The Ultimate Guide to Packing for University
First of all, CONGRATS to everyone whose offers have been confirmed and who are going to be joining Warwick. If your results have not yet come out, hold on tight, you’ll get there eventually!
So, I was reflecting upon last year, and I realised I was freaking out and going crazy packing for university. Thus, I thought I should use this post to advise you guys on what all is essential to be taken to University.
Even though you would think it’s very early to start thinking about what to bring with you, it’s best to do as much as possible as early, to avoid last minute panicking and running around.
Getting down to it. Here’s a list to begin with.
1. Room decorations– You will regret not bringing any of these to Warwick. I have so many friends who come to my room and say "Oh my god, you have decorated your room so well, I wish I had put in effort in the beginning of the year!" Decorations just make your dull room look more wholesome, colourful, and most importantly, it just makes your entire soul more energised and happy and YOU when you wake up every morning.
2. Pictures– Childhood pictures, embarrassing pictures, family pictures and photos of celebrity crushes should definitely be taken as they can help fill up your entire pinboard (the pinboards in Warwick, especially in Rootes are HUGE). When you’re feeling homesick or down, seeing pictures of your friends and loved ones really help lighten the mood. Moreover, pictures can be great conversation starters!
3. Door stoppers– Trust me, you WILL come across something along the lines of: "don’t think twice because a door stopper is going to be the most essential thing to bring to uni and will help you make friends" in one of the student forums you read. Like you, when I read this, I went on a rampage looking for a door stopper. I later realised that no one in any accommodation, however friendly and open they are, uses one in Warwick, so don’t make the mistake of buying one, as no one keeps their door open (and living in one of the most social accommodations on campus, rootes, you can trust me on this).
4. Exotic ingredients and food items– If you hail from another country except England, and know how to cook, and would be cooking during your university life, you should not forget to get ingredients that are exclusively found in your country that will contribute to making your favourite dish. Even if you don’t cook, you should bring tasty snacks or other packaged home food.
5. Laptop/lecture Bag– Carry a bag big enough to fit a laptop and one or two registers. You will be taking this to all your lectures/seminars so if looks matter to you a lot, start looking for one that ticks all the boxes for you.
6. Stationary– If you’re an international student, it is wise to carry all your stationary from home as stationary is very expensive in the UK. The most important items of stationary have to be registers/notebooks, pens, highlighters, post-it notes, folders, ring binders, staplers and staple pins, rulers, pencils, erasers, sharpeners, pinboard pins, and blue/white tack. Other than that, if you have space carry, all-surface markers, whiteners, cello-tape, paper clips and a student planner/diary.
7. Alarm Clock– ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL!! Don’t rely on your phone! There have been multiple times, my phone alarm failed to ring and I missed my 9 AM seminar. THUS, it is necessary for you to have a backup option in place.
8. Speakers– If you love listening to music and can’t live without it, you should definitely carry a set of speakers. Don’t worry because people do blare music in their rooms, even though you are supposed to keep it at a minimal level. Tip: You can also provide the music for your flat parties if you have a good set of speakers.
Other obvious yet absolutely essential items
9. Clothes– I can’t tell this enough but the weather in England is absolutely horrible. It is almost always raining and so be sure to get a wind-sheeter or a waterproof jacket, a fleece type of jumper, two to three winter coats. Carry some formal clothes, (they can always come out handy for open days/career fairs, job interviews) going out clothes (for pubs/clubs/house parties). If you’re wondering what girls wear while going to a club in Warwick, it varies from skirts and crop-tops, to dresses, to high-waisted jeans and tops, to whatever funky other thing suits them (it is suffocated and hot inside the club, and so it is necessary to wear a summery top inside your coat). You can literally wear whatever you are comfortable with because the best part about university is that no one cares and no one judges. I have seen girls coming out in their pjs as well, so it really doesn’t matter. Everyone, at least the sane ones, wears a coat and leaves it in the cloakroom inside the club, because they don’t want to freeze at night, and so whenever you go for a night out, it makes sense to wear a coat on top of your top. Last but not the least, it is good to carry, some scarves/mufflers/gloves, for when it gets really cold in the winter months.
10. Toiletries– Literally carry everything because you don’t want to be running around when you reach Warwick for a face-cream. Also, don’t forget to carry a hair dryer or a curler (if you use it).
11. Medicines– Carry all important ones and perhaps with a list to go along with it, explaining which medicine to take in which situation, if you are not aware, like me.
13. Portable charger
Make a day-trip to IKEA/Wilkinson’s (Cannon Park) and Tesco when you arrive in the UK, and buy the following:-
14. Kitchen equipment– As you all already know, unlike the USA and like most other UK universities, Warwick does not have any dining hall facilities and so you need to purchase cooking utensils. Being an international student, it made sense for me to buy mine from the UK itself and so a weekend trip to Wilkinson’s did it for me. Even if you don’t intend to cook and rather intend to buy a majority of ready meals, you should still be on the safe side and get yourself at least plates, bowls, glasses, mugs, pans, strainer, cutlery and a cooker. A sponge for cleaning utensils, cleaning cloth and washing soap should also be bought.
16. Bedding– This includes a warm blanket, (even with the radiators turned on, it does get pretty chilly) duvet, bedsheets, pillow covers and a mattress protector. The ones provided by the university are quite worn out and dirty and so mostly everyone does up their room really cute in different colours and buys their own.
17. Laundry Basket for your room and laundry bag for carrying your clothes to the halls’ washing machine.
18. Washing powder/fabric softener- The laundry will obviously not provide this and so you need to invest in one on your own.
19. Small drying rack– Mostly everyone dries clothes in the dryer in the laundry, but at times when your clothes don’t dry even after a run in the dryer, and you don’t want to spend two quid running the clothes again, you should have a small clothing rack for when such emergency situations arise.
20. Lamp– The lighting at the study desk is pretty dim and so it is best to buy a well-lit desk lamp when you arrive here.
21. Printer– DONT PURCHASE THIS BEFORE YOUR COURSE STARTS as there are several places on campus where you can get things printed. It is not necessary that a printer will be a worthy investment for you because it all depends on your course and what you study, so it is a good idea to wait and see as your course progresses, rather than making an impulsive decision.
Phew! That’s all I have.
I tried to make this list as comprehensive as possible and of course, there are plenty of things that are missing from this list, but it’s a guide to get you started and hopefully one that will keep you on the right track.
Hope you have a wonderful day and thanks for reading!