What NOT to pack for University

Three years ago, I was about to set off to University with a tiny car that had been packed to the brim (literally). I really wanted to be prepared and bring absolutely everything that I thought was necessary and so I did (see my 3-year-old blog post Packing for University). Little did I know I didn’t need to bring everything, haha, and I wish I would have realised this then because moving later on when you own a lot of stuff sucks!

Disclaimer: I literally brought everything (5 boxes, 1 big suitcase, 1 carry on suitcase). And in my defence, I guess I thought that #1 the UK would be expensive so everything that I didn’t have to buy there would be beneficial and #2 if I’d forgotten something I couldn’t just drive home to quickly get it. (It’s okay though, I understand if you think I was mad because I was, I really was. And you are right to be amused when you read my list.)

So I packed…

  • 12 towels | (because mum wanted to get rid of her old ones – They took up so much storage space where I lived. I hated them. Took me 3 years to get rid of 10 because I felt guilty throwing them out.)
  • Rollerblades | (I used to rollerblade a lot but I didn’t think Wales would have that many hills… or that many bad/unsafe roads so I only used them once in my second year.)
  • An external keyboard | (I thought it would be a pain to carry a laptop around and it is possible to connect this keyboard to your phone so I thought it could be useful for lectures but… yeah… pretty much unnecessary haha.)
  • A tablet | (Since I owned one and it seemed weird to leave it behind but never used it)
  • Enough shampoo to last me three years (which it did!) | (but I could have bought some in the UK too so, you know…)
  • 2 Winter coats and 2 Summer coats | (You only need one of each, seriously.)
  • All my clothes | (which makes sense but I couldn’t be asked to dress up for lectures as I barely had any and basically wore my sports clothes for three years lol)
  • Paperclips & elastic bands | (why did I think I’d need them?)
  • Anti-stain stuff | (This could be potentially useful but #1 I didn’t make any stains and #2 I couldn’t have been asked how to use it)
  • Sowing kit | (If you intend to use it, yes. People did ask to borrow it sometimes, but as with the previous one, I could never be asked to even try using it.)
  • Shoe polish | (Once again my mum wanted to get rid of it, but with a good reason: when do you ever use this?)
  • First Aid Kit | (I mean yes… I guess this is good to have, but I could have also only brought the plasters and it would have been fine.)
  • Fabric softener | (You might use it and think you’re washing your clothes, but really you’re not, lmao. took us a few months to figure this out.)

Things that can be useful but can be bought once you arrive

  • A year’s worth supply of sanitary pads | (note: they aren’t more expensive in the UK and every supply runs out eventually so it’s impossible to pack enough to survive three years, don’t even try.)
  • 30 or so light bulbs | (A lot of them didn’t have the right fit so after 3 years I had to throw about 10 away, and I must have bought at least 10 new ones in the UK.)
  • 5 tubes of toothpaste | (Once again, they can also be bought wherever you go.)
  • A lifesize over the door mirror 120 x 30 cms | (Now don’t get me wrong, this is definitely something you should get, but get it in the town where you’re going to study (10 in B&M). It was so difficult to get this big mirror to the UK in a tiny car in one piece and then someone broke it in my first year (did replace it but you know). Just don’t bother moving it and buy one where you start University!)
  • 4 A4 sized notebooks | (I did use them sometimes as I prefer writing notes on paper in lectures but I barely had any lectures as a Creative Writing student and I always use my laptop outside of class. PLUS you can buy these anywhere so if you would need more of them later on then just buy them.)
  • A shoe rack & laundry racks

Things you should pack:

  • Doorstop | (GREAT way to make friends because you keep your door open (I know they tell you not to because of fire safety but who cares) and people will find you.)
  • Your laptop (plus extra screen if you use one. Definitely an essential for me as it allows me to go through academic sources so much quicker!)
  • A small hammer | (Yes this seems weird, but you would not believe how many people borrowed it in first and later years. Quite useful to put something in the wall or fix a broken cabinet (which happens more often than you think if you end up in shitty accommodation!)
  • A white t-shirt and any other fancy clothes stuff that you own | (Will save you loads of money when going on socials. The white t-shirt social will show up in every society/club in one of the first weeks of uni.)
  • White tag & thumbtacks | (Great for putting stuff on walls.)
  • Bedsheets + extra blankets | (You will be able to feel the springs in the mattress and you don’t want to feel them so make a layer of blankets so you can’t #goldentip.)
  • Nerf guns if you own any, because that’s fun!
  • Extra lamp(s) | (There will be one or two lights when you arrive but I don’t particularly like the big light and so having your own lamps gives you more or less light depending on what you prefer.)
  • Clothes hangers
  • Extension cables/plug adapters if you’re from abroad
  • A big towel | (So you can shower, walk back to your room and dress there instead of at the shower’s.)
  • Your teddy

And as a final tip… 

  • Don’t bring any cutlery or plates that have emotional value or are important to you in any way! Don’t even bring expensive stuff because it will all disappear. I repeat: it will all disappear.

I hope this was amusing to you as it is to me since my past-self was, in fact, a little mad (or overprepared), and hopefully, it’s helpful too if you are about to start University this September!


Posts in preparation for University:

Packing for University
The struggle of proving my identity!
Study in the UK | Find your university!

What I wish I’d known before starting University (Series by Imogen)

Posts about what University was like in my first year:

Acitivies week and exploring
Nadolig Llawen! Merry Christmas!
My struggle at University
What freshers week was like
Living in university accommodation
Summer Ball 2016
Goodbyes are not forever goodbye’s

Posts about what University was like in my second year:

Drinking Alcohol or not?
Is it racist to dress up as a dementor?
To belong or not; Anxiety
Writing and Mental health
I’m not as good at that person | Pressure at university
15 British Peculiarities

Posts about what University was like in my third year:

In between places
Everything changes | End of University
Why I would choose Aberystwyth again
I’m graduating from University!
The benefits of attending graduation

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