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Essential Checklist for University – Be Prepared!

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  • Heading off to college is an exciting time.

    For many students, this is their first time away from home, so it’s a chance to fly the nest and become an adult.

    The problem is what do you need to take with you?

    Whether you are about to embark on an undergraduate degree or a masters in social work, unless you have signed up for an online degree course, you will be living away from home for a while. You may even be traveling to a different country to study, so it’s even more important that you take everything you need. Of course, it’s not possible to take a year’s worth of belongings, so something will end up being left behind. However, just to make it a bit easier, here is an essential checklist to get you started.

    Important Stuff

    There are some things you really can’t afford to leave at home. These include identification documents such as a driver’s license, a passport, and paperwork for your university course. Buy a file organizer to keep your paperwork in one place, so you don’t lose it.


    You are bound to need a computer for coursework, so invest in a good quality, lightweight laptop. Other useful gadgets include a pair of headphones for listening to music, Bluetooth speakers for sharing your favorite tunes, and a portable battery pack to provide emergency battery backup when your smartphone dies halfway through a telephone conversation with your mom.

    Bed Linen and Towels

    Check what you need to take, as some colleges may provide bed linen, but you will probably need towels, so pack a minimum of two bath towels, plus a couple of hand towels. If you need to take bed linen, two sets are advisable.

    Kitchen Items

    If you need to take kitchen items, plates, mugs, cutlery and some pans will come in handy. You will also need knives, a tin opener, and a corkscrew for opening all those bottles of booze you will be drinking. These items will get you started, but feel free to add more as your culinary skills expand.

    Home Comforts

    It will take a while for your dorm room to feel like home, but a few favorite items from your bedroom will help the transition. Take a plant, an ornament, or even a cuddly toy. You could even take your hamster, as long as pets are allowed.

    First Aid

    Take a first aid kit with you. Painkillers, sticking plasters, antiseptic cream, antihistamine tablets, cold remedies and condoms are likely to be useful, especially the latter.

    Course Materials

    Check if there is a reading list for your MSW online course before you leave, and if there is, obtain the books you need. It’s a good idea to take a few items of stationery, too, such as lever arch files, pens and note paper.

    Don’t worry too much if you forget anything, as most things can be bought from the college store or purchased online after you arrive.

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