Going to university for the first time is a pretty exciting prospect. After 18 years of living with your parents and going to school every day, you finally get your first true taste of total independence – living on your own with the freedom to do whatever you want.
The practical side of preparing for university isn’t quite as much fun. Packing in particular can be a bit of a nightmare – what on earth do you need to bring to survive an entire year on your own?!
There are of course many “what to take to university” checklists out there, and while these are extremely helpful, they often don’t solve the whole problem. As every student has a vastly different experience, the items that are essential for some, may well be luxuries or unimportant to others.
For that reason it can often be much more useful to know what you absolutely DON’T need to pack…
1. Every Item In Your Wardrobe
For most new students, clothing forms the bulk of their luggage, as you’ll need enough pieces to get through every season and for the multitude of events and nights out.
It is therefore tempting to just dump your entire wardrobe into your suitcase and hope for the best, but this should be avoided if possible.
Not only is wardrobe space fairly limited in university halls, but you probably won’t end up wearing even half the items you bring. Most students will tell you that the majority of time is spent in comfortable clothes and loungewear. So as long as you have plenty of these garments along with a few more formal pieces and ‘going out clothes’, you’ll make it through.
2. Too Many Toiletries
A great rule when packing for university is to leave behind any item which you can easily and inexpensively replace when you get there. Toiletries are a good example of this.
Huge bottles of shampoo, shower gel and beauty products can take up quite a bit of weight, which can be especially crucial if you’re traveling to university by plane, where weight allowances are pretty strict.
Although you might have hopes of being the most prepared and conscientious student, but try not to bring your entire collection of books, folders and old school notes with you.
University is somewhat of a fresh slate, meaning that your old school books won’t be of much use or relevance. And if it turns out that there is an old school textbook that you do absolutely need, you can use a student shipping service or a low cost courier to send it to you from home.
In addition, try not to purchase and pack your entire university recommended reading list ahead of your studies. Buying and packing all of these books before you leave is not only expensive, but also impractical. Books will weigh your luggage down and despite being recommended by your lecturers, most students often do not need to purchase every single title – some can be borrowed from the library or swapped between classmates.
4. Luxury Kitchen Appliances
In university halls and student accommodation, kitchen items such as kettles, microwaves and toasters will be provided for you.
Additional ‘luxury’ appliances such as rice cookers, panini makers and blenders etc should be left behind. Although it would be nice to have all the comforts of your kitchen at home, your kitchen at university will be shared and therefore the risk of damage or even theft is increased.
When it comes to kitchenware, simply bring the basics such as cutlery, bowls, plates and saucepans. If there’s anything else you need, you can usually purchase these things easily from a nearby department store or supermarket.
5. A Printer
Having your own printer seems convenient, in theory, but unless your course requires a significant amount of printing, it will be unnecessary unnecessary. Not only are printers difficult to transport, but the printers in your university and library will be just as handy.
Plus, when others hear that you have your own printer, you’ll soon be inundated with requests from friends to just print ‘one little page’ for them. These requests soon add up and the cost of replacing ink cartridges can be more expensive that the cost of university printing credits.
Written by Lana Richardson, blog editor for UniBaggage.com – The No.1 Student Shipping Company.