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Moving Away For School? Here is What You Need to Know

Moving Away For School? Here is What You Need to Know

Moving Out of Your Parents House- From a Student’s Perspective

The time has finally come for you to move out of your childhood bedroom in your parents’ house and head to your first year of post-secondary education. You’re most likely feeling a mixture of anxious excitement about this step in your journey towards independence and adulthood. As you prepare to move out, you may start to feel overwhelmed with the daunting task of packing as well as living on your own for the first time. I personally have gone through this exact experience less than a year ago as I moved into residence for my first year at Western University. As I’m now going into my second year, I have a better understanding of what packing was necessary, what was overkill, and what was forgotten. I will also give some general tips to help this move go as smooth as possible for you.


Start Packing as Soon as Possible

While it may be tempting to save your packing for last minute, this could end up being a big mistake that was easily avoidable. It’s best to start making a list of what you might need right away. I personally found it helpful to make a list in my iPhone Notes app so anytime something popped into my head I could immediately add it into my list. By adding to the list as you go along, it will seem less intimidating and should relieve some stress when it comes time to actually start packing. If you start gathering your things in early July, you should have plenty of time to ensure you don’t forget anything important. Find a spot in your home or room where you will put everything you want to bring up to school with you. Being able to see all your belongings laid out in front of you will give you a better idea of how much you’re bringing with you, allowing you to visualize what you have versus what you are missing.


It’s OK to Forget Something

If you do end up forgetting something, remember it isn’t the end of the world. You can always grab missing items once you’re settled in at school. In my first week on residence, I realized I had forgotten to bring a hairbrush, an essential that slipped my mind during the packing process. I simply went to the campus pharmacy and picked one up, no problem. You’re pretty much bound to forget something but, it shouldn’t be something you stress about. On move-in day your mind will be whirring 100 miles a minute, so you won’t be worrying about mundane things you forgot to pack. Once you start getting a feel of your life at school you will start realizing what you need and what you don’t, at that point it’s good to reevaluate your list and add some new things you missed the first time around.


Saving Money While Living on your Own

Something you’ll discover when living away from home is how quickly your savings will deplete. A few ways to try and keep this to a minimum is by making sure to eat as many meals from your dining hall as possible. While the food may not be 5-star, constantly ordering from UberEATS is going to make a huge dent in your bank account. Therefore, its best to bring as many home-cooked meals as you can fit in your minifridge. I found it super convenient to have a few microwavable meals as well as snacks and fruit in my fridge. Not only did this save me from spending my own money but, it was nice to have food in my room if I was too lazy to take the elevator down to the dining hall. Another good way to save money is by taking advantage of public transit. Most institutions will provide students with a bus pass, helping you combat those additional uber charges while getting around your new city.


My Checklist

This is the list I used when packing for my first year of university:

  • Room Décor
  • Art/school supplies
  • Electronics/wires/phone charger/ ethernet cable
  • Toiletries/makeup/toothbrush/floss
  • Bedding/ change of sheets
  • Storage
  • Medication
  • Glasses
  • Umbrella
  • Bags/ purses
  • First aid- band-aids, wrap, hand sanitizer
  • Sewing kit
  • Shower shoes
  • Shower caddy
  • Toilet paper
  • Snacks
  • Extension cord
  • Handheld Vacuum
  • Lysol wipes
  • Paper towels
  • Brita/ Water filter for my mini fridge
  • Hangers
  • Duster
  • Water bottle
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Laundry Bag
  • Dryer sheets
  • Reusable bags
  • Desk/drawer organizers
  • Spray bottle
  • Lint roller


Overall, post-secondary education is an incredible opportunity to explore. Enjoy it while you can because it will fly by. Try not to get too caught up in nerves and let yourself have fun. Everyone’s experience is unique so you should try to not to let your own anxieties get in the way of your enjoyment.