First of all, if you’re reading this because you’ve got the grades and are into uni, then well done, you clever little swines! This includes my little sister, who I hope will take this as a lesson to never doubt herself again.
Anyway, back to the post.
In my first year of uni, in all of my fresher excitement, I took two cars worth of stuff with me. TWO CARS. I have a massive problem with overpacking, but that’s just ridiculous. As there’s loads of guides out there telling you what to take, I thought I’d go through all the things that you (and I) should definitely just leave at home.
So obviously I don’t mean all of your clothes, but think about this sensibly. If you’re anything like me, you’ll insist on carting every single top, skirt or pair of jeans that you own, only to spend the term in gym gear because it’s easier than taking a change of clothes to your lectures/a dogeared jumper because well, you just can’t be arsed. Also, don’t pack all your summer stuff when you set off in September: it’ll take up loads of space in your wardrobe that could fit another jumper in instead.
All your books.
Because I was studying English, I thought it’d be a good idea to take pretty much every single book that I owned to uni with me. Which was all well and good, until I was faced with the mammoth task of unpacking about three massive boxes that just ended up gathering dust for most of the year, because I was too busy with my module texts (well, that and getting wasted on socials). By all means, take a few of your favourites, but you really won’t have time for the 400 you’re planning to take.
Make up and other beauty bits.
Just like with the clothes, you’ll start off with good intentions, pristinely putting your face on every morning before heading onto campus. After the first couple of weeks, though, it just becomes easier to roll out of bed for your 9am (why are they so difficult to get up for??), and you forget all about the good impression you were hoping to make pre-uni. Whittle down your make up to the essentials, and leave the rest at home (you might have a sibling that will be more than happy to look after your stuff while you’re away… Sorry Lil).
Every single knick knack and keepsake.
There’s loads of articles about making ‘a halls room a home’ and all that jazz, but don’t go too far. In first year, I got really overexcited and printed off about 500 photos of my friends and family, took all the posters from my room, and rounded up all the random bits and bobs I’ve collected over the years, all in order to make myself feel comfortable in my new, unfamiliar space. But your mates aren’t going to know, let alone mind, that you’ve left that shot glass they bought you in 2013 at home, so save yourself some hassle and leave it there.
Loads of fancy dress stuff.
So many checklists seem to list this, and a lot of the freshers events seem to incorporate some kind of fancy dress night. However, don’t bother carting your full blown Wonder Woman outfit with you, because the likelihood is that your new mates are going to DIY something for themselves that they purchased at Primark.
An abundance of kitchen bits and bobs.
Think about it. Unlike at home, there’s just YOU… so do you really need four plates, four bowls and an array of kitchen knives? Take one of each and it’ll save you being the annoying person that clogs up the sink with all of their stuff.
A door stop.
Again, a favourite amongst uni checklists, but with most halls now being refurbished, they’re becoming a bit obsolete. My mammy bought me a ‘Where’s Wally?’ one (cool, I know), but I wasn’t allowed to use it because my door was a fire door, and had to be kept shut (boring, but better than being burnt alive).
Just to balance it out a bit and save me from dwelling on the negative, here’s a few bits that I found were really useful…
– My own printer. This saved me faffing about in the library/allowed me to be really last minute with handing in assignments etc.
– Sweets and alcohol. If all else fails, bribe your new flatmates into being your friends by sharing your stuff. But maybe leave out the Tescos Own Vodka, because it tastes like bleach (yum).
– A cleaning box. If you’ve got your own bathroom, then please don’t be that kid that makes it a literal shithole. I had a box under my bed with cleaning essentials in it, and, by making sure it was topped up, it saved me from living in a cesspit.
– Stationary. All the obvious things you need to continue your studies.
– A little medical kit. You just never know when you’re going to have a headache/blister/fall in the gutter and cut your knees open (guilty). Make sure you don’t get septicaemia by having a bag of emergency medical essentials.
And that’s that. Again, well done to you clever lot, you’ll have an amazing time at uni. Study hard(ish) and enjoy every moment, because it goes in a flash (boo).
P.S Wifi’s back on here and things seem to be settling down, so you’ll hopefully be seeing my ugly mug more regularly!