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Top 5 things to bring with you to University

Moving away from the familiar comfort of home and recognisable streets of your home town is a pretty scary experience. However, bringing the right things with you can take some of the anxiety away when you arrive.


Nothing worse than finally getting settled in halls and realising you forgot something important! Below is list of things I brought (and forgot to bring) when I hopped over the sea to Queen’s.

#1 Important documents

Things like your National Insurance, drivers licence...

Yeah, I was stupid enough to forget these. Rather embarrassingly, on the flight over to Belfast, when it came to show passports, I handed it over to the staff only to realise I had accidently brought my mum’s passport and not my own (In my defence, we have REALLY similar passport covers!).

Luckily, I had my provisional driving license to hand and I got through fine, and I didn’t really think I’d need it for the rest of my time.

I didn’t even think about it until I applied for job here and suddenly I needed to hand over my passport before I could become an official employee. I had to desperately message my mum literally 2 days before I needed it begging her to post it with next day delivery.

It cost her an uncomfortable amount of money and it was huge nightmare. Yeah, I’ll never make that mistake again.

#2 Tools to continue your hobbies


Some of my sketches from my time in Elms

I was pretty annoyed at myself for not bringing my art supplies with me after moving over. Drawing and painting was, and is, a great stress relief and a genuine entertainment. I really missed being able to put my headphones in and sketch for an hour in the afternoon when I had some time to myself.

It’s become even more beneficial now the work load has increased; it takes the edge off, and gives me something to break up my studies. Luckily, in my mum’s first care package she sent to me, she made sure to send a sketchbook and pencils, saving me money and the hassle of finding the right shop in town that sells what I need. Mum’s are literal life savers.

#3 Some savings

This may not apply to me so much as I’ve always been pretty careful with my money, and have been putting quite a bit away for a while, but for many, getting a large amount that is a student loan, they can’t help but spend it all in the first month (Some even quicker). The allure of bars, clubs and promotions for some is far too strong, and all the cash meant to last for a third of the year has vanished.

If you’re lucky enough to have a job before you go to Uni, there is no harm in putting some away ‘for a rainy day’- you never know when your laptop is going to break or you have to make an emergency trip home. Even if it just gives peace of mind, I recommend having a bit of extra money to play with if needed.

#4 Family pictures

It’s a shame really because as a family, we don’t have loads of pictures of all of us together – Getting all 6 of us in the same place, and in somewhere nice enough to get a picture is a hassle.

In fact, I know of one picture of us all together in the last 5 years or so. But I made sure to bring that picture, framed, with me to Uni. I didn’t suffer agonising home sickness like some of my friends, but it Is lovely to have that picture standing on my shelf as a little slice of home.

#5 Formal clothing

Easily forgotten, and easily regretted. I have had 3 interviews since I moved, and many more events were it was beneficial to dress smartly.

 I had to buy a lot of my formal wear here, which was an expense and a pain. Don’t forgot that many clubs and societies will host ‘formals’, and for these it’s fitting to wear evening wear! If possible, it may be worth bringing that beautiful prom dress you wore once and is now being left in the darkness of your wardrobe.

Hopefully you won’t make the mistakes I made!

Calista Arthey

History and Archaeology | 1st year | Colchester, England

18 year old student who came from England to study at Queen's - I study my passions (History and Archaeology!) and am also an exhibited artist and writer. Lover of the old-fashioned, and serial avoider of the gym. Play pool with my friends an incredible amount since I moved, yet I still manage to be a absolutely terrible player.

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Photo: Calista Arthey
Calista Arthey
Student blogger, History and Archaeology