What to take to university – and what NOT to take!

cutmypicSo, you just got your results and you’re off to university. Now you’ve done the celebrating, it’s time to think about what you’d like to take. This can seem incredibly daunting – after all, this is probably the first time you’ve ever moved out! However, most people (including me) go in with an attitude as if they’re off to live on a desert island for three years and massively overpack. In this list, I’d like to tell you about some items you definitely should take to uni, and some items that you may be considering taking, but likely don’t need!

What you should take to university

  • Photos, posters and items to make your space feel like home. When you arrive in halls, you’ll be faced with a bare, soulless room. You’ll probably already be feeling a few mixed emotions after your parents have left, so the best thing to do is make sure you have plenty of photos, posters and other items to put around your room and inject some of your own personality into it. Look around your own bedroom and think about the items that make it feel like yours. You should probably take those items along with you. It’s completely normal to feel homesick when you start university, but it really helped me to have photos of my loved ones around the place. I wrote a post on getting photos printed if you’d like some ideas.
  • Winter clothes. If we’re lucky and the weather stays pleasant, you’ll probably be packing for university while it’s quite warm outside. Therefore you may feel like taking shorts, dresses etc. However, within no time it will be winter and you’ll be craving a woolly jumper, an extra blanket, a hot water bottle and cosy slippers! So, think ahead and imagine what sort of items you’d like to have when it’s winter – unfortunately, it’ll be here before we know it!
  • Student discount cards/memberships. Start thinking about what you’ll be buying at university, and see whether you can get some kind of student discount for it. Some ideas include the 16-25 Railcard (I’m constantly on the train so this has saved me so much money), a student bank account for the overdraft facility and a NUS card/UNiDAYS account. Keep a keen eye out during freshers’ week too, as brands will be practically throwing student offers at you! Really cheap pizza and free Amazon Prime were some of my personal highlights.
  • A first aid kit. Yep, it’s boring but it’s really handy to have. Stock it full of bandages, 9063cff9-cd1e-4f02-b983-a16a2a8ef9a1antiseptic, blister plasters (especially if you love high heels!) and painkillers. You’ll
    thank me when you or one of your flatmates get back from a night out in a bit of a sorry state.
  • A houseplant. If you have pets, you’ll probably miss the feeling of caring for something that depends on you. My houseplants came in very handy for this! They also really brighten the place up and the oxygen emitted by them can make your room feel less stuffy.

What you probably shouldn’t take to university

  • Your entire kitchen. Once you get your accommodation confirmation, you should be able to find out what the kitchen is stocked with. Often, plenty of appliances and utensils are supplied so there’s no need to take them with you. Unless you’re off to some remote university in a country far away with no shops at all, you can always just nip to the local supermarket if you find that you really need a garlic press or whatever!
  • Your parents – at least, not for long. Being dropped off at university is likely one of the biggest events in yours and your parents’ lives, so it’s understandable that you may want them to stick around for a bit. However, I think it’s far better to rip the plaster off and say bye to them shortly after arriving. It’ll enable you to start making friends quickly. So, get the tissues ready and get ready to say bye! You can always have a good catch up on the phone once you’re all settled.
  • university_park_mmb_t1_cripps_hallClutter. This is a very broad category, but try not to take loads of random not-that-useful items that will just take up space. Laundry bins, 50 pairs of shoes, a crazy amount of jewellery that you’ll never use – stuff like that. Think of what you tend to use in a month or two (after all, you’ll likely be coming home at least that often) and pack accordingly. Your uni room may be smaller than your bedroom, and you won’t want it to be really cluttered. So it’s best to pack quite light in that sense.
  • A printer – maybe… The topic of printers tends to divide students. Some think their printers save them loads of money, while others think that printing in the library is better. This depends entirely on your own situation, e.g. how much printing you’ll be doing, how much printing costs at the library, whether your department gives you any printing credit… Do your research and make the decision based on your own situation. If you do buy a printer, definitely base your choice on how economical the ink is, not the initial cost of the printer.

I hope this list has helped you out! Packing for university can seem very confusing, but don’t let it panic you. You’ll probably have shops virtually on your doorstep, and it’s far better to underpack than to take your entire house with you and clutter up your university room. Best of luck for your first year – it will be fantastic!

If you’d like to suggest anything else that I missed off, please do write it in the comments! Thank you so much for reading. 🙂


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