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Since we are nearing the end of August, I’m assuming most of you have either started university already or are about to. It’s an exciting time! But one of the things that stressed me out the most before starting my first year was … packing. How am I supposed to fit everything I’m going to need in just a couple of suitcases! I had to travel from Madrid to Pamplona by car (about 4 hours), and tried to stuff everything I could into my suitcases … not the best idea. Here are some of the things I learned from last year’s “packing for uni” experience:

1. You can buy a LOT of room decor things, bathroom supplies, when you get there.
2. Be neat when packing clothes! You don’t want to show up at uni with wrinkled clothes —> Place heavy items on the bottom of your suitcase, and roll as many clothes as you can to take up less space
3. Especially if it’s your first year, start packing at least 3 days before leaving! This will allow you to triple-check that you aren’t forgetting anything.
4. Pack with seasons in mind: have a little bit of everything, and make sure you know what the climate is like. Pamplona is generally cold and rainy, so I had to make sure to bring winter clothes!
5. School supplies: in middle school and high school, I would buy so much school supplies (binders, notebooks, pens, pencils). But in uni, all I really needed was my laptop and a small pencil-case just in case. Keep this in mind: will you be taking notes on your laptop? If you are, don’t fill up half your suitcase with unnecessary school supplies!
6. Create a folder with all the important docs you might need at uni: healthcare documents, insurances, identification, vaccination, certifications, etc.

With experience, every year will get easier. For example, because throughout the first year I accumulated a lot of things I couldn’t carry back to Madrid, I rented out a storage room with my friends where I could leave heavy things (such as a mirror) over the summer. You also learn to throw out things you don’t need, and prioritize what is most important for uni.

Good luck to everyone starting uni this year!

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