You Don’t Need the Kitchen Sink: Packing
Last year, when I packed for uni, I might as well have been moving to another planet. I looked at every packing list, completely paranoid that I’d forget something and I tried to pack every single thing I could possibly need for an entire year. Because Warwick’s sooo isolated, right?
Of course, this ended up with me having a lot of stuff in my room that never got used. I also ended up eating a load of weird food combinations at the start because I’d dragged enough tins to uni to last me to Pluto and back a few times over, so I was determined to use them. Even though people say Warwick’s isolated, there’s a Tesco right on the edge of campus – it was about 15 minutes to walk from my flat in Whitefields to Tesco (and the Wilko round the back, and an Iceland, and a Boots, and loads of little shops…). If you couldn’t get what you needed there, there’s an IKEA in Coventry – take the 12X from campus, then get off at the next stop after the train station and look for the massive blue and yellow building. There’s plenty of other stuff in the area too – and chances are, if you got the bus, you got a return ticket, which is actually a day ticket that you can use on any of the National Express buses, so you can hop to other places in Coventry pretty easily. Of course, if you already own something you know you’ll need, there’s not much sense in leaving it at home and buying a new one – but if it’s something you don’t already own, you can probably hold off buying it for a while after arriving.
That being said, there’s a few things that I think are nice to have from the start:
1. Sure, they sell these at Wilko, and I’ve started seeing them in Tesco too recently, but walking into any shop near campus in the first week of term is like walking into some sort of stationery-based zombie apocalypse. I’ve never seen shelves so bare!
2. Again, they sell food at Tesco and Rootes Grocery Store, but both were absolutely heaving on arrivals weekend. It seemed like every single fresher and their parents was in there to stock up on food before they parted ways. The queues went all the way down to the middle of the shop, and it must’ve taken over an hour to get from having all the stuff I wanted in a trolley to paying for it. Take enough food to get you through a few meals, then head down to Tesco once the dust has settled – it’ll be more relaxed and you won’t spend ages queueing.
3. Great for keeping a spare duvet cover, towels, jumpers etc in a fraction of the space. Most campus rooms have fairly limited storage space, and it makes things easier to transport to and from uni.
4. I brought copies of the FP2, FP3 and FP4 textbooks with me, and used them on more than a few occasions. I found them especially useful for the Differential Equations module, because I hadn’t done FP2 or FP4 and there were some gaps in my knowledge. The usefulness of A-level texts will vary, depending on your subject, though.
5. I bought a cheapish printer that takes cheap ink (Epson XP-322, if you’re interested). I’ve used about £3 worth of ink all year – that’s including printing copies of assignments, lecture notes, timetables, tickets, vouchers and forms for myself and a few flatmates. I’ve also printed all of the QuizSoc pub quiz material since I got on the exec in February, so my printer has definitely been worth it for me. It’s probably worth figuring out how much you’re likely to print and planning accordingly.
6. I’d never used one of these before, but all the lists I read raved about them. I bought a thin memory foam one in Poundstretcher for about £15 for a single, and it really did make a difference to the feel of my mattress. Uni mattresses are famously not great – it seems like everyone has one that’s too soft or too hard.
7. I drink loads of water, especially when I’m busy. There are loads of water coolers on campus, so it’s really easy to find a place to fill it up. As it stood when I was last on campus, the water cooler in the Zeeman building is terribly slow. If you’re queuing behind more than a couple of people, it’s often quicker to walk to the Humanities block, fill your bottle up there, and walk back over.