I’m going to be the blogger that tells you to NOT buy everything! That’s different, right?
So it is that time of the year again where we go off to university either for the first time or if your in your second or third year. You start to prepare a list of things to purchase for the new academic year. However you really don’t need to buy into that culture. Today I will share my university anti-haul list for you. Things you definitely do not need to buy right away and unnecessary items you never needed to begin with.
Firstly, I can say despite my journey into low waste living I fell into the trap of marketing. All the cute new items that would look great in my new room back when I was a fresher. I even created a checklist for those items. But it was so unnecessary, I’ve learnt over the last two years that you really do not need to buy everything that is marketed to you. Businesses push this narrative to make money to continue the capitalist system. And of course as students we need to save all the money we can!
I thought I would have that typical student blogger bedroom in halls. Nicely decorated with fairy lights, candles and cute decorations. But boy was I wrong, my room was more a mess than Instagrammable picture perfect. Who really has time to dust all the decorations and keep plants alive at uni?
They can cost a lot 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 honestly I think I used it twice in my first year at most. I ended up using the library printer most of the time anyway when I needed too. Half the time I didn’t even need to print things as I used my laptop or the uni computers. Not only am I saving money from not printing but I’m also saving trees (kind of, I still use one notepad for my lecture notes). Therefore, my top tip for freshers is to avoid buying a printer, just use the library services that are there for you.
A whole new wardrobe
It’s such a waste or money, resources and are you really going to wear heels all the time at uni? Probably not, most freshers wear trainers, jeans and a cute top to the club anyway. Most likely you will too, its comfortable and you can have a good time pain free haha. Luckily enough I didn’t do this because I try to stay away from fast fashion as much as I can.
But I get the temptation is there when you get that first student loan, you want to go out and blow it on a new wardrobe. New chapter, new you – but realistically you will probably stick to the comfy look when going to lectures. I would say wait and buy when you need too, charity shops are always a good shout for cheap and cute looks.
Do you really need to pack a kettle, toaster, microwave or toastie machine? Probably not, chances are your uni accommodation will already have the majority of these for you. If you’re moving into a shared house, talk to your housemates and see if you can split it. Someone buys a toaster and the other brings their kettle etc. That way you aren’t dragging your whole kitchen to university.
For me, I was lucky in that I had to pack light because I flew over to England with my belongings in two suitcases. I didn’t have the space to pack up my kitchen, despite me wanting too haha. When I arrived in Portsmouth, my mam and I went shopping for things I needed for my halls. I did purchase a kettle because the kitchen didn’t have one. But that was fine because I drink tonnes of tea and coffee that I needed a kettle. It was a necessary purchase. My advice would be to check with your roommates and organise a plan for buying shared items.
The fairy lights, plants, piles of cushions and throw blankets. Are they really needed? Yes they make the room look cute, but cushions and blankets would just annoy me. Putting them on the bed, then taking off to sleep and repeat. I like to keep things simple so I’ve learnt. I had two cushions in first year and even then they annoyed me haha, now I only have one and that’s fine. Fairy lights are cute and girly, but will you really change the batteries when they die? Then they just become plastic on a string hanging on your wall. I would say if you like the Pinterest aesthetic then sure decorations are for you. But don’t buy them just because its a trend or your friends are doing it.
Iron and ironing board
Unless you attend formals and professional events, an iron and board is really unnecessary. So just wait and see if you need one at university then make that decision to purchase one.
They can be expensive and most likely than not, your university library will have the books you need. Don’t look at your reading list and think you need to buy every single one. Just loan them or check online resources for ebook versions.
I use e-books, articles online and loan books from the library for most of my essays. I bought one book that I would use for my full 3 years of study, because it made more sense to have my own if I would need it for a lot of things. Which I paid £30 for the book “Politics” that I have used in almost each of my modules so far. It works out at around £10 per year so I haven’t spent that much on books. You don’t have too either, be smart when it comes to textbooks. If its one that will last your entire studies, get it if not just loan it.
Chances are your accommodation will have one in your room, so it’s not really something you need to bring. Save time shopping and save space in the car by not bringing one. If you later come to realise your room doesn’t have a lamp, you can go get one if you need extra lighting.
You think an alarm clock will help wake you up for those 9am lectures. In reality you might use it once, the batteries will die and you’ll forget to change them. An alarm clock isn’t worth it in my opinion, we have an alarm on us 24/7. It’s the smartphone! Much easier and less hassle to deal with. Use your phone for alarms and everything else like keeping your timetable on.
These are just some of the things, I think are pointless to buy before moving to university. Do you have any others to add?