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I actually think that packing your bag for uni is a bit of an art, so here is what is in my bag of tricks on any given day

Apple iTunes is dangerous. I got an ipod for Christmas and all I seem to do now is search for music. What started out as an innocent exploration of a new toy has rapidly become addictive and commanding of extended periods of time. Like any vice though, I like to try and focus on the recognisable benefits. Whilst the development of an eclectic musical library is wonderful, the most significant benefit will be the advances in the set up of my Uni bag for the coming year. My Uni bag has been always been compromised by the space taken up by my CD pouch and Discman, but with this wonderful development, I can move forward into a bright new future of more space (I love Santa, he is tops!).

Whilst some of you may be by now concerned that I am mad, there is quite an art to packing a bag for Uni. I have actually gone from a backpack to a little satchel, so I have varied the approach over the last couple of years, but no matter which way you go, there are a few things to take into account.

Firstly, you need to bring your books, both exercise and text. As an eager beaver in first year I would bring all my books each time that I had a class. This was very silly, I ended up looking like a lop-sided pack horse that should be taken to the back paddock. When you have lectures in most instances you will only need to have your exercise book, and if you do need other books, your lecturer will give you advanced warning (this occurs in subjects like English where you are actually examining a text, but this is not always the case!). You do not always have to bring your texts to tutes either, check to see if you do though, but really you don’t have to bring a whole heap to uni other then your exercise book.

What you do need to bring to tutorials generally are your tute readings. These are often huge, and weigh way too much. These books are generally photocopies of readings, with removable bindings. What I generally do is take them apart and only carry in the weeks readings. This can occasionally get messy so you have to keep them all in order at home with a bulldog clip, but I find it much easier to do it this way.

Now you have your books, you need to have something to write in them with! I have a few favourite pens that have been refilled along the way (special attachments, I have used the same one for every exam since Year 12), but I also keep quite a few spares in my bag too. Look if there is one thing I hate it is a leaky pen so I tend to keep them in a bag in my pencil case, but that’s just me. Wait, there are a few things that annoy me, not just pens, don’t get me started on people who hog the overtaking lane on dual carriageways then do 75 on single lane roads….

So once you have your books in your bag, what else? I always bring my sunnies along with me to Uni. I have pretty fair eyes, wear glasses, and have eye disease in the family, so I look after my eyes as best as I can. I also wear them to look cool. It’s really funny I think, at school most people aren’t cool enough to pull of sunnies, but at uni everybody wears them!! It’s good to protect your eyes anywho, so make sure you have some shades in there too.

In terms of protection from the sun, I would also say to those of you with fair skin that you should include a little tub of suntan cream in your bag too. Summer days at Uni are great fun, but sunburn isn’t, so why not come prepared?

The next important thing is food. I always bring a drink bottle, as again its good to keep hydrated, and its cheaper then buying lolly water each day. Lots of students do it, its cool, its hip. Depending on how motivated I am, I pack my lunch. Its cheap, but sandwiches from home never taste as good as bought ones, even if they are exactly the same. That’s why I tend to bring in last nights dinner, and go to a friends place and heat it up! Always a winner. Whilst I don’t always bring my lunch, I always bring something to nibble on, like a nana, or a fruit bar, or the like. You need something to keep you going, so I always pack a little extra.

So there are the main things. A few other little things that you will always find in my bag are Motorsport News or Unique Cars (or both). I always bring a car magazine to read on the bus on the way home to unwind. I generally have a radio, a Discman or an ipod (now) to listen to music too. I bought one of those phones with the radio’s inbuilt when they came out, and it’s generally pretty good to have on. I always carry my name badge for work in my bag as I always forget it (and its good to wear on dates so that people remember your name. Not that I have ever done that, but I imagine that would be something that I might do).

So that’s it in a nutshell. I’m sure that Cath and Lauren would have much more exciting bags (with Tissues, painkillers, Kitchen sink etc) but that’s what I bring.

So stay tops, I’m sure you are, and Ill catch you on the flip side.



Thanks, Brendo. I do have a wildly exciting bag. In fact, it's the only interesting thing about me! (If I had half as much character as that bag, I'd be a happy lady.)

Seriously, though, Brendon is right: the bag-pack is essential. I am from outer, outer Sydney so when I pack for uni it's a little like going on a holiday! I need to make sure I have everything, as there's no turning back once I hit the M7! Ladies, may I suggest taking Band-Aids? There is a lot of walking to be done on campus (you'll know what I'm talking about when you have to run from the Institute to Bosch in 5 minutes) and sometimes the nasty blister can result.
I am also a lolly freak, so I always pop across to Kmart at Broadway to grab some el cheapo sweets for my afternoon lectures. These are now a perennial in my bag as people are disappointed when I turn up to tutes without them!


I'm afraid that you've both forgotten what is possibly the most important item in my bag: my diary (aka my spare brain). This is the only way that I remember to hand in a tute paper, return library books (I believe Lauren has already done the whole 'my library fines are almost enough to pay off the debt of a small third world country' thing) and it will also be the only way you guys can keep track of your many social engagements!

I've never reflected on the chi of bag-packing before ...

Also, in first year, I managed to get myself a rented locker in the Wentworth Building (from the Union, I love USU) and I kept a good deal of my stuff there, pens, umbrella, super-sized textbooks (e.g. those 2000 page 'Norton Anthologies'), a first aid kit and a Kit-Kat kit. It was right above the place I buy my coffee and on my way from the train to most classes in the Institute/Meriwether/Quad buildings. I think the Union still rents them out - but you have to be quick, they go faster than a 2-bedroom, polished floor, rent-controlled, park-view apartment in New York, as they are usually grabbed by the economics and science folk who generally dominate the atmosphere in the Wentworth Building.

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Everything you ever wanted to know about uni but were too afraid to ask....