Living in student halls provides the unique challenge of fitting everything you want to have with you at university into one very, very, small room. Before you know it you’re deeply integrated into an intense sharing economy across your corridor, flat, or residence. There are some key items which quickly become hot commodities and make their way from one person to the next, or easily and cheaply bought via sites such as Gumtree. We think we’ve covered them all on this list, although different universities will have different priorities – anyone who has studied in London will have heard “can I borrow your oyster, mate?” at some point.
Yes, the trusty old hairdryer, always in high demand. Everyone has hair, it makes sense really… So why does no one else seem to have one apart from you?!
2. Laptop charger
Sometimes the only purpose a laptop charger seems to have is to break. If you ever meet someone who has gotten through uni life without a dud laptop charger, then please contact us immediately, we need to know their secret. Anyway, the fact these things are destined to break, means there will always be someone knocking on your door, looking panicked, shouting a random electronics brand and looking to you to save the day.
“Anyone seen my headphones?” will be heard as frequently as “anyone bought any milk?”. So get used to it. There will come a time when a long, hungover bus journey to campus looms and the flat collectively realises they have all lost their headphones. Don’t let that happen, buy some spares (but don’t tell anyone, or someone will ask to borrow them, and you know what will happen next).
No doubt, there’ll be that one guy in your hall whose parents made him lug a printer to uni. Well, he is your hero, he is your god. Befriend him immediately, because he will save you in those moments when you’re too tired to go to the library but need to hand in a hard copy of your essay by the next day. And at least bring your own paper when you print, that way you’ll stay in his good books.
5. Bottle opener
Unless you’re one of those people who can open a bottle with their teeth, another bottle, an eyelid, an armpit, a cat, etc. you will be needing one of these again, and again, and…again. Invest in a bottle opener and you will always have someone to drink with, because someone will always be looking to you to free their beer from its vessel.
6. Ear plugs
Maybe not a great one to share, this. But ear plugs are essential nonetheless, and usually come in multi-packs. Halls are loud, lectures are early. You do the math on that one.
Everyone loves tea. Everyone will be drinking tea. Or coffee, or wine. The bottom line is mugs are in high demand at university, that’s just a fact. They’re also a great form of self-expression. Everyone has their own style of mug, large, small or decorated with expletives. Before you know it your whole corridor will have their eyes on your cute little kitten mug. It’s okay to share, everyone should get the chance to drink their tea from a legendary mug, just don’t get too attached, they tend to shatter, especially when used as a vessel for wine…
8. Oven gloves
If you’re in catered halls, this one doesn’t apply to you. But for everyone else, get some oven gloves! There is nothing worse than cooking a pizza in the oven, then just as it’s ready to be devoured, realising you have no way to get at it without burning your hands to a crisp.
9. Phone charger
This one is closely related to the laptop charger, but likely to be in even higher demand. Sometimes it will fall to you to save your friend’s tinder date, by giving their phone a lifeline…literally. Phone chargers travel quickly around halls, so if you’ve given yours away, don’t worry it will eventually find it’s way back to you, in the great university cycle of phone chargers.
10. Portable speakers
Pre-drinks require music. Music requires speakers. Speakers cost money. Students don’t have money. Speakers are rare. Finding a speaker at halls can be a daunting task, but there’ll always be that one guy who can save the party. It’s likely to be the same guy who owns the printer – so start your search there.