We seems to have lists everywhere! Preparing for your teen to start University is pretty all-encompassing. It began a year ago at the start of Year13 with open days and writing the personal statement. Thankfully as a former sixth form teacher we understood the process and I have lots of experience of writing personal statements for my students of years gone by. If you have a child heading to Uni this year or preparing for next bookmark this The Ultimate University Gift Guide for Freshers.
Once we had decided on a Uni course and University, Chloe’s school turned it on its head by pointing out that we hadn’t looked into the hockey team enough! Now, this might not seem mightly important but for Chloe it is and if she is playing good hockey in a good team I know that she will be happy. Therefore we went back to the drawing board and re-evaluated. Then the offers came in and Chloe firmed up her choices.
Revision and exams obviously followed and she smashed them, yet again outperforming expectations which I wrote about in The Girl Who Flew Under the Radar which also partly led to my appearance on This Morning Rewarding or Bribing: Would You Pay Your Teen For Exam Results? #celebrateourteens.
Now we are packing and writing lists. We have bought most things but I want to also send her off with a few treats. Here are the product’s that I am championing as those little luxuries which will make life both easier and more fun for our teenagers heading off on Freshers week.
- Visiting other friends at university and popping home to have a home cooked meal and get your clothes washed is par for the course when at University and this travel bag makes those trips easier. This lightweight holdall folds to a fraction of its size and zips away neatly into an ultra compact carry case, making it quick and easy to pack or stow. It can be bought from Go Travel for just £14.99
- A 2M MICRO USB CABLE is both practical and a luxury because we all want to be able to use our phone in bed! There might not be a plug socket close in hall of residence but this will sort you out! This is just £9.99 from Go Travel. Do check out the site for more practical travel solutions.
- The Bossing It Planner is one of my favourites which I have used this year. It is full of positivity and would be great for students to get organised.
- This one is definitely not on any ‘what to pack for uni’ guides I have seen but I think Trunk of Drunk (£14.99) will be a great ice breaker for Chloe and her new friends. It will help them get to know each other and certainly fill any awkward silences. It reminds me of my own year in halls and the drinking games we would play. I actually met Lee in halls and look where that led, 20 years later and three children! The games included are:Dive into the trunk (like it’s a bottle of your favourite booze) and you’ll find 20 red solo cups, 4 ping pong balls, 52 custom cards, and a booklet of game rules. These let you play the following smashing classics:
- Beer Pong: The most fun you can have with booze and balls (not a word, please). The balls you must sink to make your opponents drink!
- Never Have I Ever: Remember that time you sat something out and caught hell for it? Well, now you reap the rewards! The custom cards are full of ‘I have never…’ suggestions.
- Ring of Fire (AKA King’s Cup): Break your friends’ spirits in this mashup of multiple games… but don’t ever break the circle! Bad things happen to good people.
- Most Likely: Sometimes you have to tell it like it is. Let your friends know exactly where they’re heading in life… and hope they’re still your friends at the end of the evening! Again, the custom cards help you out.
- 21’s: You’d think counting to 21 is easy. But, when your booze-brain meets pressure… well, it’s not.
- Arrogance: It’s heads or tails, but with a high stakes twist. Let’s just say, you don’t want to be the first to guess wrong after a series of rights…
- Screw the Dealer: Guess the value of the cards the dealer is holding and hope that you’re not the dealer when the game is ending!
- Flip Cup: Flip your cup so it lands squarely and help your team win!
- I am a huge fan of personalised items and also of inspiring quotes. A trip around my house will demonstrate both of these things! Therefore I love this personalised glass from Find A Gift having her name on should stop it going missing from the kitchen, unless there is more than one Chloe! Another good tip is to pop a blob of nail varnish on cutlery so that you can identify yours!
- The retro letter board will look cool in any room and goes with Chloe’s colour scheme of black white and grey. Who even has a colour scheme in halls of residence!!!
- The Jar of Wishes is a cute idea that I’m trying to pull together. It is where you add a note and pop it in the jar to be read at a later date. I am gathering these for her to read in those quiet moments when she may feel a little lost and homesick.
- A few people suggested a mattress protector and mattress topper as the uni beds are not the best!
- Cushions and throws to make your room feel homely. There are some great Uni offers about if you look but we did fine with Primark and Asda.
- A little lit vanity mirror. Again Chloe wanted a decent mirror that is backlit as we are not expecting her room to have lots of light – they will only have one small window.
What do you think of my ideas for The Ultimate University Gift Guide for Freshers – what else made your Uni start easier?