OVER the next few weeks hundreds of young people will be leaving their homes to embark on their university studies, with many living on their own for the first time.

As they set off they will be given tips from all sorts of sources on what to do and what not to do, but a recent survey of Bradford University students into the best things to take to ‘uni’ has revealed that an unlikely object could be key to making the most out of the experience.

Current and recently graduated students said the most important thing to take to university is – a doorstop.

Students surveyed said that a friendly and open attitude in the first few days of moving into university accommodation were crucial to making friends. Keeping doors wedged open while getting settled into student halls meant it was much easier to make early friendships.

The rest of the top 20 “must take” items range from the mundane to the bizarre and include an array of fancy dress outfits, portable speakers, playing cards and musical instruments.

Students said fancy dress costumes would be handy for Freshers’ Week, and save new students searching their new home cities for something to wear on a superhero or “back to school” night.

Most of the other items were more focussed on organisation and practicality – including laptops, extension leads, student railcards and kitchenware.

David Houston, assistant accommodation manager at The Green Student Village at the University of Bradford, said, “Moving to university is a big change but bringing the right things with you can help you settle in quickly. There’s always a great atmosphere during move-in weekend and lots of things happening around campus so make the most of it and don’t miss out.”

Lorene Bannon, second year pharmacy student at the University of Bradford added, “In hindsight I think that I prepared well for coming to university. I had talked to most of my new housemates on Facebook so it wasn’t awkward when we met each other in person. My mum had even gone to the supermarket and bought me a week’s worth of shopping so I didn’t have to eat beans on toast.

“Looking back I wish that I had engaged more in student life from the start, I didn’t join any sports teams or societies until my second year and I feel that I would have had a better experience had I have done this in first year.”

The top 20 items to bring to university, as voted by University of Bradford students, are:

1. Doorstop

2. Laptop

3. Documentation (exam certificates, UCAS letter, passport or ID, etc.)

4. Right size bedding (most university halls are ¾ size)

5. Kitchenware

6. Fancy dress outfits

7. Sports equipment

8. Student railcard

9. Stationery and a small whiteboard/pin board

10. Some food or drink to share with new housemates as an icebreaker

11. Stationery

12. Printer

13. Extension leads

14. Clothes airer

15. Food

16. Household cleaning products

17. Food or drink to share with new housemates

18. Spare electrical chargers

19. Pack of Cards

20. Musical Instruments

Freshers going to the University of Bradford are being offered a unique opportunity to record their experience of moving into halls of residence as part of the ‘Big Move In’ initiative.

The university is hoping to find three students to star in their own self-made documentaries as they prepare to leave home and move into their student accommodation, The Green.

New starters are invited to audition by Friday by posting a short video, up to 60-seconds in length, of themselves on facebook.com/university.bradford or by mentioning @bradforduni on a Twitter post with a link to their video.

The three students who progress through the audition stage will each be given a Sony HDR Handycam to record their ‘Big Move In’ to halls. Once settled in Bradford they will be able to keep their camera to record their own films of student life.

Emma Banks, head of communications at the University of Bradford, said: “Going to university is a rite of passage. At Bradford we understand how important starting university and moving away from home is and we put many support services into place to support new students. We hope that the first-person documentary that results from the ‘Big Move In’ will help people in the future know what to expect and that others are feeling the same as them.”

Further information about the competition can be viewed on bradford.ac.uk/big-move-in.