There is no doubt that moving to university for the very first time is both an exciting and completely terrifying prospect.
Being away from the comforts of your own home for an extended period of time can making packing for university for the first time a rather daunting task. The question of what you need to take to uni, and what you can leave behind is one that can leave you crying into your childhood teddy bear.
To make it all a little bit easier to digest, here is a super helpful list of 7 dos and don’ts when it comes to packing for freshman year – to save you from over-packing, but also to make sure you’ve got everything you need for the new chapter in your life.

DO check with your university.

Before you venture out and buy anything, it is a good idea to check what your accommodation may provide for you upon your arrival. Many universities will provide their accommodations with kitchen essentials and more. Taking the time to check this could save you a surprising amount of pennies and space in your luggage.

DON’T over-pack.

This point speaks for itself – but it’s so important to figure out what you really need. Be sure to take all of the essentials into consideration, but be realistic about it. You’ll likely be moving into a small room with very little storage space – not to mention the fact you’ll have to bring it all back home come June. So there’s really no need to pack up your entire life. Prioritise what is really important, and what will be absolutely necessary for life at university.

DO take a few home comforts.

Although it is important to prioritise what is really important – you’re still going to want to take a few home comforts with you. Pack a few sentimental pieces, such as photos of family and friends and anything else you may find comfort in. Almost every student experiences feelings of homesickness at least once during their stay at university, especially in the first year. So taking these little home comforts with you will help you to see it through, and will make your new living space feel much homier.

DO consider your transport before packing.

How you travel to university is likely to have an effect on how you pack your belongings. If you’re travelling by plane, you’ll need to think seriously about airline baggage fees and weight restrictions. If you’re travelling by train, you’ll need to consider what is manageable for you to bring. Alternatively, you could ship all of your belongings straight to university using a student shipping service.

DO leave some things until you get there.

There are certain items that can be easily bought when you get to university, or over time, to save you space in your luggage. Items such as shampoos, shower gels, soaps and stationery. There is no point wasting time packing and unpacking items that can be bought and used when you are actually at university.

DO make a checklist.

Moving to university is a huge step, and the last thing you want is to arrive at university and unpack all of your belongings, only to discover that you’ve left something important behind. Making a checklist will ensure you’ve covered absolutely everything.

DON’T forget about important documents.

Amidst the stress of packing, important documents such as your university admissions letter, your student finance documents, your accommodation documents and your course acceptance letter can be easily pushed to the back of your mind. You will need them, so be sure to organise them together and ensure they’re not left behind.


Written by Katy Mairs, blog editor for


(Featured image credit: Bags and backpacks collection vector, designed by Used under the Creative Commons Licence.)