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To bring or not to bring, that is the question – my university essentials list

5 September 2019

7 mins

Follow my tips on what to bring and what not to bring for your first year at Loughborough University.

First things first…after reading this blog CREATE A LIST! Without a list, you will likely forget something. I remember panicking about what I should and shouldn’t bring to University and if it would all fit in my dad’s car (it was like a game of Tetris but we got there…just)!

To bring

  1. Kitchen utensils: pots & pans, chopping board, oven trays, utensils, cutlery (coloured handles helps to distinguish yours from your flat mates)! You are going to be cooking for yourselves (unless you’re in catered halls) so don’t forget the obvious! Plates, mugs, bowls, glasses as well as cooking equipment as a necessity! Tea Towels and oven gloves are often forgotten about!
  2. Re-useable coffee flask or cup: Trust me you’ll need to take a coffee to get through those 9am lectures!
  3. Tupperware: So handy to store cooked pasta in so you can eat on the go between lectures! I love bulk making food (even if it’s simply a double portion) and storing it in a good old Tupperware I saved money, time, but definitely not freezer space!
  4. Clothes: It can be tempting to pack everything you own, but try to use this as an opportunity to start fresh and think about which clothes you really wear…have a good old clear out! Clothing is an easy one as you just need what you’d normally wear…just remember fancy dress events/Halloween is just around the corner so if you have anything for that, bring it!
  5. Loungewear: If you think you’re going to dress smartly for your lectures…you’re wrong! Chances are, you will spend 90% of your time in joggers, hoodies, leggings and chilled clothing. Those 9am lectures are a challenge, so the least you can do is ensure that you are comfy. To put this into perspective, I genuinely only wear jeans on a night out or if I’m going out for a meal! Sliders are worn by almost everyone! FLUFFY SOCKS AND DRESSING GOWNS ARE ALSO A MUST!
  6. Clothes hangers: May as well start as you mean to go on by hanging your clothes neatly in your wardrobe…it may not stay this way but at least make an effort for move-in day! Hangers always seem to go missing (well for me anyway) so bring plenty.
  7. Toiletries: Shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, deodorant, razor, toothbrush and toothpaste etc…TIP: buy most of this on arrival…trust me you’ll need the extra space in your car!
  8. Doorstop: Simple yet a great way to make it obvious that you want to socialise with your new flatmates! Prop open your door and watch the friends roll in!
  9. Laundry basket & drying rack: Store all that dirty washing and to dry it cheaply after its been washed!
  10. Extension lead: Plugs never seem to be put where we need them/not enough of them so this will come in handy!  
  11. Batteries: A pack of AAA and AA will not go a miss at University. It’s one of those items that is in that drawer at home with all sorts in and often one of the things you might forget. My fairy lights certainly needed batteries and multiple controllers need them too!
  12. Bottle opener: Again something that now sounds so obvious but is always forgotten! If you drink alcohol (it is perfectly okay not to and you will still 100% fit in if you don’t), you don’t want to be that person who performs there “party trick” of opening beer bottles with their teeth! Keep it classy and remember that bottle opener!
  13. Change: Young people nowadays tend to rarely use cash (I certainly rarely have cash on me, just my card) but you will need some at university. You want a stash of coins in your room for the laundry machines, taxis or the bus.
  14. Adaptor/chargers: Don’t be that person who forgets their phone charger and has to borrow someone’s on day 1! If you are joining us from another country, make sure you pack a travel adaptor that is suitable for the UK!
  15. Medication/Pain killers: When Freshers’ flu hits, you’ll want to be stocked up on tablets to help you get through! Make sure you have paracetamol, ibroprofen, cold/flu tablets and all those health essentials.
  16. Toilet roll: It seems to disappear quicker than I realised it would! Check with your halls, as some provide this for you!
  17. Duvet/pillows and bedsheets
  18. Towels: I brought 2 so I had a spare if one was in the wash!

The one item you will not regret packing…

  1. Your TEDDY…or a comfort item of some sort: Think you will look childish/not cool? Well don’t…3 weeks in with freshers’ flu when you start to get homesick, you’ll want something to make you feel better. Even a soft blanket to snuggle into helps. Photographs of family and friends are also lovely to look through!

One Last Tip: Order to Click and Collect from shops in town for any bulky items you don’t already own (saves space in the car), for example I ordered a printer, some kitchen items (pans etc) and a hairdryer to collect with my parents after we’d moved all my clothes etc in!

Not to bring

  1. Pets: I know you really want to (I certainly did) but you have to leave those beloved pets at home. My mum got me a cuddly toy version of my dog and gave it to me when I moved in…as close to the real dog as I could get!
  2. High heels: I was that idiot that turned up to the first freshers punch party with heeled boots on…DON’T DO IT! Buy £4 pumps/trainers from Primark that can get ruined on a night out and dirty (not your precious expensive Nike trainers). That said, if you plan on going to the Freshers Ball, you will want to be in a dress and heels so maybe bring 1 pair for this occasion!
  3. Car: Halls don’t have space to park them for starters and unless you work elsewhere, you can walk everywhere! We also have a free campus bus, which is handy if you’ve got a bit of a trek. Save money on petrol too!
  4. Kitchen utensils you don’t use: Mums have a habit of fussing but you don’t need every utensil known to man! Not once will you use a whisk, in student-life a fork does the job.
  5. Desk: Regardless of whether you’re in catered or self-catered accommodation, every room comes equipped with shelves, a chair, study table, desk lamp, wardrobe and curtains.
  6. Family: You do have to let go and say your goodbyes to friends and family but trust me, it’ll be Christmas (yes I just said the dreaded C word) before you know it!

Finally, don’t stress! What’s the worst that could happen? You forget something and have to buy it when you get here! Good luck with your journey and I’m sure you’ll feel at home as a part of the Loughborough Family soon.

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