Packing for University? The 5 Absolute Must-Haves!

When I started university last year all I could take with me had to fit into one large suitcase, one small suitcase, a carry on bag and a personal item.  Trust me, this was no easy feat.  Especially when you add in weight restrictions and some of the bulky things I was packing (Hunter wellies anyone?).  It was kinda a night mare.

Of course, it was all complicated by the fact that I had no clue what I really needed.  After reading all of the lists of the things you must bring, I was left feeling a little overwhelmed.  Would I really need a mini tool kit, Seventeen?  (the answer is no)

What I found out after a year of trial-and-error was that what you need was exactly what you didn’t bring. So here is what you need to cram into you suitcase, or car, or backpack, or cardboard box, or whatever you are using to transport your belongings to uni no matter what.

1.  A shower caddy.  It will save your life, though it may seem frivolous.  Example: the girls I shared my shower with put all their shampoo, conditioner, body wash and razors (I kid you not) on our window sill.  Having a shower caddy would have made life a bit more pleasant for everyone.  The best kind is plastic with holes in the bottom.

2.  A scarf and possibly a hat.  Or, the thing you aren’t even thinking of.  Remember, you are packing for fall and winter in summer, these things just don’t cross your mind.  Make sure to include at least a couple cold weather options so that when winter hits, you’re prepared.

Books aren't such a great idea

3.  Shower shoes.  The very idea of standing barefoot in communal showers kind of makes me want to chunder.  Not to mention the walk to the bathroom on carpet with bare wet feet doesn’t sound to pleasant.  Seriously, save yourself and bring a pair of beat of flip flops or buy some new cheap ones.

The hall cat chillin' in my room

4.  An alarm clock that is not your phone.  I do it too, but frankly it’s just not practical to rely on your phone to wake you up.  It can get lost, run out of battery, wake you up at the wrong time, basically using a phone is more trouble than its worth.  A real alarm clock will help you wake up on time.

Merry Christmas cup optional, though fun mugs are a lovely addition

5.  A kettle.  Maybe this is the English girl in me talking, but I think kettles are pretty awesome.  Having the ability to boil water in your room quickly is great for making tea, coffee, hot chocolate or even oatmeal.  Many schools provide you with one, but investing in a mini one can save you troublesome trips to the communal kitchen.

What are your must haves for university or communal housing?  


5 thoughts on “Packing for University? The 5 Absolute Must-Haves!

  1. Rachel

    my number 1 thing i tell friends who are about to start school to get is RAINBOOTS! you’re inevitably outside when it rains to get to class, why ruin shoes when you could wear some cute, stylish rainboots? another thing i got recently that i love is my shower wrap. then i don’t have to deal with leaving clothes by the shower, and i can use the towel exclusively on my hair!

  2. College & Other Pesky Things

    I AGREE WITH THE TOOL KIT! (See ‘Packing for College, Part 2 on my blog). They are such a total waste of space. i have never, ever once used a tool kit at school.

  3. Alyssa

    Don’t pack a first aid kit. They seem like they’d be helpful, and almost all school say you need one, but almost every class, hallway, and stairwell. All packing one does is take up space, and you invariably forget it in your room anyway.

    1. Emilia Post author

      Good advice! I’ve never really thought about that, but a first aid kit is one of those things people always recommend packing, though will probably go unused… 🙂


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