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5 things that are super important to bring to university (that you may not have thought of!)

By Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, on 29 August 2023

a picture of a suitcase with a camera, laptop and sunglasses next to it
Hi, I’m Emily, I’m a second-year Medical Physics student at UCL and here are 5 things I would definitely recommend bringing with you or purchasing before you start university in September!

  1. Any novelty clothing items/fancy dress you own! If you join clubs or societies that partake in sports night, many will have a theme each Wednesday and no one wants to buy an extra pair of fairy wings when they already have a pair at home! Things like Halloween costumes (as 31st October comes around very quick in term 1), questionable Hawaiian shirts borrowed from your dad and neon leg warmers could all come in handy, so bring them! A popular first sports night theme is ‘Back to school’ so a school shirt/tie could also be useful, but do not worry if you forget, Primark is only 15 min away from campus!
  2. A medicine box. Everyone gets ill at some point during the year, and if you think you’ve dodged freshers flu in the first week or so, you will almost certainly get it from a lecture hall the week after (I still have no idea what my maths lecturer said in the introduction week, for I could not hear him over the cacophony of coughs and sneezes)! Make sure you have all the essentials such as paracetamol, cough sweets, Lemsip etc, and remember that supermarket own brand medicines are the exact same chemically but often under half the price (great for the student budget when you’re on Strepsil box number 5 like I was!). Bonus tip – store this box in your bedside table so you can reach it without moving, lifesaver.
  3. All the loyalty cards! We’re talking Tesco club card, Nectar card, Boots advantage card, the lot! Often there are special prices specifically for cardholders, and as they cost nothing to sign up for it is more than worthwhile. The Boots advantage card was a personal favourite of mine last year, as if you go in-store with your student ID they can link it and you get 10% off every time you shop – this is sometimes upped to 20% on certain weekends, and is great for stocking up on toiletries and meal deals! Also, if your flatmates can’t be bothered to sign up for any of these, send them a screenshot of your barcode and they can earn you points too! And what do points make… in Tesco’s case, I used mine for Pizza Express vouchers!
  4. Chargers for all your devices (and spare ones). Laptops and phones are used so much at Uni and the last thing you want is to be stuck in a lecture with no means of taking notes as your laptop is dead. Purchasing an extra-long cable could also be helpful for more awkward seats in the student centre and where the plug socket is just out of reach! You will also be the most popular person at pres when you have multiple phone chargers to hand out so no one’s phone dies at the club!
  5. A positive attitude! Yes, it’s cringey, but nothing is more important than being willing to get stuck in, meet new people and try activities you perhaps never even considered before. You want to make the absolute most out of your 3/4 years at UCL, and with endless clubs and societies to try out or even join as a member, you might as well start from the beginning! In my first week, I went to a cheerleading try out and a year on I can’t wait to go back to Uni and see my team again, it has truly been one of the best experiences, and that all came from being brave in freshers week and going alone to one of their socials (I promise it’s less scary than it sounds, especially after a cocktail or two haha!).

There are definitely a lot of other things to remember such as extension cables, Tupperware, and sparkly gems to jazz up your outfit for a night out, but none of these had much to say about them! Definitely check out packing lists online as I found that super helpful, but at the end of the day you are in Central London, and anything you forget will be easily purchased just a stone’s throw away!

This blog was written by Emily, Medical Physics

Photo by Anete Lūsiņa on Unsplash

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