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Pack it In by Jodie Molyneaux

pack-it-in-photoEssentials & Non Essentials for your big move to university!

So you got a place on the university course of your dreams? Congratulations! You did it!

But now, here comes the really hard bit….. packing up a lifetime of belongings, dragging them up/down the motorway and shoehorning them into a cinder-blocked cell….that’s right, it’s time to make the big move to halls! Forget the dorm-style set-ups you’ve seen in American films with wide beds and plush cushions (google ‘sorority bedroom’ and get ready to weep), the British reality is somewhat different; you are more likely to be able to touch both walls with your arms outstretched and walk a grand total of 3 steps before bumping into the sink inexplicably placed in the corner of your room. Seemingly styled on old jail layouts, halls are not the prettiest of places but no one can deny that they aren’t fun!

Let’s get packing! but rather than list what you should take. let’s start with what not to take because it is far more likely that you will over-pack and over-prepare in your wide-eyed naivety. The key is to pack as light as possible; moving to halls is only the first stop in your academic career, and if your experience turns out to be anything like mine, you will end up moving to at least three different flats before graduation arrives. First of all: an iron, because who are you kidding? even if you do have a formal occasion to attend in first year (McDonalds job interview?), hanging clothes in a steamy bathroom should help the worst of the wrinkles to fall out.

Secondly, a printer. You will need to print a lot of things, sure, but any university library worth their salt will have plenty of high-quality printers with never-ending ink for a tiny price. In the same vein, too many books will quite literally weigh you down and can be bought on campus bookshops or loaned from the library, if you get there in time.

Thirdly, easy on the kitchen accessories! In all likelihood, your student flat will end up with 3 George Foreman grills, 2 rice cookers and 7 toasters, and anyway, Domino’s is always a phone call away!

Finally, a non-exhaustive list of things that are seriously essential:

  • fancy dress (including school uniform, 80’s leg warmers, golf jumpers),
  • blankets that smell like home (for the Sunday hangover blues),
  • a laptop (4OD is your friend),
  • dry shampoo (2 words: shared showers),
  • Lemsip (Fresher’s flu is real), a pen or two but most importantly….a welcoming smile and an open mind!