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You should preferably start thinking about your luggage about two weeks before you’re set to leave as there’s going to be lots to buy and not all of it will come to mind that simply. So here are several things I advise you to consider taking (and leaving behind) that you may not have thought of.
An alarm clock. For the love of God, take an alarm clock. Timed phone ringtones are unreliable and no substitute for that a good old fashioned beepity beep that we all know and hate.
A desk lamp. A bulky but beneficial item which will come in handy most at 3am when you’re 200 words in to an essay due in tomorrow.
Paracetamol. For unexpected tummy bugs or, more likely, hangovers. Trust me. It doesn’t matter how many you pack, there is always room for more. You will earn yourself the title of house Matron in no time and there is no one loved more than a non-dangerous drug dealer.
A doorstop. Unless you have lived in a van down by a river all your life, you will have an inkling how to socialise with people. Coming and going effortlessly is just one of the functions of a doorstop; it also nonverbally invites people to come and interact with you when you could do with a break. Nice idea, right?
A pack of cards. There are few houses doomed more than ones where the occupants forgot to bring a pack of cards. It’s an essential social item, designed to break the ice in any situation and provide never-ending bouts of laughter.
DVDs. The majority of students use less than half of what they bring, myself included. Those 30 generic DVDs I brought became pretty pointless when we all found out Dave in room 6’s Netflix password.
Books. Do yourself and your spine a favour and don’t bulk loads of books in that carry-all. Make use of the library. Of course that copy of Jane Eyre your grandmother optimistically bought you on your 4th birthday might come in handy if you’re doing an English Literature degree; or a Bible if you’re doing a course on Western Religion, and so on. Be choice.
A small sewing kit. Now, this might seem like a weird one, but trust me, we have all wished one was in the vicinity at one time or another. At some stage, one of your chiffon skirts or linen trousers catches the Sugarhouse door handle and Primark doesn’t seem that much of a quality brand any more.
Hangers. You will either buy no clothes for the entirety of your university life and will start having the old “No, this is not the same one. I have many green shirts with the word Bazinga on it” line on tab most days of the week. Or you will, as I did, discover the magic of eBay 3 weeks in to your first year of university. When I was piling seven items on to one poor, waning clothes hanger, I kind of wished I’d brought a couple of spares.
Mouthwash. University students don’t always use mouthwash. But when they do, it’s because they’re too drunk to brush their teeth. Sleepovers with friends or ‘friends you haven’t met yet’ may conclude with you sitting in your 10AM lecture with no clue why your neighbour is covering their nose every time you speak.
Face paint. It’s a must. Versatile fancy dress get-up would also do you well to bring. At least twice a year, everybody who knows you have a supply will be begging you for it.
Wipes. For the above, and other usages. You will need them daily.
Extension cord. Because everyone knows Buzzfeed quizzes are most accurately fulfilled whilst sitting on the toilet.
Passport photos. BECAUSE YOU NEVER KNOW.
Toastie maker. Want to be the most valued member of the house? Bring one of these. It may never be used, but you brought the option.
USB drive. When there is no internet to email your work to yourself, a USB stick is a dependable, steadfast option to make sure it’s always backed up. Keep it secret, keep it safe.
Oven gloves. Often forgotten and pretty vital unless you’re going to go through the first year of uni on a strict diet of Rustler’s microwaveable burgers. And people have.
Student cookbook. If you’re not wanting to be one of those aforementioned people this is one of the best things you will take to university and fairly cheap to buy, if not free!
Vitamin pills. If your diet hasn’t gone to the dogs by December, you’re probably not doing university quite right. Have a steady supply of these cheat treats and perhaps you will pass through university with only a mere sprinkle of rickets.
Dry shampoo. Ladies and gentlemen of the long haired variety, no matter how hygienic you consider yourself to be, there are going to be days (and lots of them) when hair washing will be the last thing on your priority agenda and by the way, did you know you have a seminar in 10 minutes and you’ve yet to brush your teeth? Dry shampoo and mouthwash is far more forgivable than an unexplained class absence.
So there we have it. Just a few suggestions here, and there are plenty more to be found on the internet if this hasn’t been enough help. Happy packing!