‘Don’t over pack!’ is one of the most common responses whenever we ask students for the advice they would give for those about to arrive on campus for the first time. It can be tricky to know what you might need and what you should bring with you, so this is definitely a decision that shouldn’t be based on ‘what more can I cram into the car/suitcase?’
So with this in mind, listen to the voice of experience as these students and staff share their top tips so you can save yourself the pain of trying to squeeze in a second food dehydrator…
- Aleena, psychology student and Liane, English Language and Linguistics student – ‘make a packing list’
Aleena: ‘making a list would be useful as I found I missed out a lot of essentials and had to spend money buying things I already had at home.’ Fortunately we have a packing list to help get you started but another piece of advice is to ‘pack boxes so items related are put together (e.g. kitchen, bedding, bathroom etc.)’ says Liane ‘this makes unpacking quicker and easier’.
- Laura, from our Accommodation Team – ‘check what’s already in your room’
All rooms on campus will have some items included, so know what’s already included to avoid wasting valuable space by packing a duplicate. You can check what is in your Canterbury room or Medway bedroom We’re not just talking about big things either, for example we’ve provided cleaning products in the accommodation kitchens and cleaning cloths in your bedroom, but when you pop to the shops you’ll still need to pick-up a few other bits and bobs like washing up liquid, sponges, and laundry detergent.
- Omar, Architecture student – ‘don’t forget the essentials but prioritise things you can’t easily buy’
Bring your chargers and double check on things that you need to use every day, such as soap, as it’s easy to forget. But don’t worry too much about these as you can literally get them from anywhere, just mainly bring the things that aren’t easily bought or replaced if you need them.
- Becky, from our Housekeeping Team – ‘know your bed sizes’
Aside from forgotten passports or driver’s licences this is one of the most common mishaps for new students. There are different bed sizes across the rooms on campus (and in private accommodation) so don’t buy any bedding until you have accepted your room offer so you can double check the bed size online so you know what sheets to buy. Some folks have trouble getting hold of sheets for the 7ft beds, but a king size flat sheet will fit.
- Phil, from our Catering Team – ‘don’t pack the kitchen sink’
Just bring enough to get you started as you may want to go in with your flatmates for to buy some items. If you live in part-catered accommodation you shouldn’t need anything beyond your basic crockery and cutlery, as kettles are provided. If you’re going to live in self-catered accommodation we suggest just buying a set of crockery and cutlery for yourself, plus food storage containers and basic pots and pans.
- Beth, History and Social Anthropology student – ‘make it home’
Best bit of advice was to bring decorative items. Strings of lights, small potted plants for the windowsill or desk, photo frames with silly, happy photos, blankets and pillows, etc. It makes the room that bit more comforting and homely, and can help with the homesickness.
- Alexander, Anthropology student – ‘bring something to break the ice’
‘Bring sweets, give them to your flatmates when you introduce yourself’. If sweets aren’t your thing, and you’re feeling nervous about introducing yourself just remember your fellow students Eve and Becky’s advice ‘don’t stress, everyone’s in the same boat and wants to make new friends too […] put yourself out there and make friends. Particularly at this time, campus is a great place to be for that’.
Of course, there are also some things you should 100% not be bringing. You can probably guess these but anything with a naked flame, (such as candles, incense, joss sticks, oil burners, barbeques, or smoking paraphernalia) is one to avoid. Cars, mini-fridges, adhesive strip lights, heated airers, multi-way cube adaptors and pets are some of the other items featured on the restricted items list which can be found in the Accommodation Handbook if you need to double check anything.
Our Canterbury Arrivals and Medway Arrivals pages are full of useful info to help get you ready to arrive at Kent including more info on what to bring (Canterbury and Medway editions). Plus we’ve got more advice from previous students coming your way, including tips for settling in, so keep an eye on the Accommodation Twitter and Facebook pages for all the latest blogs and useful information before you arrive.
We look forward to welcoming you to Kent soon!