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Toronto, Canada

312 Adelaide Street West, Suite 301
Toronto, Ontario - M5V 1R2
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8 Things You Actually Need To Bring to Your New University Digs

Written by Hilary Hoogsteen

The inaugural moment of moving day is here. Leaving home and moving into a residence or apartment can be overwhelming, so if you’re wondering how you’re going to fit all your stuff into your postage stamp-sized new room this fall, fear not. We’re coming to the rescue with a list of what you actually need to bring to your cool new pad. And yes, the usefulness of these items has been tested by a university veteran (ahem, me).

1. Bike (Plus Lock)

Even if you don’t consider yourself a cycling enthusiast, a bike is one thing you’ll be glad to have throughout your university days. Whether you’ve got tight breaks between classes that are on opposite sides of campus or need to get to work after class, a bike will go a long, long way. Literally and figuratively. It might even prevent the dreaded freshman 15 that we all loathe! While public transit will get you around for most trips, it’s really nice to have a backup option if you miss the bus or need to get across campus in a pinch. Don’t even think about not bringing a bike lock, though; I’ve never seen so many people “borrow” other people’s bikes as I did during my res years.

2. Power Strip (Equipped With a Surge Protector)

McGill University suggests bringing a power strip with a surge protector on their “What to Pack” list. Anyone who has lived with multiple roommates can understand the pain of having a near-dead computer and a tight assignment deadline, so save yourself fighting your roommate for plug space and pack this baby as a preventative measure. Is the built-in surge protector really necessary? Yep. Just ask anyone whose computer’s been fried during a storm or power outage. It’s worth the extra five bucks to buy a power bar with extra protection. Trust me.

3. Calendar (Soccer Mom-Style)

Remembering deadlines is one of the greatest keys to success in university. Get yourself one of those massive mom-style calendars that you can write absolutely everything on. When you get your syllabi at the beginning of the semester, write all the deadlines down so nothing sneaks up on you. Colour-coding deadlines by course with highlighters helps, too. Stick that baby on your desk or beside your bed—wherever you’re most likely to see it every day. If you see a deadline approaching, you’re less likely to have to pull an all-nighter because you forgot something was due.

4. Fan

Maclean’s What You Should (And Shouldn’t) Bring to Residence list includes a fan, as many older res buildings don’t have AC. As someone who has endured a very humid and sweaty Ontario summer as a result of having no AC, snagging one of your parents’ fans from home is beyond worth it (but you should probably ask first). There’s a good chance your new place won’t have air conditioning if it’s on res, and if you’re living off-campus, it’s more than likely your roomies won’t want to fork out the extra hydro costs to turn on the AC. Bring your fan along so you’re ready when things start to heat up.

5. Quarters (All of Them)

Chances are you’re going to be transitioning to the joys of the Laundromat life. Few people are fortunate enough to have in-suite laundry during their studies, so while you’re still feeling flush from your summer job, take out a few rolls of quarters and reserve them for washing machines. Avoid having to bring your dirty clothes home on Christmas break just so your parents can wash them.

6. A Secret Snack Stash

A secret stash of snacks goes a long way, especially if you’re moving into a residence with a meal plan. It can be tricky to only have access to food when the dining hall is open, so plan ahead for those moments when you get “hangry” late at night. Build a good supply of study snacks and opt for breakfast-on-the-go for days when you sleep in.

7. That Pillow You Can’t Live Without

UBC suggests packing your favourite pillow as a top priority for suitcase space. Having your own comfortable pillow will make a bigger difference than you think in adjusting to your new place. There’s no need to start your semester off with bad sleep in case you’re provided with some other lame pillow that sucks.

8. Headphones

Living with other people can be a major adjustment, and they might not have the same appreciation for New Girl marathons or Father John Misty’s latest album as you do. Even though you’re all in school, the end of the semester can be tense when half of your roomies are done and ready to party and the other half are still writing exams. Save your new housemates from having to overhear your parents telling you how much they miss you on Skype. Go ahead and throw those headphones or earbuds in.

Now that you’ve got your packing list, you’re well on your way to successfully moving out. You’re probably only staying there for eight months, so less is more—there’s no need to bring along an entire moving truck. Oh, and one more thing—if it doesn’t fit in your parents’ Corolla, you probably don’t need it.

*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.