Everything you don’t need to bring to university

You’ll probably end up packing it anyway

freshers freshers 2016 halls packing

When packing for university, it’s easy to feel like you’re bringing everything but the kitchen sink. We’re helping you cut down on packing – with our list of what not to bring.

Ditch – a lamp

Just leave it at home

Just leave it at home

The bulb will die in the first six months, and rather than replace it, you’ll transport it from student house to student house for three years

Swap for – fairy lights

They’re cute and you can snap in batteries and put them wherever you want. Plus you know the difference between the types of batteries. The bulb aisle is a maze complicated to navigate for anyone not studying something science-y.

Ditch – the cute potted plant

It will die. Halls don’t have enough light to sustain your little potted orchid, and even if you somehow happen to have enough sunshine, you will inevitably forget to water it. You’ll forget to bring it home and it will shrivel and die over the holidays.

Swap for – a cactus

Plants: The student proof edition

Plants: The student proof edition

Sure, it doesn’t have a pretty flower. It’s covered in prickly spines you’ll stab yourself with. But it will survive your constant neglect and needs essentially no attention or affection.

Ditch – your A-level notes

You worked hard on those Philosophy and Ethics notes all year. Hundreds of years of theories are colour-coded in your ring binders. They’ve got to be helpful, right?

Wrong. You’ll cover everything in those folders in the first two weeks, and they’ll be left gathering dust under your bed.

Swap for – Summaries

If you’re sure you’ll have forgotten everything from your A-levels by the time Freshers’ roles around, take out the summary sheets so you can have a quick reminder to draw on. Alternatively, pick up a “50 key ideas in…” book. It will give you a little background to jog your memory before you get your teeth into your reading list.

Ditch –  Tonnes of Textbooks

They sent around a course reading list for every module. Your parents are insisting you have them all. DON’T let your mum take you out and buy everything on it. Chances are you’ll only need the core texts, and the rest you can borrow from the library or read online.

Swap for – Book Tokens

If your parents are still insisting they kit you out for uni (lucky you), ask that they get you some book tokens instead. They will be safe in the knowledge you aren’t spending their money on beer, and you can pick up whatever you need for your course as you go along.

Ditch – Fancy Kitchenware

The kitchen stuff is TK Maxx is all so lovely. You just HAVE to have that adorable polka dot plate set. The reality of halls means you will inevitably lose or break half your stuff along the way, and by the end of the year you’ll have to replace it. Don’t waste money on expensive plates you’ll be eating beans on toast from.

Don't need fancy plates when you'll be eating this

Don’t need fancy plates when you’ll be eating this

Swap for – Cheap and Cheerful

There is nothing wrong with IKEA kitchenware. If you’re going to get something nice, make it your cutlery. Everyone comes to university with plain silver knives and forks. Three weeks in, no one remembers what belongs to who – except the person who got a set with purple handles.

Ditch – The Air Mattress

Sure, people are going to come and stay in your halls all the time. People from your uni and friends from home will crash on your floor every week. You will never have the energy to pump the air mattress up. Literally never. It will live in a drawer until you graduate.

Swap for – an extra duvet

You’ll probably need a double duvet for second year anyway. A folded up duvet topped with a blanket is a perfectly acceptable makeshift bed, without the hassle of inflating anything.

Swap for – A Toaster and a kettle

There are two possibilities when it comes to flat toaster and kettle. Either everyone will bring them, and you’ll end up with 8 of each in your kitchen, or no one will. If you realise your flat is without these essentials  the morning after your arrival, it can be your first flat shopping trip together. Either way, there is no need to bring them with you.

Swap for – A toastie maker

There is nothing quite like the joy of a drunken 3am toastie with unnecessary amounts of cheese. Bring a toastie maker and become the hero of your flat.