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What to pack for university

What to pack for university

If you’re due to start University in a few weeks, it will probably be the first time you’ve lived away from home.  The whole experience is both daunting and exciting and will bring a whole host of new challenges, not least what to bring with you!

You may be tempted to bring everything you own, you really don’t need to –  whilst a few home comforts may be reassuring, remember you’ll have to pack it all up again at the end of term (and you’ll no doubt have accumulated more stuff by then anyway) so let’s try to keep it simple. 

Here’s what we recommend:

Enrolment essentials

Before you even start your course, you’ll need to officially enrol but you won’t be able to do so without proof of who you are so make sure you have all your important paperwork to hand.  You’ll need some photo ID (ideally your passport or driving licence) as well as your university acceptance letter, details of your student loan, bank details etc.  It’s also handy to bring a couple of spare passport photos with you for things such as your student card, society membership etc.

Bedroom essentials

Universities don’t provide bedding so you’ll definitely need to bring your own duvet and pillows.  Pack at least two sets of bedding so you’ve got a spare when your other is in the wash.

We can’t lie – halls of residence are typically a sea of magnolia walls and basic furniture so you’ll definitely want to bring some decorations to make your room feel a little more homely. Items such as fairy lights are always a good student favourite to make your room feel cosy – and don’t forget your posters and photographs from home, but don’t forget to leave lots of space for all the new memories you’ll make.

Kitchen essentials

If you are staying in halls of residence you’ll find most small appliances (kettle, toaster and microwave) are already provided in the shared kitchen facilities but you’ll almost certainly need to bring your own crockery, cutlery and saucepans.  Toastie makers don’t come as standard but can be bought really cheaply and can be a great student staple when short on time!

Don’t forget the bottle/opener corkscrew – someone always forgets so you’ll certainly make friends in Freshers week if you can be the person to help get the party started!

It’s probably not necessary to buy every single kitchen utensil – once you’ve met your housemates find out what everyone has between them, and then anything missing could be bought together. 

And one thing that might sound obvious, but can easily be overlooked – bring food!  A few store cupboard staples such as pasta, rice, sauces, baked beans, tea/coffee and biscuits can see you through a few days until you manage to get to the local supermarket.

Study essentials

Whilst there are computer labs on campus, it’s hard to get by at university without your own equipment so a laptop is going to be one of the most important items to bring with you.  Whether it’s making notes in lectures, research for your course or writing assignments just connect to the free Wi-Fi campus and you’ll be able to work wherever you happen to be.

There is nothing like the panic of losing your work on deadline day so make sure you bring a USB memory stick (or two). 

Most people are glued to their mobile phone these days, so we probably don’t even need to remind you to bring that – but make sure you don’t forget your charger.  And even though you’ve probably got an alarm setting on your smartphone, it may be worth going old-school and bringing a good old-fashioned alarm clock – you don’t want to be late for your first lecture!

Don’t worry if you think you’ve forgotten anything – there are supermarkets and high street shops close by - and with Amazon offering free Student Prime membership for 6 months, most things you can pick up at the touch of a button. 

Need more help – why not download our essential checklist to help with your packing?

University Checklist

About the author

Heather Collin

Heather Collin

Heather graduated from University in History and English and has spent the last ten years working in Marketing, PR and Events.