What to bring blog number two. Time to move into your study bedroom! Again this is a list of basics to get you through the first few weeks. As before, once you work out what everyone else has and what you really need you can add to this.
So here we go…
Duvet: (or whatever bedding you prefer.) A synthetic one is probably a better idea than a feather or down quilt as it is easier to wash if you need to (“accidents” do happen!)
Pillows: Again synthetic ones are probably the best idea.
Duvet Cover/ Pillowcase/ Sheet: Three sets is a good idea. One on the bed. One in the wash and one as a spare just in case. (Check with accommodation in September and they will confirm what size bed you have in your room). Don’t worry about what’s on your covers- I have Doctor Who, Star Trek and Basil Brush. I am not ashamed of this. (Although maybe I should be.)
Blanket: I have a fleece blanket which is great for extra warmth, but also good for when it gets too hot for the duvet. It is also quite nice for middle of the night fire alarms and when you are poorly.
Sleeping Bag: Always a good idea for visitors. Also as emergency bedding (see above for “accidents”) And the occasional trip away.
Towels: A couple of big bath sheets and two hand towels is probably enough. Get coloured ones rather than white and then they can be washed with your regular laundry. (Don’t use fabric conditioner on towels though.) It is also handy to have a Gym/ Beach/ Swimming towel and if you have long hair, a turban towel!
Laundry Bag: Something strong, durable and waterproof. (If all else fails the Blue Ikea Bags work well.) This is for transporting dirty clothes to the laundry but also to keep dirty clothes from making your room smell of unwashed sock. And leading on…. Sock Bags: These mesh bags are your friends. They can be obtained from pound shops and places like Wilkinsons. The idea is you place your socks and underwear in them, zip them up and wash the whole thing. This prevents your socks from being eaten by the washing machines and your dirty pants falling onto the floor in front of the person you really fancy. (This will happen if you do not use sock bags. I have suffered so you don’t have to.) They are also good if you have anything delicate you want to protect in the wash (for example if you have things with sequins or lace on them.)
Washing Powder/ Fabric Softener: This is down to personal preference but it is cheaper to buy a large box of whatever powder is on offer and use a Tupperware tub to transport what you need to the laundrette. Fabric softener is again down to personal preference but the same applies- get a big bottle and decant what you need into a smaller bottle (a panda-pop bottle works well).
Extension Lead: Buy a new one and keep the receipt (and bring the receipt with you.) I have four plug sockets in my room but this number varies from hall to hall. And plug sockets are rarely where you actually want them to be! Consider getting a lead with Surge Protect if you are going to plug in your computer.
White Tack: For putting up posters etc. The University does not approve of Blu-Tac as it leaves blue marks on the walls! Also Drawing Pins for pinning things to your notice board. (DO NOT use drawing pins on your walls or ceiling.)
Headphones: For listening to late night music so you don’t disturb your flatmates. During exam times the University asks you to keep noise to a minimum so a pair of comfy on-the ear headphones rather than the in-the-ear type are a good idea.
MUSIC: This is again entirely down to personal preference. You can simply bring speakers for your computer and load all your music onto that or bring an MP3/ I-Pod Doc. I personally have a small stereo which has a CD player and DAB radio but also has an MP3 doc and USB port built in. This was mostly because I have a lot of obscure music on CD and couldn’t be bothered to download it all. On the subject of downloading, it is well worth investing in an external hard drive for your computer to store music and films on. Should anything happen to your computer at least the stuff on the hard drive is safe. If you bring DVDs/ CDs with you it is worth considering buying a large CD wallet to keep them all in so you can leave the cases at home and take up less space in your room.
Posters/ Postcards/ Photos: Really whatever you like to put up and make your room yours. There is usually a poster sale at the start of term so you can pick up some good things there as well. The University Arts Centre sells posters, postcards and prints as do several shops in town.
Games: Twister, Kerplunk, Jenga and Poker/ Cards are particular favourites as these can be played by lots of people in various stages of sobriety. However remember that it is University not a 1950s Youth Hostel. (TOP TIP: Most of the charity shops in Aber sell second hand games very cheaply and you can just re-donate them once you get bored with them.)
TV: If you really don’t want to watch films on your computer. However:
TV Licence: If you only intend to watch DVDs and Films/ Programmes via Netflix (or similar)or use your TV set just for playing games you DO NOT need a TV Licence.
If you intend to watch BBC Television programmes / Channels as they are being broadcast (and not on Catch-up) you require a licence. (This includes watching them on a computer)
Check on the TV Licence website for full details of how the licence works. There are a lot of rumours and misinformation regarding TV licences and most of these are detailed on the website.
Repair Kit: I cannot emphasise the need for duct tape enough. Get a roll. It is your friend. There is almost nothing it can’t make better. Also bring a small tube of Superglue. A couple of screwdrivers. Safety pins and a sewing kit.