Today, the day this blog is being published I willl be getting into the car with my mom and driving over 865 km to get to Grahamstown, where I will be studying at Rhodes University. This is the place I will now call home for the next 3 years of my life. I know that sounds very dramatic but to me this is a very big deal. Of course, I will be coming home for the holidays but to me (and I’m sure most people) this is a huge and quite scary change. If you had read my New Years resolution blog then you would know that I don’t deal with change very well – I find it overwhelming.

Going to university for the first time is a scary enough experience and I think that doing it in place you don’t know, with people you don’t know and subjects you don’t really understand is very nervewracking. To try and make myself feel a bit better and to help any of you that are either going through the same thing as myself or are planning on going to university, here is a list of things that I will be putting into my rather large suitcase to take with me.

Clothing: I am going to be packing a large variety of clothing because I’ve heard that the weather in Grahamstown is rather unpredictable. I’m going to try and pack as lightly as possible but I know that I am probably not going to succeed with this part! I’m going to be taking along clothes that will be appropriate for summer and autumn, some gym clothes, swimming costume, pajamas ect.

Stationary: to be perfectly honest with all of you lovely readers I’m not really sure what kind of stationary I’m going to need. I decided to just go with some of the basics, like files, pens, pencils, highlighters, stapler, tippex, scissors – that kind of thing. I’m sure you will all realise the kind of things you use while you are in university and can just stock up on those then.

Toiletries: I’m sure I can buy all of these things there but I want to try and be a bit more prepared and will take everything I think I will need up with me. The toiletries I’m looking at taking are things like deodrant, skin care (face wash, moisturisers and spot cream), shampoo and conditioner, body lotion and my toothbrush and toothpaste. I will also be packing a small bag of makeup with just the essentials: foundation, concealer, pressed powder, bronzer, blusher, neutral eyeshadows, eyeliner, mascara and a few lipsticks.

Accessories: as I said earlier I’m going to be trying to pack quite lightly and will be taking along lots of versatile staple pieces that I can mix and match or layer. I find that a very simple outfit can be transformed by just a few accessories. So because of that I am going to be taking along a few statement necklaces, some of my favourite rings and my favourite moonstone earrings.

Extras: these are just a few extra things that I will be bringing with me that aren’t essential but will probably be quite useful. A bottle of my favourite perfume which is currently “Taylor Swift – Wonderstruck”, nail polish, nail polish remover, cotton pads and a nail file, a kettle that I can keep in my room and make tea with, a mug, bowl and basic cutlery and a cooler bag that I can keep in the common room frigde.

Homey things: I think that it is really important to take along a few things that will make where you are staying feel a bit more like home. I’ve chosen to take some fairy lights, a lovely vanilla smelling candle, a picture of my family, my favourite blanket and a calendar I got as a Christmas present.

Please remember that this is just a very summarised list of things to take. I’m sure lots of things are missing because this is just a guideline of things to take. My real list is a few A4 page bullet point list and goes into much more detail.

Good luck to everyone that is starting university this year, I hope that it goes well and that you all flourish.


Written by Rinchen Van Rijswijk


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