What Not to Pack for Uni
Whether jetting to the U.K. from a faraway corner of the world with a single carry-on bag or stuffing bedsheets and the neighbour’s cat into your parents’ car ready for a long laborious drive, it’s useful to know what to pack. However, there are already a million and a half packing lists out there to help with this purpose, so here’s what not to pack.
1. Your neighbour’s cat. That was a joke. There is also already a campus cat called Rolf.
2. Summer clothes. It’s September. Stop being optimistic. Christmas jumpers are almost but not yet acceptable to wear.
3. Heels. Not only because they are a subtle insult from the patriarchy forcing us to wreck our posture in order to “look good” but also because there is rarely an occasion to wear them. The best footwear for epic dancing on slippy club floors will always be trainers, or steel-capped boots to guard your precious toesies.
4. Plain cutlery. Buy the brightest colours you can find –something unique and cheap at a charity shop, everyone goes to IKEA – so if you happen upon a conniving flatmate hunched over your precious bowl using your precious implements your stuff is instantly recognisable.
5. Anything precious. Jewellery, electronics, a symbolic gold Buddha although you don’t practise Buddhism. The point is, if something gets lost or broken you don’t want it to ruin your week. Keep that stuff at “home home”.
6. Photos which remind you of everyone you’re missing. Most people like the reminder of happy times but I’d argue you should be focussing on making new happy memories, not staring ruefully at old ones on the wall.
7. A Netflix subscription. Netflix provides an excuse for you to stay in and mope when you should be forcing yourself to get out and meet new people/try out a new hobby/sport etc etc. Staying in your room alone is the worst thing you can do in your first few months at uni. If you absolutely can’t miss a series, befriend a flatmate who has a subscription and make an event out of it by watching it together. Netflix’n’chill in the innocent sense.
8. Too many expectations which are impossible to fulfill. Freshers week can be fun/difficult/disappointing/exciting/tiring etc especially since for a lot of us it’s our first time drinking alcohol or being around people who drink a lot of alcohol. Don’t expect to make all of your best friends within a week at uni. Some people do but most find them later on.
Remember also that via the simple law of The Accumulation of Random Stuff at Uni, if you arrive with one suitcase you will likely be leaving with at least two. My uni stuff is still being stored at uni over summer, and following on from the number of duvets I have been generously donated by various international friends who have come and gone, will require a small convoy of cars to take back to Scotland at the end of my degree. Perhaps I can pass them on to someone else. Anyone need five duvets?