University Halls: The Anti-Haul

qub elms halls
QUB Elms BT9 Student Accommodation. Photo Source:

Niamh Wallace, Lifestyle Editor.

If you’re like me, you’ve watched every single uni haul on YouTube that exists, you’ve scrolled through Pinterest looking for ideas to decorate your room, and you might have even messaged your uni accommodation to ask what colour your room is going to be so you can buy matching accents (or maybe that one’s just me; it was blue by the way).  Nevertheless, you’ve probably ended up with a list as long as your arm of random helpful bits and bobs that you never thought about. You’re here because you think I’m going to provide you with some age old wisdom on uni packing so that you can add more things to your list, right?

First of all, take a deep breath. It doesn’t matter that much if you don’t have every single new trendy gadget that every blogger recommends you have, you aren’t going to fail your course or be laughed at; you might just save yourself a bit of money! You can use to buy a couple of drinks during Freshers, a far better investment of your money I believe. So sit back and be prepared to cross these items off your IKEA list, it’s a rip off anyway.

  1. A Shower Caddy

This one applies to those in accommodation with shared bathrooms. God gave you two hands, one for shampoo and one for conditioner. Use them.

  1. A Printer

They can cost a bomb to begin with and are a pain to keep in ink and paper. I thought that I would save money if I bought my own, but I ended up using the library printer most of the time anyway. Most university accommodations will have somewhere you can print, such as the Treehouse in Elms. Or save the trees and just use your laptop in class.

  1. Expensive Stationery

You’ll probably end up forgetting that journal you bought in Paperchase and end up using a file block half way through the first semester. I appreciate that you’re trying, but let’s be realistic here.

  1. A Macbook

I love my Macbook and it has served me well over the years, but I was well under the impression that I would be neglecting my degree if I had anything less. As a literature student, all I needed was a word processor and somewhere to watch the movies of my course books the night before lectures. They’re a great investment and if you’re in the financial position to get one from the apple education website, I would recommend it. However, there are plenty of other laptops that will serve you just as well, it’s worth shopping around.

  1. A whole new wardrobe

I get it, you want to reinvent yourself and try some new styles now that you’re not wearing a school uniform everyday. But the temptation of your first student loan plus Freshers shopping nights and UniDays can be dangerous for the ol’ bank account. Investing in one or two new pieces every month or so is a far better use of your money because you can see what you’re wearing and what you aren’t, and shop accordingly. And don’t wear heeled boots to class or you risk falling down the stairs of the lecture hall, hurting yourself and your rep.

  1. A FitBit

Yeah I know you’re totally going to go to the uni gym everyday after class, but all that thing will end up counting is your mad shape cutting in Limelight on Monday nights.

  1. A spiralizer


  1. An alarm clock

“But I’ll sleep in and miss my 9AM’s!!!” No, you’ll never replace the batteries or set it to the right time, don’t bother.

  1. A desk light

Chances are if you’re staying in university accommodation you won’t need a desk light as there will be one installed. Wait and see what your room has before you go shopping; you don’t have to buy everything on your first day. Same goes for a desk chair.

  1. A compact vacuum

Honestly, pinterest, I love you but poor form in suggesting this. Use a dustpan and brush, they’re so much cheaper.

Obviously if you’re loaded these things can be handy to have, but with up to 9 grand debt a year you should probably be saving all you can and not buying things without seeing if you need them first. It’s natural to over-buy for uni halls as a way of replacing home comforts, but you’ll be having such a good time with your new mates you won’t even miss these things.

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