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Welcomefest 2023: Packing For University - The Ultimate First Year Checklist

Packing For University - The Ultimate First Year Checklist

We know the feeling; how do you pack your whole life into a suitcase? Don’t panic, you don’t need to pack everything and to know what to pack, we’ve asked your fellow students for helpful tips on what their ultimate checklist of items were.

So where do you start? There are the essentials like pots, pans, cutlery and crockery but check your accommodation’s list of items about what they already provide (i.e. a toaster/ kettle) as this may save you some space and avoid your flat having 4 kettles...yes we’ve been there! You will also want to keep an eye on the items that they don’t allow! 

What about your clothes? You definitely don’t need to bring your whole wardrobe but it is nice to have at least a couple of smart items (smart trousers/shirts/blouses), a few fancy dress options and obviously a Christmas jumper because you never know when you’re going to need them… 

Apart from these necessities, we’ve put together a list of items you probably didn’t realise you would need at Uni but are essential! Check out the list below: 


Bedroom Basics 

  • Clothes horse/ peg hanger – Unbelievably useful. Trust us. 

  • Extension cables – Because you can never have too many plug outlets. (Ok maybe not too many as it might explode) 

  • Plug adapters – Don’t make the mistake of you not being able to charge your laptop the minute your assignment is due! 

  • Mattress topper – Not an essential but it will make those naps extra comfortable. 

  • Photos of family and friends – You might not want to admit it but we know you’ll miss them (sad face). 

  • Decorations – The best way to make a house a home (well flat). 

  • Home comforts – Whether it’s your childhood stuffed toy or camomile tea, these comforts are lifesavers when you’re missing home that little bit more. 

  • Laundry basket / bag – The easiest and best way to store dirty laundry and transport it to your closest laundrette without risking dropping a pair of dirty underwear in public… 


Kitchen Luxuries 

  • Tupperware – A forgotten gem in the kitchen that will hold your meal prep and pack lunches. 

  • Water bottle / Reusable cup – Why not save the planet and some money? 

  • ‘Dishmatic’ – If you don’t know, get to know. 


The Nice Extras 

  • Pack of cards / Board games – These are great icebreakers for when you first meet your new flatmates (although we can’t guarantee you’ll go back home with a full pack of cards!) 

  • Plants – Maybe choose ones that don’t require as much attention because no one wants a dead plant in their room (trust us you won’t get rid of it). 

  • Mini sewing kit – A bit rouge, we know, but you never know when you need to stitch a costume together! 

  • Batteries – Particularly useful when the batteries in your fairy lights run out.  

  • Umbrella – We are located in England… no need to say anything else.  

  • Tool kit – If you want to get your Bob the Builder on, this is an essential. But seriously you never know when you need to (un)screw something. 

  • Money  Just enough to last a few days before your student loan clears, or you are able to open a bank account. 


Health Essentials 

  • Medicine kit – Freshers flu is real people! It’s good to think ahead and bring any medication you might need. 

  • Sanitary products - There’s a shop on campus but bring along whatever you use so you’re not caught short. 



  • Important documents – You’ll likely need these when checking-in to University for the first time and registering at the on-campus medical centre (please check your acceptance email to know which ones you need to bring!). 

  • Offer letter - If you are in UEA Accommodation, bringing your offer letter will speed up key collection.


International students (including EU): 

  • Bring your passport, visa and the decision letter you received after your immigration permission was granted 

  • Bring any documents listed on your CAS 

  • Please retain evidence of your travel to and entry into the UK (tickets, boarding cards, etc.) UEA may ask to see these 


We’ve also found it particularly useful to do a shop when you arrive so you’re stocked and ready to go but remember that you aren’t moving to a deserted island that has no shops nearby, so there’s no need to worry about forgetting something!