A new semester is here, and most of us I’m sure will have long and tiring days on campus; this means not having the time to eat, or having most personal items with you. If you’re like me and commute to school, running back home or to a dorm room is not possible. It’s easy to just throw any and everything in your backpack, but the key is to be organized and to know what exactly is in your bag. Which is why I decided to do this post about the essentials to carry in your backpack, especially during those long days. Below I’m sharing some of the items I use in my college career that help me to get through my days on campus. Now, this is not a complete list of everything, but it is just the basics to help you succeed throughout the semester and your college career.
The most important thing first and foremost is the actual backpack. As you progress in your program, your class materials will likely change, you may be required to bring those heavy textbooks to class with you daily, and other days you will just need the basics. So investing in a versatile backpack is ideal. In doing so, you will ensure that it lasts until you graduate and also be comfortable. When purchasing a backpack, be sure to ask yourself these questions:
Will your laptop fit?
Will your textbooks fit, whether small or large?
Is there space for your water bottle or coffee/tea mug?
Is there space for you to keep your personal items?
I know you’re probably thinking Duh, this is a given. A wallet is essential because it has your debit/credit cards, which are necessary in case you have an emergency or need to buy lunch or other items. You can also store your student ID, drivers license, and keys. Depending on what you store in your wallet, you can decide if you need a big or small one.
CellPhone and Headphones
If you are like me, I cannot leave the house without my phone not necessarily because I’m addicted to my phone, but it has a lot of valuable information on there; from personal to school information that is handy on the go, rather than having to take out my laptop or iPad. Be sure to not be on your phone while in class, pretty sure this will be something that will be stated on; if not all but most of your class syllabus.
I have become dependent on my planner because it contains everything I need to get through my day, week, both personally and academically. You can get a small or medium-sized planner that will fit in your bag. The planner I use is the Passion Planner, I absolutely love this planner because I can write about my focus for the week, talk about the good things that happened in the week and there is also a personal and work to-do list where I can jot down my blog ideas, study plan, etc. A planner is indeed essential because before you know it, you can go from having one assignment to like 10 assignments, 4 exams and many different things to do. The key to a successful semester is to be organized, so you will definitely need a planner.
A laptop is absolutely needed for college, there are no ifs and or maybes about it. While a computer is convenient, it might not be financially feasible at the time for you, but you can always check with your library to see if there is any available for use. A laptop is also an excellent note-taking tool, especially for those lecturers who speak at the rate at how fast Usain Bolt runs.
I rarely leave my portable charger at home. You won’t always find an outlet and when you do someone else might be occupying it. Portable chargers help when you’re in the middle of class and need to charge your device. It is a lifesaver!
If you are like me, I’m a bit oldfashioned, I prefer to write versus typing on my laptop in class. Whenever I write my notes, there is a higher chance of me remembering the material. You can either get the 1-inch binders or the spiral notebooks. There are the one, two, three, or five subjects notebook you can purchase which can be more economical. The benefit has your notes for all of your classes in one place.
Lip Balm and Hand Lotion
A wey dry lips and hands ah go? ( Dry lips and hands is definitely not it). Be sure to keep a lip balm in your backpack to use after each meal and also with the changing weather your lips will most likely get dry. I wash my hands often, and that can sometimes leave your hands dry, so having a hand lotion in your backpack comes in handy. Ladies, we can’t be out here in these streets with dry lips and hands.
Pens and Pencils
I mean, how else are you going to take notes? I love to use the BIC ballpoint pens, and I also like using mechanical pencils, they are so convenient when taking a test, nobody has time to be sharpening a pencil while in the middle of an exam. I like to use colorful pens when writing my notes for the different classes, somewhere in my mind, I think it helps me to remember the material better when my notes are color-coordinated.
To increase my daily water intake, I try my best not to leave my refillable water bottle at home. Plus walking to and from your different classes; especially in the summer and fall heat, water will be necessary. You can always refill your water bottle at the water fountain around campus.
You can probably guess what I’m talking about. If you’re a girl, it’s essential to have a small travel bag that you can put some personal items in. I’m talking about pads, tampons, an extra pair of underwear, over the counter pain pills, hand sanitizers, flushable wipes, tissue, lipgloss, mini first aid kit, and other personal items you may need; just be sure that this is in your bag at all times. I can’t tell you how many times this bag has saved my life.
I sometimes meal prep and take my lunch with me to class, but most days it doesn’t happen because life just gets the best of me. It’s important to have something in your bag to munch on primarily on the days when you’re on a strict budget and can’t afford to eat out. Trail mix, chips, dried fruits, protein bars are just a few snacks to have on hand, they can fill you up throughout the day.
What are some of your backpack essentials? Let me know below in the comments.