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8 things NOT to take to university

What not to take to university

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Published on 20/09/2022

As new students head off to uni for the first time, both they and their parents will be hoping they have packed everything they will need in the months ahead. But it is also important to know what NOT to take to university. If you want some guidance for your soon-to-be fresher, this article will explain all.

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The good thing (for you) is that they don’t need to buy EVERYTHING before they head off to college. Hopefully, with a bit of reading you will save some cash! Here are the items they probably do not need to cart across the country with them as they start their uni adventure.

What not to take to university

1.  Kitchen appliances

Your child will most likely spend their first year in halls or other university accommodation. The kitchens are usually furnished, so there is no need to take kettles, toasters and microwaves. Check with the university or the accommodation provider but these should be already in the shared kitchen area.

2. Too much stationery

Splurging on the contents of a stationery store before heading to university is an unnecessary expense. Fun, but unnecessary if you are on a budget. Often, things like files, folders, highlighters and a rainbow of Sharpies simply aren’t necessary for the vast majority of university courses.

Invest in a few pens, a notepad and a USB stick as basics, as well as anything stipulated by the department they are joining. If it turns out they need anything else, you can order it online or they can grab one at a local shop. But you can certainly limit your initial spend to the bear essentials.

3.  A printer

Printers are bulky and cost a lot to run in terms of ink and paper. Students can use those in the university libraries if they need to print anything out.

What not to take to university

4.  New course books

Well, your child will need access to their course books at some point, but you don’t need to buy them all new in advance. They can access them in libraries, find second hand copies online or even pick up used copies from previous years within their new department. The complete reading list from one journalism course in 2012 cost a student a whopping £244 before even stepping into their first lecture. So you can see that getting them all brand new in advance is not the best use of money. 

 5.  Lots of food

Another thing not to take to university for those first few weeks is lots of food. Non-perishables are great to stock up on, but they could waste a lot of food that can go off. The first few weeks can be quite spontaneous, so it’s probably best not to waste precious money on food that might not last as they go out for food with their new mates.

If you’re concerned about them having enough food, give them access to an online shop on your account to make sure they don’t run out when they are having so much fun.

 6.  All their clothes

They need to think carefully about the clothes they’ll be able to store in the often small wardrobe. They will just need a selection of clothes that will work across the seasons. They might also buy some more given their newfound student discount!

 7.  Lots of toiletries

Thinking about carting items to wherever their university is, there is no need to take items like shampoo and shower gel. They take up space and are heavy, so just stock your child up there once you arrive and move them in.

8.  Candles & wax burners

Any kind of naked flame is usually forbidden at student residences as a safety precaution. Candles have caused residence fires in the past, and you could be evicted or fined heavily if caught burning anything.


Any other advice on what not to take to university? Leave a Comment below!

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