Packing for uni (UK edition)

Sharon Berhane

When it comes to packing for university, it can really be split between ‘necessities’ and the ‘nice to haves’. By creating this division, it helps you pack lighter meaning you have an easier journey to university.

Necessities include things such as medication, weather appropriate clothing, shoes, toiletries, laptop/tablet, and anything else you think you would really need while being at university for the term. Do remember you can always go back home to collect more stuff throughout term or swap out things at the end of term as well so don’t feel pressured to bring everything all at once!

With your less essential items, you can either buy it while you are there or only bring it if you have the space to. For example, while a pillow and blanket is essential, I would recommend buying that at university to save yourself the trouble of carrying it there. Since you are a home student, you may be lucky enough to have your parents drive you to and from university, in which case, you might be able to pack a lot of less essential items because of this. However, if you are planning on taking the train, I found it really difficult trying to find space on the luggage rack. I was bringing two suitcases, two big bags and two backpacks, and me and my sister really struggled moving them from London to Durham. It would have been much easier if I left things like pillows and blankets at home and bought those items while at university.

Catered and self-catered

What is classified as ‘essential’ is also very dependent on whether you are allocated to a catered or self-catered college. If it is possible, I would recommend buying things such as cutlery, a spatula, graters etc while you are at university. With things like frying pans or bowls, it might be cheaper to bring that from your house if you are allowed to. But if money is not a concern then buying it while you are at university would be more convenient for packing.

Even if you are allocated to a catered college, having things such as mugs or containers is still really useful so that you can make hot drinks or store food for later on. Again, I would recommend buying that while you are here as well.

Your accommodation package

Remember to check what is offered in your student accommodation as well. You can find this information on the Durham website. For example, every college in Durham has its own 24/7 library as well as the main university library, meaning you won’t have to bring as many books with you as this is freely available. Similarly, my room came with a chair meaning I didn’t have to bring a beanbag or anything similar. This can all help you save space and pack lighter. You end up acquiring things as the year goes on and you can always buy things you have forgotten while you are at university – so it’s better to pack light. Depending on the college, you might have to move your stuff each term meaning if you over pack, it will be a lot of effort to move everything out in time.

While I am stressing to pack light, you will need certain things to get you through the first few days before you go shopping so please do consider this. I really hope my advice helps you and that you have an easier time than I did packing and getting to uni!

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Sharon Berhane

Hello, I’m Sharon, a first-year student at Trevelyan college studying Politics, International Relations, Sociology and Criminology as part of the CHSS course. While being at Durham, I have enjoyed college and social events including the Winter Ball, formal dinners and performances from the #1 Taylor Swift tribute act in the UK!

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