The back to school commercials keep rolling on Youtube, geared towards K-12 students. What happened to the college students? Yeah, we need dorm bedroom and bathroom essentials, but we also need to re-stock and prepare for the upcoming school year with pencils sticky notes and a three-ring binders. Don’t you worry. With these 10 essentials, your backpack will wait loaded and ready to head out before that 8 a.m. lasting long after you get home from your late afternoon bio class.
1. Your Ticket to Silencing the World
If you have an hour break or more in between classes, you’ll need your headphones. How else will you catch up on a lecture, rock out to your favorite jams or catch up on the latest Game of Thrones episode? Or better yet, signal all the campus creeps to stay away? Forgetting these will suck as much as forgetting your phone itself.
2. The “Anti-Hangry” Essentials
Admit it, we all get sleepy and hungry during lectures, so you’ll need snacks to avoid taking a quick catnap. Looking for a quick and quiet snack? Try Chips Ahoy! Minis. When you open the wrapping, it doesn’t create enough noise to attract attention. If you crave something salty, Lays Chile and Limon eases my hunger, also saving me from nodding off and making a fool of myself. If you want something a little healthier, go with Nature Valley and Quaker Bars. Even better? These snacks won’t make make any kind of stink, preventing people from sniffing jealousy around you.
3. Something to Keep Your Skin Smooth
Cracked lips? Yuck. Developing a case of chapped lips causes a personal hell for all of us. The constant dull pain disturbs and distracts us during lectures, group study sessions or chatting up your crush. This will make a quick, perfect and not to mention cheap fix. These things last practically forever. Besides that, dry skin creates unnecessary discomfort or itchiness, so lotion can solve the problem in a jiffy. It also eases the discomfort of chapped lips if you forgot or ran out of chapstick.
4. That Paper You Sign but Never Read
There comes a time in every student’s life where we don’t know the date, let alone whether or not we had any homework. Your syllabus will remind you of any assignments due that day or of any pre-cancelled classes. You definitely don’t want to accidentally show up to class on a free day. Plus, your syllabus will alert whether your procrastination has gone far enough and helps you determine whether or not you’ll need to pull that dreaded all-nighter. Don’t forget this all-important doc and save yourself the hassle of constantly checking alerts on your laptop, phone or even worse—writing it into your planner.
5. Something to Take Notes With
Taking notes on your laptop will feel practical, because you’ll have the ability to schedule reminders on your calendar the professor announces at the start of class. The laptop also lets you multi-task during an especially boring lecture. However, taking notes by hand ensures you stay focused on the class discussion or lecture. Either way, make sure to pack both so you can weigh your options.
6. Supplies to Combat Sleep
Anything colorful will instantly attract your eyes, so make sure to write important details with these fun pens. Don’t make a kaleidoscope of colors on the page because it will be hard to read. For important information use a color you love. If you have more than one favorite color, assign a color for each class. Assigning a specific color to each class can help you later on in the semester when looking for old notes because you can easily identify the notes by color. Keep in mind that red pens might bring back night terrors of failed assignments, but the color red really catches your eye. So you might want to use red to write down self-notes on attending office hours on Tuesday, or setting up an appointment with your career or academic counselor. Just don’t overdo it like your high school calculus teacher on your tests.
7. Sanitizer to Keep 99.9 Percent of the Germs Away
Everyone needs hand sanitizers for those cringe-worthy moments when you sit at one of the patio tables and accidentally smear your hand with a sticky patch of mystery goop someone left behind. Hand sanitizers also save the day during flu season, especially, if you work on those nasty library computers all day. Want something that doesn’t remind you of a hospital? Bath and Body Works has great portable hand sanitizers that lock in your skin’s moisture. Check out ones such as Marshmallow Pumpkin Latte or Berried Alive.
You will use your laptop or phone to distract yourself in class. Constantly using your phone and laptop throughout the day means runs the risk of it dying on you. Can you imagine missing out on all campus Pokémon? Before you collapse and start drowning in your tears, pick yourself up and pack your charger. The last thing you need before your 8 a.m. is a power outage, AKA a student’s version of a blackout disaster. Pro tip: Use butterfly clips to keep your wires from getting all tangled with each other.
9. Hygienic Products
Ladies, sometimes our period strikes at the most inconvenient times. Since menstrual products are not as accessible as they should be on campus, you’ll need to carry back-ups just in case. Running around asking every female you encounter for a tampon or pad can feel excruciating, so avoid it by keeping your own stockpile. You should also carry tissues—the sniffles strike suddenly, and toilet paper feels way too harsh to use on our noses. Imagine finding yourself stuck in class with a runny nose while other students are blocking your exit. What a nightmare. A sticky, icky nightmare.
10. Money, Because Tuition Doesn’t Cover Much
Have your wallet with in your backpack at all times, complete with cash, your ID and a debit or credit card. Feeling hangry sucks, so you’ll need money if you forgot to pack a much-needed snack with you from home. Your school ID will definitely need to stay in your wallet because it gives you access to computer labs, libraries, school discounts, your dorm and much more. Pro tip: Keep your driver’s license in your wallet, since it makes the perfect backup if you forgot your school ID. Also, let’s face it—it’ll come in handy if you need a drink after class for the 21+ crowd.