Welcome incoming first years! As move-in day approaches, I’m sure that the packing process is beginning. Although it may be daunting moving away from home for the first time, you have chosen the best place to start your university career! Moving into halls, from Sally’s to DRA, opens up a whole new world to explore. Hopefully this will help you get started on your packing list!

As we are all unaware of what the first few months back at St Andrews are going to be like due to the coronavirus, everyone will to have to take some time to adjust to advice from both the government and the university. This however, does not mean that your room should feel any less fabulous!

What follows are some items aside from the essentials (duvet, kitchenware, etc.) that may slip your mind when packing, but make life at university a whole lot easier:

  1. Bike

Ok, so I know that a bike is an investment and may be outside your budget but if you are living in one of the halls outside of town (DRA, Agnes Blackadder, Uni Hall), I would seriously consider buying/bringing one if you can. I lived in DRA for my first year and cycling into town saved me from being late on multiple occasions; it really cuts walking time in half. There are places to lock your bike both in town and in each hall, so something to consider!

  1. Extension Lead

In halls, your room will not have a huge number of plugs. Both inexpensive and extremely useful, a four plug extension lead will benefit you hugely, providing space for chargers and electronics of all kinds. I brought two! Just make sure that they pass safety requirements.

  1. Door Stop

The setup in each hall differs, and you may find yourself living in a five-person flat like I did in DRA or a corridor in Agnes Blackadder. Regardless, a doorstop makes it easier to meet new people and make friends. Having an open door encourages people to approach you.

  1. Diffuser

For fire safety reasons, candles or incense are not allowed in halls of residence. A diffuser is the perfect solution for getting your room to smell good without finding yourself in trouble!

  1. Durable Raincoat

As you have made the decision to come to St Andrews, you have also decided to live in the unpredictable Scottish climate. Having a warm, waterproof coat will ensure your survival in the autumn, winter, spring and summer!

  1. Bathroom/Under-Bed-Storage

Upon arriving into my room in DRA, I discovered the lack of shelves for storage in the bathroom. Freestanding storage shelves are great for keeping your room/bathroom tidy. There are also great under the bed storage boxes or bags which are very inexpensive in Ikea, perfect for tucking things away. Remember that you may also need bed risers for under-bed storage, if it’s too big.

  1. Photos/Posters/Decorations

Whether it’s photos of your friends from home or posters of your favourite band, adding some decoration to your room will make it your own and give it a personal touch. Remember to bring something non-damaging to the wall to hang them with, like command strips. Also, pins for your notice board!

  1. Speaker

While not necessary, a speaker is always good to have for pres. Along with it comes the power to choose the music!

  1. Your Favourite Mug

I brought a ridiculous amount of mugs to uni; it’s a comfort to bring your favourite ones to remind you of home. Just don’t bring six like me! Teabags and coffee are also essentials.

  1. A Pack of Cards

A small but very useful thing to have, as they can be used for drinking games at pres or simply chill nights in with your friends.

  1. Slippers/Sliders

A good pair of slippers or sliders are necessary for living in halls. If you are catered, these are great for going to dinner in. If you are self-catered, then they are perfect for cooking in. A no-brainer!

  1. Blankets & A Rug

The winters at St Andrews can be bitter. Therefore you can never go wrong with a fluffy blanket and a rug to cheaply add some warmth and décor to your room.

  1. An Ottoman

Whilst this may seem a bit extra, I got a great inexpensive end-of-the-bed ottoman in Aldi during my first weekend at St Andrews. It provides more storage space as well as an extra seat in your room.

  1. Headphones

This may seem obvious, but don’t forget your headphones! They are vital for walks into town and studying in the library. I couldn’t live without mine.

  1. Masks, Hand Sanitiser & Disposable Gloves

Unfortunately we are living in the era of COVID-19 and should pack accordingly for it. A good supply of all three will help reduce any virus-related worries come September!

Well there you have it! My last piece of advice – don’t overpack! Bringing everything from your bedroom at home might leave you feeling overwhelmed. Most things can be bought in St Andrews or even Dundee, which is only 20 minutes by bus. I hope this helped you think about what you should bring, and that you are as excited to start at St Andrews as I am to get back!

This article is part of a series designed for incoming first year students. Up next – what to study at St Andrews! Hopefully we can give you a bit of advice when it comes to choosing your additional subjects of study. Keep an eye out for the next instalment, and like our Facebook page to stay up to date!