The Daily Telegraph is carrying a piece today titled 10 tips for your room at university. All of them risible.
Unfortunately, many students have to live in a real world of bargain basement budgets and communal chaos. So, here are my 10 real tips for your room at university. And I’d welcome any more you can offer in the comments below.
10. Pack as little as you can. After those first few months of partying and fresher madness it’s likely you’ll want to move on. This will, in all likelihood, be the first of many moves over the next few years, so prepare to be peripatetic. So, no furniture (student halls are furnished as are most private digs), no nick nacks or ornaments and sod the frou frou curtains.
9. Take an emergency box with you on the day you move in. An ordinary packing box that you put a small kettle, tea and coffee, powdered milk, biscuits, tea towels, toilet paper, a small first aid kit and a bit of money for a takeaway in to. Make sure it’s easy to find.
8. Don’t bother taking posters – unless you have any particularly treasured prints. There will be a poster sale during fresher’s week. Your room will need them.
7. There will probably be a small kitchen and a microwave in your halls – shared with your floor or section. Buy a good wok and some wooden spoons. A wok? Yes – a wok. It’s the all purpose cooking pot. You will need other stuff, eventually, but most of that stuff can wait until you move out of halls. Forget all that crap about getting an authentic one. Everything you cook will taste of curry. Instead, get a good quality none-stick wok and don’t use metal things to stir your food.
6. Argos sell a mini 6 litre fridge for 44.99. Buy one. Keep it in your room. Put your milk and leftovers in it – or they will be scarfed by drunken students.
5. Charity shops aren’t just for musty old clothes. You can pick up cheap, decent crockery and cooking utensils from second hand shops. Cheap enough that you can leave it behind when you move on too – and you’re giving to charity. Bonus – try the Heart Foundation for old TVs and DVD players at disposable prices. Re-donate them when you move.
4. Get used to sleeping with ear plugs. Life in halls is noisy.
3. Get contents insurance for your expensive, portable items; your laptop, MP3 player and smartphone. Endsleigh do deals for students.
2. Don’t leave house-hunting too late. Start looking a couple of months before you’re due to move out of halls so you can get a feel for the market in your area.
1. When you’re ready to move on from halls, pick your house-mates carefully. Sharing with friends is fun, but it’s important that your lifestyle matches – or you won’t be friends for very long.