curly-hair college-aged student getting packed up while moving for university


Relocating for school comes with inherent challenges you’ll need to address as you make the transition

Moving to university is a defining moment in the lives of many young adults. It represents a transition from the comfort and familiarity of home to a new and independent environment where students are tasked with managing numerous responsibilities. This landmark change often marks the first time students have lived away from their parents and presents a unique opportunity for personal growth and self-discovery.

As you prepare to move away for the first time, there are sure to be some questions:

  • What should you pack?
  • Do you need everything?
  • Where will you keep your things?

Slowing things down and itemizing each decision on a list can work wonders because it helps you create a step-by-step breakdown of everything you’ll need to remember. 

Here’s a look at seven tips that can assist as you prepare to move away for university.

Key Takeaways

  • Moving for university is a major transition
  • The move can create anxiety
  • Following a few tips can make the transition far easier 


1. Pack Smartly

Before all else, develop a list of everything you need to pack. You won’t need every item of clothing you’ve ever purchased because you’ll do laundry at university. It’s unlikely you’ll have room for all your clothing, anyway. 

Come up with a list of everything you’ll need for your first few months away at school. Remember, you can always buy certain items after reaching your destination, and you’ll probably return home for Thanksgiving or Christmas. At that time, you’ll have a better idea of anything you require. 

2. Label Everything

You’ll probably pack multiple boxes and suitcases while preparing to move, so make sure you label everything accordingly. Putting all your clothing in one box and all your entertainment gear in another makes it easy to stay organized and can reduce panic when you arrive. 

You might even include a list of everything that’s included under a specific label. For example, if you’ve added shoes to one of your clothing suitcases, make a note of it, so you know where it is immediately upon arrival. You’ll probably be busy getting to know the campus and giving yourself a cheat sheet can ease your mind as you get used to your new surroundings. 

3. Remember Some Décor

It might be tempting to skip the décor because it’ll take up valuable room in your supplies. However, bringing a few items from home can ease the transition and make your dorm room feel like a place you’re living rather than a short-term stopover. 

The exact décor you bring will depend on what’s important to you, but if you have some pictures of your family, a favorite poster, or a painting you enjoy, those items are a good start. 

4. Don’t Forget The Essentials

There are some essential items you won’t want to leave behind as you depart for university. 

First, ensure you have all the information you’ll need on your classes and residence. It might be possible to find this information online, but it’s still a good idea to bring whatever paper copies you have, just in case.

Next, always bring soap, shampoo, toothpaste, and other essential toiletries. You could be extremely busy when you arrive and might not have time to visit a store during the day. This scenario would leave you without these items until the next day, which isn’t an ideal situation.

Finally, remember your bank cards, credit cards, and identification. You can’t go long without these essential items, so double-check that you have all of them before heading out.

5. Speak With Your Roommates

You might have the opportunity to pack lighter if you can speak with your roommates first. These other students might bring things like pots and pans, cutlery, and dishware from home, and it could be possible to share them. 

Organizing some communal items that you share with your roommates will make the packing and travel process easier for everyone. 

6. Plan For Getting There

  • How will you reach the university? 
  • Are you planning to drive yourself?
  • Would a moving company make more sense? 

These are personal questions you’ll have to answer before heading out. It might benefit you to use a moving company if you’re traveling across the country without a vehicle because it allows you to bring more stuff. 

It might make sense to hire a moving company if you plan to drive for the same reason. 

You should figure out your exact plan for reaching your university campus early in the process so you can budget for the expenses and book the service providers you’ll need to get yourself from point A to point B.

7. Think About Your Vehicle

Some university students will leave their vehicles at home, while others will insist on bringing them. It all depends on the campus, where you’re living, and your personal preference. 

If you’ll have on-site parking at your residence and your campus is incredibly spread out, you might consider taking your vehicle with you. 

You’ll have a couple of different options as you transport your car to your university, as you can drive it or ship it. 

Driving your car could make sense if you’re moving your belongings alone. However, it’ll add stress to your journey and put additional wear on your vehicle. 

Many university students choose to hire an auto transport carrier to ship their vehicles to their university. You’ll have to figure out how to retrieve your car before going with this option because door-to-door shipping might not be available on-campus. There’s a good chance you’ll have to grab your vehicle at a terminal near the school.

Preparing For Your Move

A lot of work goes into getting yourself ready for university, as preparing the items you’ll need to move is only part of the battle. You’ll also have to adapt mentally to the day-to-day grind while being away from your family for the first time. 

Mercury Auto Transport can assist with part of this preparation through our vehicle shipping brokerage services. We can put you in touch with licensed and insured auto transport carriers who will ensure your car reaches your university in outstanding condition. Contact Mercury Auto Transport for more information or to receive a shipping quote.

FAQs About Moving for University 

What is the best way to prepare for a university move?

To prepare for a university move, it’s important to start early and make a plan. This can include researching the university and surrounding area, securing housing, packing, and making arrangements for transportation.

What should I consider when choosing a university?

When choosing a university, it’s important to consider factors such as location, campus culture, academic programs, cost, and availability of housing. Research each university thoroughly to find the one that best fits your needs.



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