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What Not to Pack for University

What Not to Pack for University

Getting ready to go to university for the first time is pretty exciting. The packing part, however, isn’t that fun, right? You’re constantly thinking of everything you should take with you, but maybe you don’t stop enough time to think of what not to pack for university.

Trying to figure out what you need to survive while living on your own for the first time isn’t exactly easy. You’ll have absolutely no idea what’s essential for university life and what can easily be left behind. As a result, most new students end up panic-packing: putting everything they own into their suitcase just to avoid that awful feeling of leaving something important behind.

Of course, there are plenty of useful ways to take to uni checklists out there that can provide you with guidance on what’s necessary and what’s not. However, as everyone’s uni experience is different and some students will need items that others won’t, it’s sometimes far more practical to know what you don’t need to take with you on your new adventure…

1. Toiletries

When packing for university, a good rule is to ask yourself, “can I buy this when I get there?”. If the answer is yes, then leave the item behind. Most toiletries fall under this category. Shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and beauty products can be heavy and take up a lot of space in your luggage. This is especially inconvenient if you’re travelling to uni by plane, where every kilo counts.

2. Your entire wardrobe

Yes, every new student wants to have plenty of outfit choices to make a good first impression, but emptying your entire wardrobe into your luggage should be avoided. University halls and student accommodation don’t tend to have generous wardrobe space anyway. Plus, the majority of your time as a student will be spent in loungewear and pyjamas. So, as long as you have a good selection of comfortable clothes, along with a few more presentable outfits, you will survive.

3. An iron

Every student in the world will tell you that an iron is completely and utterly useless in a student home. Once you start doing your own laundry, you’ll realise that you don’t really have time for ironing, in between all the studying, Netflixing, and hanging out you’ll be doing. So either you’ll stop caring about wrinkled clothes or you’ll find creative ways to straighten them out — like bringing them into the bathroom whilst showering and letting the steam do the work, or placing them under your mattress at night to flatten under the weight of your body.

4. Old school notes

You may think it wise to bring along your old books and notes, but it’s best to leave all of those behind. At university, all students start afresh, so the vast majority of your old notes and folders will be irrelevant. The most sensible option is to leave all your school books at home and if it turns out that there’s something you absolutely need, you can use a cheap courier or a student shipping service to deliver it to you.

5. Your entire book collection

Avoid the temptation of taking your entire “Harry Potter” collection with you. These books are heavy and take up a lot of luggage space, and you can certainly go by with the eBook version during your time away. If you’re lucky, you can even borrow them from the local library. Your book collection will still be waiting for you on your shelf at home.

6. Stationery

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Remember the excitement of buying a new schoolbag, pencil case and fancy gel pens for school every September? Even when you get to uni, the urge to do this doesn’t go away.

However, you should resist, because when you arrive at university and attend freshmen fairs and other events, you’ll be able to pick up enough free pens, USB sticks and notepads to last you a lifetime.

7. Your car

Your car might be an essential part of your daily life back home, but it won’t be as necessary when you get to university. Most universities are centrally located, within walking distance of everything, and public transport is usually pretty efficient. In addition, car parking space at universities is often limited and expensive.

Adapted from the original post by Lana Richardson, blog editor for UniBaggage.com – The No. 1 Student Shipping Company.


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What have you packed for university that you didn’t really need to take with you? Let us know in the comments. And remember: if you need student accommodation in Europe, you’ll find the student home you’re looking for on Uniplaces.

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