
  • Baking tray and roasting dish
  • Measuring jug
  • Sharp knife- I have a small one with a sheath and a larger one
  • Chopping board
  • cutlery (2 sets of knife, fork, spoon & teaspoon as minimum and spare teaspoons- no idea where they go to!)
  • a couple of plates, bowls, glasses and mugs
  • storage Tupperware type boxes with lids
  • kitchen foil and plastic wrap
  • can opener and  vegetable peeler
  • dish spongers with a scrubber on the back and dish soap!

You may also need a kettle/ toaster- see what uni provides and try to get in contact with future housemates through facebook pages for your halls to see what others are bringing! You don’t want to end up with 5 toasters!!!

For store cupboard ingredients and basics see my post “Food for University”.


Your choice here, but here are some things to remember:

Take lots and lots of underwear. Seriously! Uni laundrettes are expensive and have large drums so it will take you a while to get enough stuff to fill it! Have enough clothes so you can do a darks wash and a lights wash to save having white t-shirts etc go funny shades of blue and pink.

Going out stuff- I’d not really gone on a night out before and took nothing for this type of occasion. A couple of dresses and a pair of heels (ladies) or smarter jeans/ trousers and a couple of nice shirts (gentlemen) would do!

Practical things- a proper waterproof coat and umbrella never go amiss in the UK! Warm socks and wellies are also a good option! Also warm jumpers can be useful if you have bad heating in your halls/ lecture rooms.
Flipflops for the showers are a good idea as well and don’t forget your towel!!!!


Take a tin of roses chocolates, or tub of biscuits- so useful to make friends with people with as they knock on your door to say hello to their new flatmate!

  • Cereal bars- great for when you’re in a rush to get out of the door!
  • Pens and paper. I have no idea why people forget these as I’m sure everyone knows you go to university to study and at some point these items will be useful?? Don’t forget these as it’s annoying to have just met someone on the first day of your course and already they are leaching off you for stationary!
     Having a diary is useful too as you will suddenly have a lot of dates times and places to remember as well as deadlines. I’m currently using a Filofax which I LOVE (see my posts on using a Filofax at uni) but I one had a Palgrave Student Planner which was fabulous.
  • If you have a bike take a motorcycle lock not a d-lock; d-locks are easy to take off even though they (university security/ police) normally recommend them! I’d also recommend a laptop lock. Great for keeping it safe in your room, but also for when you need a toilet break in the library!
  • Things to make your place a little homely- photos, posters (if your allowed), pot plant, your musical instrument etc.
  • Finally a bit of a random one… toilet paper. You do not want to arrive and have none of this handy as most local supermarkets will have sold out as all students seem to arrive with none!

What not to take… for example, expensive kitchen stuff- your new housemates will probably not respect it how you would like- it may get taken or broken. If you do have expensive stuff make sure you wash it up straight away and take it back to your room.

I also wouldn’t take expensive jewellery or things that have a large sentimental value to you for the same reason. Even if you do get some insurance with your room it probably won’t cover things like this.  Check to see what your parents household insurance covers- sometimes you can be lucky and it will cover your mobile phone etc.

Hope you find these pointers useful, have fun packing and I hope you check out some of the other parts in the series below as they become live!

Series One: University

Part One: Going to university, what to pack?!
Part Two: Beating Homesickness and Fresher Blues- coping on your own
Part Three: Food for University
Part Four: Lecture note writing for easy revision
Part Five: University Organisation
Part Six: Dyslexia at University


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The long weekend: Part 1

I’ve been meaning to blog about this for the last week, but for one reason or another I wasn’t able to get around to it till now. Actually I shouldn’t be doing it now either! I should be writing up the lab report I didn’t get around to doing at the weekend, but hey, it’s not like it’s due till the 6th of May, it can wait a day right?

As this post has turned out to be rather lengthy to say the least, I’m going to turn it into 2 posts 😛


I went home the weekend before last  to see my family and my boyfriend, as I try to do every second weekend during the term. Normally I don’t get home till around lunchtime on the Saturday, and work from 10am-4pm on the Sunday before returning to Uni in the evening, so it ends up being a very short weekend home. However this weekend I didn’t have work, and travelled home on the Friday evening so relatively speaking I had a ‘long weekend’ away!

I had a pretty stressful week prior to going away as I had a maths test last thing on a Friday afternoon, and had alot of revision to do, which I had to fit around labs that I’d forgotten about!

I was really happy when my friend from school rang me up on the Friday afternoon and said that she was picking her sister up from the station in town and would I like to meet up with her- de stress with some shopping before catching the train? Errr yes please! Although I didn’t manage to get the bracelet chain I’d wanted to get while there, it was really nice to see my friend and her sister who I’d never met before. 🙂 Then on the train I saw a boy from my secondary school who I knew so spent the journey with him catching up with news of what everyone was doing since I’d last saw them before Christmas.

On the Saturday my parents had planned a surprise for my sister, and had instructed my boyfriend and I NOT to tell my sister what we were doing. My sister did have suspicions that we might be going to the zoo, so we told her IF we were going there it would only to lock her up with the naughty monkeys (where she belongs! 😉 ) or to give the hungry tigers some food; while we went on the surprise trip out!

Although my sister is 8 she still cant read properly because she is very dyslexic so when I was texting a friend in the car I didn’t think to cover up what I was writing so she couldn’t see. Oh boy, was that a mistake! She read what I wrote, word for word “…I’m going to the zoo now though”.  Because I was so surprised that she had read what I’d written, I praised her lots, not realising that unintentionally I was also praising her for discovering where we were going! Totally spoilt the surprise but she was thrilled non the less!


We stopped off in the sweet town of Ulverston on the way where we had fish and chips and looked at the market for a little while. If I’d been going home (back to Brum) that day, I would have bought lots of yummy things to eat from the market!  There were some really scrummy looking cakes I’d have liked to have bought, even though I know I could have made them myself.

I won’t say too much about the zoo as I’ve already blogged about the time that we went for my sister’s birthday in the summer, but there were 2 things that really stuck out that I have to say about this trip. Firstly, the giraffes! I know they are tall- I’ve seen them before, but I’ve never been under them- WOW! Their heads are HUGE!!!! These pictures really don’t do them any justice at all!

Secondly was that my sister found a £10 note on the floor! Lucky thing! I guess someone else lost out though! Mum said she didn’t deserve it however as she had been really apathetic the whole time while we were at the zoo, not being bothered by anything and just having a grumpy face the whole time! She was allowed to keep the money though, and she bought a small stuffed  (toy) penguin for an overpriced amount, leaving her very little change.  😛

Final picture to end this post- how amazing are these peacock’s feathers? I love this picture I took 🙂

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