What to pack for your first term

Don’t let yourself be left without in Freshers’ Week

Michaelmas is probably the busiest term of all, especially if you’re a fresher. The Tab is here to help, summing up the key items to pack for this especially important term.

1. Bop gear

Do you need fancy dress? Don’t be left piecing together a last minute costume. If you want to look the hypothetical bomb, you need to plan ahead. First impressions are key, and a lot of people will be forming them at the start of term bops.

Make sure your fancy dress is on point and don’t forget to pack your blue body paint or penguin costume

2. A Halloween Costume

I learnt last year that Halloween comes around MUCH quicker than you would expect. Now, Halloween is one of the highlights of the year for me so I will be sure to pack my costume in advance so that I can hit Cindies in style on the 31st.

3.  A Christmas jumper

Think Halloween comes along fast? Well, the countdown to Bridgemas commences the day after. As a Christmas enthusiast I made sure I donned a festive jumper last 25th November, but there was a great sparsity of other jumper wearers. Make Bridgemas great again and pack your Christmas jumper!!!

I aspire to be this level of Christmas-ready by the time we reach November

4. Going out gear

Something I stupidly neglected to pack enough of last Freshers’ and so ended up getting through all my ‘nice tops’ by the end of the first week. It’s a hard, hard life.

5. A good winter coat

This is 100% KEY. Cambridge is much colder than you think. I was left having to purchase an emergency fleece-lined coat from Zara as I had naively only brought my most in-vogue, and consequentially least insulating, outerwear with me. Make sure that your coat is suitable for survival in the freezing conditions, not only of the outdoors but also of the heavily air conditioned lecture theatres (Law Fac, I’m looking at you). This is the one time when practicality overcomes my sartorial needs.

Cambridge may be beautiful, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t also be grey and bitterly cold 🙁

6.  A speaker

Make your accommodation the place to be this Freshers’ Week. There’s no point offering to host pres unless you can also provide a decent audio system.

7. Formal gear

Make sure you have enough ‘nice dresses’, as well as ‘nice tops’ with you. In Cambridge you will probably attend a tonne more formal events than you have ever before, so check that you have packed/purchased accordingly.

Also, returning Cantabs, don’t forget your gowns!

8. Library gear

The complete opposite of formal gear.

I didn’t even make it through so-called Freshers’ Week without having to drag myself to the library and start on supervision prep. Just because it’s Michaelmas doesn’t mean that you won’t be stuck in the library 90% of the time as is quickly discovered by Freshers every year. Not every moment of your life at Cambridge can be high fashion unfortunately, so make sure your suitcase (or suitcases if you’re an over-packer like me) contain a decent number of harem pants, comfy t-shirts, hoodies and the like.

“I can’t wait to get back to the UL”, said no one ever

9. An umbrella

This is the secret star item. You may have packed everything you need for Michaelmas, but still get caught out in a sudden downpour which ruins your sartorial success.

10. Shoes

Trainers, heels (both block and stiletto), boots, wellies (if you’re potentially going to have to do field trips)… the list goes on. Shoes are a make-it or break-it item.

Accurate representation of the number of pair of shoes I will be packing

Hopefully this guide will help you start your packing in the coming weeks and ensure that you don’t forget to bring anything that will later be missed dearly.

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