Freshers is a time to make your mark, stand out, and establish yourself as a geeky, yet hip and trendy Cantab. First things first – I am not the most fashion conscious of people, but I have learned what you need out and about at university, and that extends beyond your pyjamas and flip flops. Here, I impart my packing wisdom.
Get a trademark! For me, it was my Dr Martens boots, which I spent every waking moment in – so much so my feet have become permanently moulded to fit them. There are people who wear Harry Potter glasses, bow ties, or pencils in their hair: so the more off-the-wall, the better. You'll then be recognised, and become associated with something even if you remain nameless; a variation of Zorro and his Batman-wannabe mask. When you find your look be consistent, spice things up a bit, and don't be hacked off if you see others wearing your 'thing'.
Layers. As Shrek said, if onions need them, so do people! Cambridge gets cold, very cold, and trekking to lectures in the winter can often make you feel like Scott of the Antarctic. A pair of thermal knickers will become your best friend, and the more jumpers you can cram on, the merrier. It's also worth remembering to pack subtle layers, as you’ll end up at Formals or parties in skimpy outfits, where fur coats would be more fitting.
Fancy dress. Unless you want to wear bin-liners or cereal-boxes to every themed party, it is worth having a back-up outfit from the days of your youth. In fact, that black cat costume from a primary school play will be perfect for transformation into a sexy cat-woman at uni. It's not a bad thing to mix and match too; don't be a mainstream Mario or Luigi – go for a pirate hook with devil horns and a tutu!
Slippers. The kitchen can often look like something from Casualty, with beetroot hearts, spaghetti intestines, and ketchup bleeding across the floor on a good day. It can be a minefield, and there is no guarantee that your feet will return intact without protection. Pack a decent, sturdy pair of slippers that are machine washable.
Jeans. It is impossible to cycle graciously in a skirt, dress, or anything but jeans quite honestly. Wearing Lycra is a sin, and don't ever be caught dead wearing cycle clips! You don't need to wash them everyday, they never need an iron, and all jeans are blue and pretty much the same, so you can get away with grabbing a few cheap pairs from Primark, and claim they're from Hollister.
Essay writing item. This will act as your magic wand when you have to face the dreaded onslaught of an essay. Just by wearing it, you will be empowered, and feel like a pen-wielding superman, capable of producing something vaguely intellectual on the meaning of life. I have the most disgusting knitted jumper, but, when I need that motivation to get cracking, I put it on and it pulls me away from the allure of pointless distractions, from tidying the cutlery draw to watching Songs of Praise, and on track to face the enemy!
Don't just grab everything from your wardrobe at home. You'll soon learn the ropes, and most of what you pack you'll never even get out of the suitcase.