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What to bring to university: Ultimate packing list

24 August 2020

6 mins

I remember the few months before I started at Loughborough, the excitement and triple-checking every student forum on ‘What to Bring to University’. So, to save you from the same panic searching that I did, I’ve compiled this list of things you will need and, more importantly, stuff that you really won’t need – remember, you’ll likely be sharing communal spaces so you don’t want to overpack! 

If you’re going into private halls, it’s a good idea to check with your landlord as to what will be provided – you might need a kettle/toaster etc.  

I’ve handily separated this list into categories, so you can refer to each section as you need. 

We’ll start with the daily essentials first. 

Daily essentials: 

  • Clothes – I would advise going through your clothes before you get here, I promise you won’t need those shorts that you’ve had since you were 14. Bring a warm coat as Loughborough can get windy!  
  • Loungewear is definitely essential – joggers, trainers, sliders and a dressing gown. You will spend more time in comfy clothes than you’d like to admit!  
  • Towels – a big one for the shower and a smaller hand towel.  
  • Toiletries – Make sure you have your own shower gel, soap, shampoo/conditioner. If you need to, you can bring hair straighteners, curlers, and a blow-dryer. 
  • Medication – trust me, you will be very grateful for taking paracetamol with you. Don’t forget to take a first aid kit too – it does come in handy when you need a plaster, sting relief or a bandage! There is a pharmacy on site though if you need any extras or emergency supplies.  
  • Money – do not forget to bring debit/credit cards. There are ATMs dotted around campus if you need to get cash out but our shops, bars and eating outlets all take card.  
  • Laundry basket – you don’t want a dirty pile in the corner of the room so make sure you take one of these, but you can also buy one when you get here, there are loads of shops in town (Wilko’s/TK Max) 
  • Sports clothes/equipment – not essential for all, but it might be worth having a pair of shorts and t-shirt ready in case!  
  • ID – passport or driving license (you’ll need this for registration) 
  • You’ll also probably need fancy dress, as you’ll likely have the opportunity to dress up during fresher’s but there are plenty of charity shops in town (okay, so maybe this one isn’t an exact essential…..!). 


  • Duvet and sheets – I bought both from Tesco in Loughborough (other stores are available), but if you’ve got particularly nice ones, bring them with you!  
  • Pillows – everyone has their own preference for pillows so bring them along with you.  
  • Mattress protector – not essential but some like the extra layer!  
  • Clothes hangers – Halls don’t tend to supply lots of these.  
  • Extension cords (trust me, you’ll need them) 
  • Photographs or other things to personalise your room with – some people bring lights, plants, and posters. Candles are not allowed in Halls due to the fire risk.  
  • Something you might not think to bring (you can also buy one once you get here) is a doorstop:  
    There are two reasons for this:  
    1) is that it’s easier to move stuff in when you don’t have to contend with opening a door backwards and carrying boxes on your front. 
    2) It’s easier to chat to your new flatmates when your door is open! 
  • TV – you can bring a TV to University if you wish, however, there may be limited reception due to surrounding geography, so we recommend you use the online catch up options. But, if you intend to watch or record live television broadcasts on your PC or laptop, you should ensure that you have a valid UK television licence. 


The kitchens are university are supplied with a fridge and freezer, a toaster, a kettle, a microwave, and hob. Each student has a lockable cupboard to store their items. Most students bring an army of kitchen items and then find that all their flat mates have done the same, and end up with 8 pans, 8 graters, 8 chopping boards. Sometimes its good to just take the basics and then see what extra is needed once there.

You may need to bring the following if you’re in self-catered halls:

  • Pots and pans
  • Mugs and glasses – I’d recommend two of each, you really won’t use a set of six!
  • Bowls and plates – you probably won’t need a full dining set initially, one or two of each should do
  • Cutlery and utensils – a wooden spoon, a grater but make sure you don’t forget your tin opener (nothing worse than not being able to open the coveted tin of beans for your toast)
  • Tupperware – a definite kitchen essential as it means less cooking – just make double and store the rest in the fridge/freezer for later
  • Chopping board
  • Scissors
  • Oven gloves and tea towels

Lastly are the things you will need for studying –  

Study Essentials 

  • Laptop/Computer – we have Wifi all over campus and this is included in your room charge.  
  • You do not need to bring a printer – use the printers on campus, the cost per page is kept to an absolute minimum, and it works out significantly cheaper than having to buy paper, cartridges and a printer.  
  • Headphones
  • USB stick 
  • Stationary – pens, notebook, folders for notes 
  • A planner of some sort (you can also buy one of these once you get here) 
  • Bag/rucksack 
  • Books (some of these may be available at the library or cheap online so DON’T buy the whole reading list immediately as you could waste a lot of money on expensive books that are not needed.) 

Ultimately, you probably do not need to bring as much as you think you do and, if you do forget something, it is not the end of the world! There are plenty of shops in town to grab extra bits you might need! Please do not be the person (like I was) that arrives with boxes and boxes and boxes of clothes…

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