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University halls: What to bring and what to leave behind – an illustrated blog

15 September 2017

4 mins

When it came to moving into halls, I was quite honestly, pretty terrified. I knew I would be fine, but nothing can really prepare you for the big step of moving away from home. Bags packed with the entirety of my possessions (okay, I’m kind of exaggerating) I was ready for the year, solo.

Having survived the year (and survived it having the best time) I will now impart my wisdom regarding what you may forget to take, and what you most definitely don’t need to take to your new digs in university halls!


  1. Photos- Reminding yourself of home can often relieve homesickness and by pinning photos onto the wall (in a way that won’t damage the wall, lets be sensible now) it can instantly make your new room homely!
  2. Pain killers- Perfect for fresher’s flu (which you will most definitely get) and also killer hangovers (sorry mum) Pain Killers are a necessity for student life.
  3. Playing cards- These can help break the ice in a new flat. Play Cheat or even the student favourite, Ring of Fire, but be careful now!
  4. Door stop- Excuse my lame illustration because, how can anyone make a doorstop pretty? This will help you to meet new friends and feel less secluded. Prop open your door and watch the friends roll in!
  5. Disposable camera- This was one of the best purchases I made in my first year. I now have a collection of photos which will help me to remember the parties AND the cosy nights in! Then recycle these as item No. 1and put them up in your next house!
  6. Tupperware- Oh, how I owe much of my time and money to these little plastic boxes of joy. By bulk making food and storing it in these babies I saved money, time, but definitely not freezer space!
  7. Ice cube tray- I went through the whole of first year sneakily borrowing somebody else’s. Although sharing is good, one ice cube tray does not serve 6 people (when all have a not chilled bottle of wine to drink). They are both cheap and super useful.


  1. Mini fridge- You will definitely have enough fridge space, I promise! Leave the mini fridge behind and socialise in the kitchen.
  2. Your whole wardrobe- I made this mistake and it wont be one I’ll make again. Take your winter wardrobe and summer wardrobe separately. You won’t need those winter boots (if) we get a warm summer!
  3. Car- As a first year (unless you work elsewhere) you definitely won’t need your car. Most halls don’t have the space to park them. The campus, although big, is all walkable!
  4. Kitchen utensils you don’t use- My mum (although the gesture was appreciated) sent me with all sorts of kitchen utensils I have never used! Not once did I used my whisk, a fork does the job just as well.
  5. High heels- Apart from the Balls at the end of term, for a regular night out, heels are not the one. Get out your oldest pair of shoes, nobody is looking at your shoes and if they are, take pride in your comfort!
  6. Pets- I know your Cat Pebbles will miss you incredibly, but university halls are no place for Pebbles, or any living thing. That is, unless that living thing is the mould growing on your housemates dirty washing up…
  7. Parents- Unfortunately, mum and dad have got to learn to let go! Take them out for a meal and visit them often (after all they’re probably paying for your good time) but don’t let them stay forever!

So there we are! A very much not comprehensive, but hopefully helpful, illustrated ‘to take’ and ‘leave’ list. All my other illustration work can be found on my Instagram and Facebook page- @laurenjeffersidesign or my website. Good luck with moving in – you’ll be great!

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