FRESHERS’ WEEK: Beat the Suitcase Squeeze

As you pack for your first (or third!) year of university and prepare for Freshers’ Week, it can be hard to know what should go and what should stay. Space is short, and your dad’s eyes are worryingly jumping between your five suitcases and the car boot … It’s impossible to tell what you really need. I mean, who knows whether your giant penguin outfit is a waste of space or not? There are a few things, however, that logic would tell you are essential, but would be much better left at home. So, now that you’ve kitted yourself out with our ultimate university shopping list (see here for Part 1 and Part 2), here are our top swaps to help you to pack a little lighter.

1. Swap your high heels for trendy wellies

shoes for freshers' week 

Until now, going out = wearing heels. However, if you want to stay out and stay upright in freshers’ week, ditch the stilettos. Oxford is notorious for its cobbled lanes and, as you will discover or already have, its flights and flights of stairs at every single club … Wearing heels will end in one of two ways: hurt toes, or a hurt bum after you plummet down the stairs at Wahoo.  What you will need, however, are a good pair of wellies. It rains, it poors and it even snows!


2. Ditch the coat hangers for a coat stand

 student room decorations

Admittedly, this one won’t give you any more space in the car, but a coat stand is one of the best additions you can make to your new student room as you settle into freshers’ week. You won’t have much space in your wardrobe to hand your big coats and jumpers, and it’s nice to have something a little bit different to make your room your own. Plus, a coat stand is an attractive way to store that to die for coat that you just spent all your holiday job money on! What more could you want?


3. Swap cute PJs for a onesie

student pyjamas

I had the image in my head of elegant breakfasts in college in a pretty pair of PJs, nibbling on a croissant and sipping fresh coffee. This, sadly, never happened. If you ever show your face in hall in your PJs after staying up until 3AM (not clubbing, but doing an essay), you will probably be trying to avoid all human contact rather than making polite conversation over a continental breakfast. A onesie will make you feel like your still in bed, which is what you’ll really want.


4. Bye-bye instant tan, hello woolly tights

 fake tan or tights

When your legs are on show, you want to keep them bronze rather than beige. But, as the weather has insisted on proving to us, summer is over – it’s time to ditch the tan, and embrace the tights for freshers’ week 2013. Our top tip for all you practical would-be fashionistas out there? By the end of a night out, the walk back to college will give you goose bumps, so pop a pair of tights in your clutch for a snuggly stroll home.


5. Swap pretty earrings for oversized gold hoops

 earrings for students

Earrings. You buy a pretty pair of studs, wear them once, and poof! They’re gone! Off to the magical place where all the odd earrings that have lost their better halves vanish to. Save yourself the disappointment – opt for an oversized pair of hoops that not only will serve you well at bops, but are also creeping back into fashion …


6. Trade your umbrellas for raincoats

 umbrella rain mac

Ok, it’s time to get practical. Umbrellas get forgotten. Umbrellas get borrowed and never returned. Umbrellas get broken, lost and stolen. And, you can’t very well hold an umbrella when you’re cycling to a lecture. A chic raincoat will keep you dry, stylish and keep your hands free to carry that big smoking cup of coffee into your first 9am after a wild freshers’ week.

Happy packing!


If you’re coming to Oxford University this October, make sure you ‘like’ our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter to keep up to date with our Freshers’ Week countdown. If you’re interested in joining The Oxford Student’s fashion team either as a writer, a model, a stylist or a photographer, we would love to hear from you! Just drop us a quick email at