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Your Home, in a Suitcase

If you are looking for more information, join the official freshers’ group on Facebook for any queries.

The incoming freshmen have a lot on their plate. Apprehension and excitement must be tormenting the mind of every fish out there, doubting if this is really going to be their pond. You need to anticipate all that you will require over the next semester, and fit it into a bag, packing away a little part of what you call home. We, at The MIT Post, would like to help you make this task a little less daunting. This is a basic list of all that one would require for a semester or more at Manipal.

Preferably, bring from Home

i. Approximately six pairs of undergarments, ideally clean.
ii. 3-4 pairs of jeans. These will tend to be the primary workhorses and see a lot of use.
iii. Two trousers or skirts, should suffice as semi-formals.
iv. At least, ten T-Shirts.
v. Footwear: This wildly varies, and I know of people who have more than thirteen pairs of the same. They preferably need to be water-resistant, and at a minimum, do get the following:
– Sneakers
– Shoes. They are comfy and utilitarian.
– Flip flops. For short trips within the hostel.
–Something that goes well with your formals or ethnic dresses.
– Any specific shoes for the sports you play, like football or basketball.
– A lot of places in Manipal,  the Marena Sports Complex, for instance, require non-marking soles which look like gumboot soles, as shown in the picture here.



vi. Swimming costume and swimming goggles. It is said the pool’s nice during the summer.
vii. At least two towels. The most useful thing in intergalactic hitch-hiking, it said somewhere.
viii. 4-5 three-fourths and shorts. Highly required for the hot humid weather.
ix. Ethnic wear to wear during festivals.
x. Formals are not absolutely required in the first semester. Some put off bringing these till the teaching break. They are primarily used during photoshoots or other club events.
xi. Winter wear: It is said Manipal only has two seasons—summer with rain and summer without rain. Any woollens are unnecessary, but you should bring along a jacket.
xii. Mask: With the ongoing pandemic, if students are called back to campus, I would recommend at least three comfortable masks, to keep yourself and those around you safe.
xiii. Miscellaneous: Socks, belts, caps, and sunglasses.


You need not bring any books you have at home. You will be receiving lecture notes from the faculty and that suffices for the most part and several books can be found at the library. However, do bring along your tuition notes and exercise books. A large part of the syllabus will be overlapping with your school’s curriculum, and you may appreciate the familiarity of your notes. You may choose to buy some books from Manipal, information for which is mentioned in the ‘Buy from Manipal’ section. For new notebooks, it’s better to buy them from Manipal itself to save space and weight.

For your room

The university provides you with a room that is furnished with a cot, a mattress, and a wardrobe. To make this room livable, bring the following from your house. You can alternatively buy the following from Manipal as well:
i. Old newspapers to cover the shelves. Makes for good reading when you are choosing clothes.
ii. Bedsheets, blankets, and pillow covers. At least two of each, and more if you use two pillows while sleeping.
iii. Personal Care: Any toothbrush, paste, soaps, shower gels, face washes, deodorants, and shampoos, if you are choosy. However, there are a plethora of products at the campus stores from all the leading brands.
iv. A cloth iron. This is optional, as you hardly have time for it, and someone on your floor always has one.

Food and Beverages

Food has a way of disappearing around friends before you can get a bite yourself, so bring plenty of it. Get a few utensils and dinnerware for yourself for when you order in. A dinner plate, spoon, fork, knife, and two bowls of different sizes will suffice to engender affection from your roommate. You can buy these from Manipal itself, which I would recommend due to space constraints in your luggage. Get two bottles for storing water in your room too, and a water heater to satiate late-night cravings for Maggie and caffeine.


Do get a spacious backpack from home for use. Keep a large suitcase for yourself at Manipal for when you go back home, and a smaller multi-purpose bag for use, if you go to any fests. This bag should be enough to carry a day’s change of clothes and a pair of shoes, along with any accessories.

Mixed Bag

i. Medicines: Get paracetamol for headaches and fevers, an antiseptic and band-aids, antacids for stomach-aches, and aspirin. Unfortunately, none of these can cure homesickness.
ii. The religious stuff: Every morning, there is a compulsory prayer to the Gods to help you cope with the semester.
iii. Electronics: Get your mobile phone, laptop, chargers, a portable power bank (extremely handy), earphones, and you may later want to buy a pair of speakers as well.
iv. Whatever sets you apart: Musicians swear by their instruments, and we have had a couple of wonderful artists, painters, and even magicians. Get the gear of your trade, as college is one place people you will be identified by your uniqueness.

Buy from Manipal

As I said, you can easily make do with the lecture notes and slides for most subjects. Nevertheless, you can either get books from seniors you know. Otherwise, Kamath Book House (refer to the article about stores in Manipal for more information) is the staple for most people here, especially because you can return the books at the end of the semester at half-price that is redeemable in a new purchase. Do not buy all the suggested reference books because you will neither have the time nor the need to go through all of them.

For the room

You can buy the following from the stores on campus, like the Campus Store. However, it is suggested that you go to Manipal Stores near Tiger Circle (don’t worry, these names will make sense to you soon enough) for large purchases as items there are a little cheaper. The things you will need are:

i. A good sturdy umbrella. Winds and rains resembling ‘The Perfect Storm’ are a daily phenomenon here. A normal umbrella will probably break in the first week of your stay at the campus, so make sure you get a large umbrella. Get one as soon as you arrive, because the rainy season is at its best in the month of August.
ii. A pillow or two for the good night’s rest.
iii. Pillow covers and bedsheets, if you didn’t bring them from home.
iv. A bucket and a mug. Useful when accepting the ice bucket challenge (they will make a comeback, trust me).
v. A dustbin.
vi. A laundry bag. Helps to keep your chair and bed clean, and smell free.
vii. Clothes hangers if you think you’ll ever do your own laundry. Also some detergent and clothes-brush, then.
viii. Locks: You will need a big one with multiple keys, for your room door, and a smaller one for your wardrobe.
ix. A doormat for outside your bathroom. A broom to show your political affiliations.
x. A drying rack or cloth lines.


I obviously can’t tell you what to buy from this section, but where to buy it from in Manipal. Galaxy sports and Arena Sports are usually the top picks, as are Flipkart, Snapdeal, and Amazon. You can breathe easy now, as all major e-commerce websites deliver to Manipal. Also, do not buy all the sporting gear you think you may require. Friends exist for a reason.

Mixed Bag

i. Medicines: Any medicines you want to buy here, you will get from the shops around KMC, which is a twenty-minute walk from the hostels, or five average song-lengths. So stack up on basic medicines as mentioned in the earlier section.
ii. Ignore this point. It exists because lists cannot have a single item. I messed up, apparently.

These are all the things that would be required while fending for yourself in your new home. Manipal is quite an amazing place, where you can always thrust your neck out of your comfort zone. Soon, a group of the most unremarkable people will suddenly become the reason why you call Manipal home. Many freshmen will be out of their homes for the first time, away from the watchful gaze of their parents, and in a land of opportunity and freedom. Keep an open mind and an open wallet, and you will soon be at home. We really look forward to you joining this family of ours. Experiences await you. We await you.

Cover Image: Ann Mathew