With more students than ever passing their A’Levels, the next step for many is to head off to university.
Every year more than 20,000 students travel outside Northern Ireland to study and according to a leading student courier shipping company, a regular dilemma facing many of its customers is what to pack for their home away from home.
A survey of almost 2,000 students carried out at www.unibaggage.com found that those heading off to university for their first term transport approximately 50kg (7 stone) of personal effects.
Perhaps not surprisingly females send more than their male counterparts – 75kg (approximately 11 stone) which is often more than their own body weight. The heaviest weight couriered in one transaction was 300kg and the strangest item the company was asked to ship was a human skeleton for a biology student.
Since setting up in 2009, the company has now transported more than 2,000 tons of student belongings, travelling 12,000,000 miles across the UK and worldwide in doing so.
Uni Baggage owner Paul Stewart (25) established the company when he was a student at the University of Edinburgh says, “The core of our business comes from students and we regularly get repeat bookings. Our research showed that many students feel overwhelmed by the number of items they must remember and customers take items that have no use at university and then leave behind the all important items which their parents then have ship over later. By using our service customers can make considerable cost savings – up to 50% in some cases. On average a 30kg bag delivered door–to-door from Northern Ireland to the anywhere in the UK is just £18.99 and Europe from £29.”
“We have had a few interesting requests with the skeleton being the strangest to date. We will always try to work with customers to ensure their item gets to their destination safe and sound.”
To help students with this dilemma here are top packing tips from Uni Baggage guaranteed to make the big move as simple as possible allowing more time to swot up on the interesting parts of university life.
Do the prep work: Label your boxes into kitchen, bathroom and bedroom and miscellaneous. This might seem pretty basic but you will appreciate it when you boxes arrive and you’re trying to find your bedding, but all you can find is socks. Don’t pack too early or you’ll be living out of a suitcase – a good benchmark is one or two weeks before you go.
Remember the essentials: This applies to the obvious course text books but also bring your original certificates, references; ID and passport photos will also come in handy. You don’t need your TV; a laptop will do in the beginning. If you can’t live without a TV you can then split the cost of one with your housemates. Remember your personal essentials such as your family photographs as well as your own duvet and pillow – you can’t beat home comforts.
Fashion fix: Your clothes are an extension of your personality so bring your favourite items to express yourself from the get-go. Pack both casual and smart items such as a dinner jacket for formal evenings, and don’t forget a fancy dress outfit for themed nights. Check out the summer sales before you go or charity shops near campus can be an untapped source- you may as well start watching the pennies early on. Don’t bother with the hassle of an umbrella to protect against the elements – warm clothes and a coat with a hood work best.
Kitchen utensils: Not all accommodations will supply a kettle or toaster. Check before you go and or wait until you get there as your housemates could have the same idea and you will end up with 5 of everything. If your parents are good cooks then a self-made recipe book is a good way to stop you going hungry, but if not a sandwich toaster will come in handy.
Be brutal: There is a holiday packing rule of ‘pack then take half out’ which might apply here if you are a hoarder. Be realistic – you can’t bring everything from home and heavy items such as toiletries can be picked up when you get there. Think about the weight of the item vs the cost of the box to ship – if one outweighs the other then it is a false economy. One thing you can’t forget is your teddy – you will be surprised at how many people will pack theirs too!