Heading off to university is exciting for new and returning students alike. Before you go, it’s important to make sure you’ve got everything you’ll need for the upcoming semester. After all, you don’t want to realize you forgot to bring highlighters or your favourite jacket when you’re running out the door to your first class.
The items on this list are just suggestions – you might find that you don’t need some of the things listed below, or you might want to bring something that isn’t mentioned here. Use the list as a guideline, and add to it as you see fit.
Whether you’re living on or off campus in student lettings, you’re going to need some basic equipment for your room or flat. Do a little research before you start packing, though. Call your landlord or residence hall and ask what kind of furnishings will be there when you arrive. If you’ll be living with roommates, get in touch with them and ask what they’ll be bringing. Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to make your own packing list. Consider bringing the following:
- Bedding. Bring your own sheets, pillows, and blankets.
- Cooking pots and pans. Even if you’re going to buy a meal plan on campus, you’ll probably want to cook some of your own food, too.
- A plate, a bowl, and silverware. Consider bringing extras if you expect to have friends over.
- A thermos, especially if you’re a coffee drinker. You’ll need something to keep you awake during those early-morning lectures.
- An alarm clock.
- A laundry hamper or bag, along with some laundry soap.
- A fan.
- Clothes hangers.
- Envelopes and postage stamps.
- A flashlight.
- An umbrella.
- Shower shoes, if you’re going to be living in shared accommodations.
- A broom and dustpan.
- A dustbin.
- A small sewing kit.
- A first-aid kit. You probably won’t need it, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
- A bulletin board.
As easy as it is to forget sometimes, learning is the whole point of going to university. (Or most of the point, anyways.) Here’s what you’ll need to succeed when it’s time to hit the books.
- A sturdy book bag.
- A planner or academic diary, so you don’t lose track of assignments.
- A dictionary.
- A thesaurus.
- A calculator.
- Loose-leaf paper.
- Pens and pencils.
- Index cards.
- A ruler.
- Rubber bands.
- Paper clips.
- A stapler and a staple remover.
- Post-it notes.
- A hole punch.
- A USB stick. Always remember to back up your work!
The clothing you bring to uni is more a personal choice than anything else. You know what you like to wear and how many clothes you need, so use that as your guide. Just make sure to bring clothes that are appropriate for all seasons. The weather might still be warm now, but it will turn chilly sooner than you think, so be ready to layer up. Here are some ideas for clothes you might want to bring with you.
- Nice trousers
- Casual shirts
- A nice dress or two, if you’re a woman
- Gym clothes
- A light jacket
- A winter coat
- A raincoat
- Comfortable trainers
- Dressy shoes
- Plenty of socks and undies, so you don’t have to do laundry more often than necessary
- A robe to wear around the house
Toiletries and Health Supplies
Don’t stress too much about which toiletries to bring – these are easy to find and buy everywhere (See our Leeds Guide). If you’re worried about packing space, just bring enough toiletries to get you started, and buy more once you arrive at uni. Don’t skip the cold and flu medicine; almost everyone gets sick their first year at uni.
- A shower caddy
- Soap or body wash
- Hair conditioner
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Dental floss
- Face wash
- Towels and washcloths
- Shaving cream
- Hair products
- Nail clippers
- Lip balm
- Cough drops
- Pain medicine
- Prescription medications
- Cold and flu medication
Check out our student life hacks!
Whew. You’re almost ready to go. You’re not quite done packing yet, though. There are a few more things you’ll definitely want that don’t fit into any of the categories above.
- Important documents like your passport, driving license, bank documents, and financial aid documents. Keep these somewhere safe where you won’t lose them.
- A camera to document your memories.
- A bike, especially if you’re living off campus, along with a helmet and a lock.
- Earplugs, especially if you’re going to have roommates or housemates.
- Photos and mementos that remind you of home.
- Entertainment, like books, DVDs, and board games.
- Costume clothing, in case you end up at a themed party.
- Safety pins
- Potted plants
- Important contact information in an address book
If this is your first year going off to university, you might never quite feel prepared, no matter how much you pack. Don’t worry about getting your packing list exactly right, though – as long as you’ve got the basics covered, you’ll be fine. University is about so much more than having a perfectly organized desk or fully stocked kitchen. Best of luck this semester – and don’t forget to have fun!