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What EXACTLY should you pack for halls?

I feel that when prospective students prepare to move to their university home, there are two types of people. The first received their accommodation acceptance email and immediately drove at (lightning speed) to Ikea with their meticulously planned list of items and secured everything they will need for the next four years of their life. The second type of person isn’t quite as invested. Although they look forward to independent living, they pop to the shops a few days before travelling to their university town and grab the bare essentials that first come to mind.

Personally, I found the starting point the most chaotic. Do I attempt to barricade all my life’s possessions into my single bedroom or pack sparingly with the intention of picking up anything I’ve forgotten at a nearby shop? The fact is, there is no right answer.

What I packed for my halls bedroom

Jennys bedroom in university halls


Before I headed off to university, I watched every YouTube video under the sun explaining what to bring and what not to bring, and they almost all offer the same pieces of advice. There are the token items that I almost certainly would have forgot had I not been reminded: clothes hangers, pins for a pin board and can openers were all last-minute objects that had previously slipped my mind but proved incredibly useful.

And then there are the opposite of these, things I bought with me which I did not touch once, and I now laugh at for bringing. One of these being multiple pairs of shoes, and the other being a travel ironing board (I don’t know one student who has had the time or energy to iron their clothes, even if they do so religiously at home.)

Kitchenware – what to bring

There is one question that I feel sits in every future student’s mind, which will always be answered differently. And there really is no right or wrong way around it, and nothing that can’t be easily fixed. The all-important question being: ‘Do I bring all my own pots, pans and kitchen equipment, or share with my flatmates?’. My answer is yes, bring your own, but I know others who would fiercely disagree with me.

I felt extremely grateful that at the University of Brighton there was plenty of space in the kitchen to store our individual possessions, so therefore it never felt crammed despite us each having our own personal items. Not only might there be a few of you cooking at the same time needing the same instrument, but if your flat has one wok and the previous user doesn’t bother to wash it up, then you’re stuck with having to do the dirty work for them.

It’s your choice what to pack

Of course, this is all entirely subjective. Whether you have plenty of space in your family car to fill with all you need or just a couple of suitcases that you’ll be lumbering onto a train, it really is down to you to evaluate what your most used items are and whether these will come in handy at university. Anything you forget is bound to be easily found in a store nearby, or you’re likely to find a fellow flatmate who can lend it to you in the meantime. And always remember, everybody is in the same boat!

Checkland building, Falmer campus

Word from the uni…

Since Amy wrote about her summer school experience the university has announced some changes for courses based at Eastbourne. From September 2024 all of our sport and health sciences courses will be based in Brighton at our Falmer campus. Find out more about our plans.

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accommodationindependent livingliving in BrightonPreparing for universitystudent housingUniversity halls

Jenny Bathurst • 3rd September 2021

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