First of all CONGRATULATIONS! Trust me when I say that I understand that this hasn’t been easy, but we’re finally here now and I hope you’re excited about this new chapter in your life, whether or not you are going to university.
It may feel like you literally have to pack your whole life with you… WRONG. A lot of people tend to fall into the trap of taking certain items from home with no beneficial purpose just to make them feel more comfortable; when in reality, after the first few weeks you realise that things would probably be a bit easier if your room was much more organised- not cluttered with unnecessary items that might actually make you feel more homesick!
There are hundreds of checklists online and even mobile phone applications that give a thorough list of the basic and easily forgettable essentials covering toiletries, stationery, clothes, kitchenware and bedroom furniture and I will leave some links below. This post, however, is focused more on how to decide what is necessary and practical in order to achieve the feeling of a home away from home.
One of the first things to consider is space. Let’s face it, there is hardly any space once you get into your university accommodation, and as fun and exciting as everything sounds, the main reason you are there is to study; so you have to ensure that you have enough space to organise anything related to academics as this is your first priority.
Another thing to consider is usefulness. For example, is there any point in bringing a 40 inch TV that you will probably not use? Especially since you would have to get a TV license which would create an extra strain on your university budget, as well as encourage you to pack a whole range of DVDs that you will probably never watch that will take up even more space! I’m sure you get my point now.
One of the most obvious but possibly most ignored points is relevance. Yes, you want to feel at home and it would be nice to put your entire room in the back of a lorry and send that off instead, but sadly this is not an option, and for some, it is a well awaited fresh start so make the most of this. I have a very simple rule: if you haven’t used it in the past 6 months, you don’t need it. You probably won’t need any A Level textbooks, you won’t need a book you bought 2 years ago and never read, you won’t need that summer dress you bought back in 2012 that still has the tag on it and you definitely won’t need that teddy you haven’t slept with since you were 7- even if you just remembered how cute and cuddly it is.
Be realistic! You aren’t leaving home forever!!! Even if you are moving quite far away from home, you still have access to it and you will not be locked up in your university for the next three years! Do not pack your whole wardrobe and definitely do not pack your summer wardrobe because quite frankly you will not need it. A lot of students tend to forget that civilisation does exist outside the town in which they live and pack boxes of cereal and pasta forgetting that this can easily be bought once they have moved in. Anything forgotten can be retrieved or easily replaced guys- do not panic!
Make it personal. It may not be at home but it’s still your room, simple things such as a FEW photos and even a colour scheme can make a room much more comfortable. Some DIY decorative pieces should certainly do the trick.
I hope this post has been somewhat helpful in helping you to decide what is important when packing for university, it can be quite a stressful thing to think about but try to stay relaxed throughout the process and make the most out of this new journey in your life.