What to pack for university: Miscallaneous

I’ve spoken through the main things that you will need to take to university for different categories; the bedroom, kitchen and stationary. There are a few bits that don’t however fit into those categories and so this last post in the series will feature more miscellaneous things you’ll want to remember.

Laundry: you’ll want to take a laundry basket to keep your room tidy and so that you can easily differentiate between what’s clean and what needs to be washed. Its also important to remember, you will have to transport your laundry to and from the laundry room and so you’ll want something sturdy to carry it in as it may be a bit of a walk. If you don’t want to pay the price to use the dryer you’ll probably want an airer to dry your clothes. Personally, I’d use the dryer for big items like bedding and blankets and would use the airer for my clothes. On top of all that you will want laundry detergent to keep your clothes clean.

Mini First Aid Kit: you never know when you’ll need a plaster or some paracetamol so make sure you take a supply. Just take the bits you’d reach for at home so that you have them there for when you need them at university.

Food: this may seem a bit obvious but I’d recommend doing a food shop before you arrive so that you have your fridge and cupboards stocked for the first week or so. You’ll most likely be swept up in the social side when you first arrive and you probably won’t have time to go to the shop. You’ll also have to work out where it is, so having food gives you a bit of time to settle in before you have to start worrying about that.

Important documents: you’ll want to make sure you remember any official documents, if you have anything you need for enrolment or student finance take it with you. You might not need this as a lot of things are online now but it’s always best to be on the safe side. Also, your passport. Especially, if you plan to get a job you will need your passport (or documentation that proves you are able to work in GB), I left mine at home in first year and had to have my parents post it to me. Not only was this annoying as I had to wait for this to arrive, I had to pay for special delivery as it was such an important document.


An introduction to cooking

University is the perfect time to learn to cook as it’s a skill you will use long after you graduate. Unless you are on a catered plan at uni, you will have to do some form of cooking unless you plan to have a takeaway every day. It may be daunting if you’ve never cooked before but trust me, you’ll learn, you’ll make a lot of mistakes as well but that’s all part of the process. 

Why you should learn to cook

As easy as it might be to stick something frozen in the oven or warm a ready meal up in the microwave, nothing beats a home cooked meal. A lot of the time the thought of cooking properly for yourself may seem like a lot of effort and time-consuming but it doesn’t have to be. Yes, there are some amazing meals that you can work on for a good few hours but being a university student, you won’t have time to slave over dinner every afternoon. One of my top tips for this is to make a big batch of time-consuming meals and then portion them up and freeze them to be quickly heated up later in the week. I love to do this on a weekend when I find myself having more time and cooking gives me a break from university work and I get a yummy meal at the end of it. There are also some much quicker meals that you can make that are easy to do of an evening for example; Fajitas, pasta dishes and marinated chicken. The marinated chicken does need some preparation so leave it in the marinade in the fridge while you go out or get stuff done in the house and come back and cook it whenever you’re ready. 

But what if I’ve never cooked before?

Everyone has to start somewhere! Look for recipes that don’t look too out your comfort zone to begin with. A lot of websites will help you with that by rating the recipes on difficulty, if you are just starting out go for something marked easy and then work your way up as you become more skilled. One of the best things about getting more confident is that you can change up the recipes to suit your tastes and add new flavours. It is important not to be disheartened if things go wrong, that’s just part of the process, I have defiantly had a few kitchen fails myself. 

Finding your favourite recipes

This is the fun part. I love looking for new recipes to try, you might first want to think about your favourite dish. Whatever it is type it into google and I’m sure there’ll be plenty of recipes showing you how to make it. You can also look on Pinterest I have a board especially for recipes I want to trying at some point. You can always ask friends for recommendations; that way you know they have been tried and tested. You could even cook this together; I love when my housemates and I have meals together at uni as it means we all get to sit down and enjoy a home cooked meal together. I will also be recommending my favourite recipes in later blog posts so look out for that!

The most important thing about cooking is to enjoy yourself. You’re learning a new skill that will come in handy for the rest of your life. So, give it a go and learn from your mistakes.

Introducing me

First I’d like to say welcome to my blog and thank you for checking it out. Let me introduce myself; I’m Eden, I’m 19 years old and I’m going into my third year of university at Reading where I study history. My blog has six sections; uni life, food, travel, books, budgeting and after uni in which I aim to give advice on everything you need to know about university life.

Where to look for what?

Travel – you may think being a student or a graduate on a budget makes travel impossible. Read how you can still enjoy travelling on a budget and my recommendations on the best places to go on holiday.

Budgeting – if I’d have tried giving budgeting advice two years ago, it would not have gone well but I’ve learnt over my past two years at uni. Learning from my own mistakes has really helped me develop a good relationship with money and to stay out of my overdraft.

Food – going to uni may be the first time you start to cook for yourself which can be difficult. Read my tips and recipes for easy to make food that you can easily make single portions of or make a large batch to freeze and enjoy later.

Uni life – there is so much going on at uni that you may need advice for, so check out this section where I will hope to answer all your questions about being a student.

After uni – as I’m going into my third year of uni I’m having to think about what I am going to do after uni. I want to document my experience in learning about the options out there and the path I take.

Books – want to know what to read next or whether a book is even worth the read? Have a read of my book reviews.

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