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Don’t forget: The top 10 essential items to take when leaving for university

By Heather Large | Lifestyle | Published:

Packing is never easy but it can be even more of a struggle when you are leaving home for the first time.

Packing for a student life

Starting university is a big change for any student so you want to make sure to take some home comforts.

But at the same time you don't want to end up with too much stuff that it doesn't all fit in your room!

Here are 10 essentials to pack:

1. Clothes and shoes. Obviously, these are a must but you really don't need to your entire wardrobe all at once. Pack for a season or a term at a time, especially if you are going home in the holidays. And don't forget your coat hangers!

2. Laundry items. For probably the first time, you will now be responsible for ensuring you have clean clothes to wear each day. If you don't do your washing, then no one is going to do it for you. Stock up on washing powder and fabric softener before you go.

3. First aid kit. Accidents happen so it's a good idea to be prepared. Small kits can be easily bought and restocked as and when needed. Having plasters nearby will save you from having to run to the shop if you accidentally cut yourself while cooking your tea.

4. Toiletries. You will, of course, be able to buy supplies when you are there but it's worth having a stock to begin with so you don't have to go shopping straight away. Think about what you use on a daily basis and ensure you have these items.

5. Bedding and towels. It can be easy to forget these so remember to pack your duvet and cover, pillow cases and sheets. You might also want to add a mattress cover. You will need towels for the bathroom and kitchen. It's worth having spares.

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6. Photographs and posters. Decorating your walls can make your room your own and should also help to make you less homesick. Again, you aren't going to have too much space so only take a small number.

7. Tea bags or instant coffee and biscuits. Offering to make your new flatmates a cuppa can be a great icebreaker. Everyone is in the same boat and will be nervous about making friends. Having a hot drink together can help you to start to bond.

8. Relevant documents. Remember to take any paperwork relating to your university place and student loan as you are likely to need them during the first few days. A supply of passport photos for student union, university ID and travel cards may also be useful.

9. A doorstop. Leaving your door open when you first move into your room will help you to make friends. Your fellow students are more likely to pop in to say 'hello' if they can see you look approachable.

10. A keyring. Leaving home means you no longer have anyone to fall back on if you forget your key. Make sure to take a keyring and allocate a place to keep it when you are in your room and when you go out so you can always find it.

Heather Large

By Heather Large
Special projects reporter - @HeatherL_star

Senior reporter and part of the Express & Star special projects team specialising in education and human interest features.

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