What to Bring to University: The Ultimate Packing Guide

I will never forget arriving at university to be greeted by a soulless, stained carpet, magnolia walled room with a brown and yellow curtain. My heart sank. But, I learnt how to make it homely and functional. So, this is your go-to guide for figuring out what to bring to do the same.

Before digging in an important and full disclosure:

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My go-to laptop is the MacBook Pro. I’ve been using Macs or years, they’re sturdy for lecture halls, bars, laundrettes at midnight and trains home. Plus, it’ll talk to your other Apple devices.

You’ll be doing an obscene amount of printing! I use this HP Officejet to print and copy. It’s pretty quiet too.


So you’ll need cartridges to print anything. Buy a value multi-pack – I know you don’t think you need Magenta but it makes a difference. Make sure you get the numbers compatible with your printer!!


Plus, you’ll need paper good enough to avoid the dreaded ‘unblock paper jam’ message. I confess, this has left me in tears before : (

Back-up your work with a portable hard drive. Don’t lose you essay, dissertation file or all those great moments you’ll capture in photos and video.


An extension lead is essential. Charging phones, iPads, hair straighteners etc.. and you can bet they’ve been stingy. Get a runner rug to put over the top. (trip hazard)


I love these Oxford Campus notebooks, been using them for years. Great colours for different subjects and your pen just glides…

A desk organiser may seem a bit retro but you still need somewhere to put pens, staplers, spare notice board pins etc.. I like this one as it has a drawer for flashcards and a section for your phone and keys.


And speaking of notice boards…. definitely get one of these. This one is part whiteboard part pinboard.


They’ll be a lot of paper. Stay organised with a good stapler or…

multi-coloured paperclips.

Post-Its are a must but also try these bright page markers for those massive textbooks that won’t stay open!


You can spend a fortune on batteries. Look at your devices and opt for re-chargeable from the start.

I’d actually keep this in your room. Plus, you do not want to use the grill in a shared kitchen after the first week. Urghhh. Quick snack. Job done.


A true essential to daily life. I’m a tea drinker so here’s a great kettle. If you’re into coffee here are some machines I have no idea how to work!

Nothing worse when you’re studying and your tea goes cold. You can also take a thermos out and about.

Your hands will thank me for this one. Get a rucksack you can use for your food shopping especially the ‘big shop’ If you’re getting the bus or have a long way to walk + four flights of stairs it can be hell.

Unless you want to say bye-bye to your deposit invest in some of this.


Don’t you think Fairy Lights just make everything look nicer?

Ok, I couldn’t resist a bit of Union Jack style. A cosy fleece blanket during winter term.

Ok, some clothes will just shrivel and die if you put them in the laundrette tumble dryers. Use this collapsible clothes horse in your room and (hopefully) tuck it under the bed when not in use.


I use these big collapsible laundry baskets. No matter how much I stuff in they just don’t break! Plus you get funky colours.


Your bed probably much like home will continue to be multi-functional. So, get a dark bedding set so it won’t instantly show up highlighter pen marks and pizza stains at 2:00am. I used it as a chance to put some colour into my drab room.


And, if you’re going to spend a lot of time on your bed you can bet the wafer-thin pillows you may get (if you’re lucky) won’t cut it! A good pillow is worth the investment.


A reading lamp that won’t blind you or give you a headache. This one’s dimmable.


Boring but stuff happens.


At some point, it will rain and you will suddenly realise you have no-where to hang-up your soggy coat.