7 mistakes everyone makes moving into uni
Here it comes: the new term. Towns begin to brace themselves, clubs restock on glo-sticks and WKDs and sixth-formers do their best to recover from A-level results celebrations (or commiserations).
Freshers’ week is all but moments away – which means, on a pedestrian, practical level, that it’s almost time to move in to a new place. For some, this means the excitement of first year university accommodation. For others, it’s reuniting with last years’ friends and wondering why you ever thought the place you’re now contractually obliged to call home ever seemed habitable. Whichever it is – and hey, even if you’re somewhere in between – the move is imminent. Which means somebody, somewhere, is about to make a mistake - how about making sure it's not you?
1. Bringing stuff nobody needs…
The case is packed. Your pockets have been patted down: money (check), keys (check), phone (check). Still, you're uneasy. Perhaps you're slightly nervous about headed back? You?! No! Of course not. It must be that you’ve forgotten something – yes, that must be it.
Which means you’d better pack something else. After all, how are you meant to make it through the year without a pineapple corer? And what kind of animal doesn’t have a blender? Smoothies will definitely be on the menu this year…
Unfortunately, we all waste money on little luxuries we don’t need. Which is fine, of course, except it ends up being incredibly expensive, and only makes moving house that much more of a chore. Try and resist: take the bare minimum.
2. …while forgetting what’s useful
With a suitcase now bulging and every obscure, implausible happening thoroughly prepared for, are you ready for uni now? …well, yes and no. 'Yes' in the sense that if ever a horror movie comes true, you're packed to be the hero, and 'no' in the sense that, after the first mornings’ shower, you’ll realise you were too busy deciding between toe clippers to choose a towel.
Is insurance fun? Exciting? Sexy? Absolutely not – and if it sounded any of those to you, we politely (but firmly) suggest you may have been single a little too long. The fact stands, though, that everyone really, really should get insurance, whether renting privately or staying in student halls.
Terms and conditions change according to whatever your tenancy contract says, but usually, very few people require building insurance. Focus on protecting your possessions. While some uni halls and landlords have a little insurance, it tends to be extremely basic and rarely meets all your needs.
Our favourite student insurer at the moment is Cover4Students. You can get your personal possessions insured from £15 (ridiculously cheap, no?), which even covers walk-in theft. If you have something specific that’s worth a lot to you, it pays to cover it – for instance, you can get musical instrument cover up to £3,000, which only costs a fiver.
Far and away, though, it’s most important to get gadget insurance – hey, it’s ridiculously easy to lose your phone to sticky graveyard of a club floor. Using Cover4Students as an example again, you could protect your phone, or tablet, so on and so forth, for £5.46 a month. Which is a hell of a lot cheaper than replacing the damned things.
4. Forgetting to take photographs
Wherever you move in will have the odd scratch or dent in the wall - even if the place purports to be brand new. In my first accommodation, the lightbulb in the ceiling began dripping water one evening. Sparky times were had by all.
Paying attention and take photographs of everything you see. Choose not to and an unscrupulous landlord could easily argue for payment because of damage you didn’t log. Take photographs and you’ll know just what was messed up already - meaning you avoid paying any more than you deserve to.
5. Putting up 'meaningful' posters
Oh, Che Guvara quotes? Please, tell me more, you must be so, so deep. I bet you know all about politics.
Oh, a Godfather poster? Wow, you must be a movie buff, right?
Still, you'll laugh about what you pretended to like in a few years.
6. Covering the walls in blue-tac
…this will only end badly. Go for white tac,which doesn’t stain nearly so much. You can hang all those clichéd posters knowing you won’t have to pay to have the walls repainted at the end of your stay.
7. Getting too attached to a roommate
Whether you’ve just met or just spent the summer pining to see them again, making a move on a housemate can only end badly. After all – what happens if you need space?! And there’s no way you can simply, subtly, ‘move on’ to someone else. Avoid at all costs.