Top 10 University Room Essentials

With A-Level results day having whizzed swiftly by, thousands of students will have found out the grades that they worked tirelessly for and therefore, which University they will be attending this September. I remember being in that very position exactly one year ago, and once having secured my University place, one of the most exciting prospects for me was to begin purchasing things for my new dorm room. The interior designer within me was gloriously enlivened.

University rooms, whether they are in your first year halls, or your second year house, are an exciting space for us students. It's our home away from home...our new comfort zone, in which we can enjoy relaxing after lectures, staying up late chatting with friends or getting ready for all of the fun nights out (albeit University clubbing attire is always very boring and takes little time to put together). As these rooms are so important to us, it's imperative that we create a comforting atmosphere that is welcoming and personal to the occupant. 

I decided to write a post about the top 10 essentials for any university student's room to help the new, excited freshers among us, or the returning students that have already experienced having a Uni room, create the perfect atmosphere.

1. Comfortable Bedding

This may sounds like a no-brainer, however, many of us underestimate the sheer power of good quality, genuinely comfortable bedding. I never used to be too fussy about my bedding...a simple duvet and two pillows were enough for my uncomplicated needs, however, after having spent the entirety of my first year using pillows supplied by my halls, my opinion has been swayed. Sleeping in an environment that is the right temperature and comfortable will contribute to getting a better night's sleep, which will in turn determine the quality and success of your work. If your pillows are too lumpy or thin, or if your duvet is too light, this will make it harder for you to fall asleep. Trust me, after many a sleepless night due to insufficient pillows, I feel rightly qualified to supply this advice. No matter how trivial it may seem.

Top tip: Invest in some good quality duvet covers and sheets that are to your liking and make sure you wash them regularly, as clean, durable material will also help you to sleep better.

2. Air Purifier

For those who, like me, are living in a student house outside of campus this year, mould and dampness are unfortunate issues that we wish we didn't have to deal with but in reality will have to face (ah, adult life). Student accommodation is notorious for having this problem and it is essential that everyone is made aware of the potential dangers that it can cause and take measures to prevent them from happening. Air purifiers work to clean the air that surrounds you and to prevent any illness that is caused by mould or dampness in the walls. Having an air purifier should help keep your room clean and safe, so that you can ease your mind from these possible worries.

Top top: If, during your visits to your second year accommodation, you notice any mould, make sure you tell the estate agent to ensure the landlord rectifies this before you move in. This will prevent any unforeseen surprises.

3. Laundry Airer

Laundry during first year is sort of like a game of tetris. was for me at least. Sorting out which colours to put with what and how to determine which cycle to use was absolutely bamboozling to me, but luckily I had some better educated friends who helped me out of my misery and who provided a shoulder for me to cry on after I had successfully dyed every white possession I owned pink (Damn that red christmas sock). Difficulties aside, I was very glad that I brought a laundry airer with me, as I was not prepared to pay £3.20 to dry my clothes when I could let nature do it's thing for free. Airer's are economical and also ecological, therefore, I would recommend everyone to bring one along.

Top tip: Actually learn how to do your own laundry at home first, before attempting it blindly on your own at university. You'll save yourself some tears, embarrassment and quite frankly your dignity.

4. Reed Diffusers

Since candles aren't allowed in halls (don't bother investing in any expensive Jo Malone variations), reed diffusers are the perfect alternative. If you have the luxury of an ensuite bathroom, potentially buy another one for in there too, to keep it sweet smelling and all round pleasant. Choose a scent that reminds you of home to comfort you or, if you're feeling kooky, select something entirely different to symbolise the birth of a new, mature you. Keeping your room nicely scented will greet you pleasingly as you re-enter your room after a hard day of intense studying and will provide a welcoming atmosphere in which your housemates will want to hang out in.

Top tip: Don't get your diffuser from Primark, no matter how tempted you are by the minuscule prices. They do not have a strong smell and certainly do not make your room smell any more pleasant.

5. Photos and posters

This is one of the ways that you can truly personalise your space and make it your own. Pictures are worth a thousand words and you will want to bring with you all the happy memories that you have captured from times with your family, friends and loved ones. Although coming to University is an opportunity to reinvent and discover yourself, you mustn't forget what shaped you up until then. Pinning prints to your wall or hanging framed photographs will remind you of some of your happiest memories, which will carry you through your darkest ones. It also adds life, colour and happiness to event the blandest of walls.

Top tip: Take drawing pins or white-tac as a form of affixing photos to your walls/noticeboards as these won't be provided for you.

6. Desk/Stationery Organisers

Your desk will become your workspace (unless, like me you can type whilst in bed) for the next year, so it's essential that it's organised with your materials so that it's accessible and easy to use. I would recommend having a stationary pot/organiser for your pens, highlighters and other bits and pieces, and also a folder holder for your folders and your notepads. Keeping an organised workspace will keep a tidy mind and it will encourage you to work more efficiently.

Top tip: Bring a large range of highlighters so you can associate different colours to different modules 

7. Snack Box

Hiding away a little stash of snacks will be crucial to your overall happiness in your room. (and the happiness of others if you suffer from Hangriness) Trust me. There's nothing worse than feeling hungry and not wanting/it not being the time to cook a proper meal yet. Use the snacks only when you really need them to exercise your will power and to satisfy any hunger pains you may endure. 

Top tip: Get into the habit of having healthy snacks e.g. fruit, snack bars or nuts so you don't start relying on sugary, processed foods to get you through the day.

8. Alcohol

Alcohol during fresher's is a must. It behaves as a sort of peace offering, assuring your housemates that you're up for a good time and you're willing to share it. Empty bottles will act as souvenirs from the messy nights before or even more resourcefully, as your water bottle for the next morning when you're parched and can't be bothered to pad all the way to the kitchen for a drink (yes, I've stooped that low). If you don't drink, bringing an alternative such as soft drinks or even snacks will do the trick. Showing from the beginning that you are willing to share your food and drink in a social context is a friendly and sociable action to take. 

Top tip: Don't forget to take mixers with you if you're providing spirits. These are often overlooked and shots as the first drink on the first night may not be the best idea. Save those for later on.

9. Indoor Plants

You may notice that a university dorm room isn't quite in touch with nature. With their bare walls and threadbare carpets, it appears to be a space that cries out for the presence of mother nature. That's why having plants in your room will genuinley cheer the place up and also prevent you from forgetting that the outside world exists whilst your busy typing away, in my case, on your bed for hours (seriously, it's a skill).

Top tip: Choose a plant that doesn't need more TLC than you're able to provide. Plants such as calla lilys, cactuses or orchids are perfect as they don't require much watering and are also aesthetically rather pleasing.

10. Coasters

This one may raise a few eyebrows, however, I believe it to be a good idea, no matter how Monica Geller it makes me sound. There's nothing worse than having cups of tea that leave messy rings everywhere you set it down. It's so easy to forget about them and the longer you leave them, the harder they are to get off. There's nothing worse than being fined for something so small that could have been avoided (I'm still bitter about the fridge fiasco...if you know, you know). Coasters can also be really pretty-looking and can spruce up the place whilst also serving a very practical use. It's a win-win really.


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