Things I wish people had told me I didn’t need to take all the way from China to uni!

eby Juntao, Senior Resident

I still remember the day  I was packed for my Masters, packing for an exciting adventure to a different country, different culture, and of course, a completely different food system from China. My mum was standing next to me, muttering about all the things I should squeeze into my poor suitcases: clothes, shoes, stationery, sanitary pads, skincare, eye drops, rice cooker, tableware, woks, quilts, pillows… Then there was the day when I was carrying two giant 28-inch suitcases and one boarding case, struggling all the way from the train station in my city to the airport in Shanghai, to the airport in London, and then finally to Bristol. Oh, yes, how can I forget the day when I finally submitted my dissertation and started to pack my things and leave for home, I looked at my wardrobe, sighed, and wished someone had reminded me not to bring this stuff!  

Clothes and shoes 

Just bring those you love the most. Some t-shirts, two or three sweaters and jackets, one or two coats, some jeans, one set of pyjamas, two or three pairs of shoes and one pair of slippers will be more than enough. Trust me, you will love the student discounts and all the sales in the UK. You can find all the cool stuff from Primark, TK Maxx, charity shops, and all the high street fashion brands you like to shop. Rumour says you need to bring your whole collection of shoes if you have tiny feet. Um, congratulations, you can find pretty much all you need in the junior section and save a bunch of money. But if you mean high heels, then probably you’d like to pack your own.  

Stationeries 

Perhaps it is true to say that cute notebooks are expensive in the UK. So, if you don’t care about notebooks being cute, then you can find good ones in Wilko, and there’s no need to pack your own. But if you do care, then probably it is better to get some before you get intimidated by the eight-pound price tag in Paperchase. And if you are a MUJI lover like I am, they do have an online store here in the UK, so you can save some space for other things more essential to you.  

Sanitary pads 

Still today, there are rumours saying you cannot find pads in the UK, and they only have tampons. Fake news! And trust me, DO NOT bring more than one week’s amount. 

Skincare and makeups 

Just bring the ones you are currently using. Then, enjoy your student discounts at Boots and Lookfantastic.  

Beddings 

I brought my own beddings but in the wrong size. So, if you’d like to bring your own, make sure you get the right size. If you don’t, you can find good ones in Primark, Wilko, Zara Home, H&M Home, and Ikea. It really depends on how much room you still have in your luggage.  

Kitchen appliances, cookware, tableware, Tupperware 

Do not bring the whole set of woks, kettles, and knives! Try second hand first (for instance, WeChat groups, Facebook market, or eBay). And it will be nice to go to Wilko, TK Maxx, Ikea, and Asian supermarkets with your roommates and new friends. Good opportunity to bond!  

Packing can be tedious, but also exciting. Simply start with the essentials such as your documents, IDs, laptops, chargers, adaptors, essential medicine, and your cuddly teddy bear. Then grab your favourite jeans and shoes. And don’t forget to hug your parents before you leave. Good luck and see you soon in Bristol!  

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