Back To School Series: Part 1 – Backpack Essentials

3 years of college in: here’s what I keep with me to fuel my study sessions and days of class!

I joke that it is quite possible I am able to live out of my backpack for at least 24 hours, but the truth is, I have learned over time that it is much more beneficial to keep everything I need with me so I can simply grab my backpack and leave without thinking about missing something crucial. πŸ˜€

  1. computer AND/OR iPad
  2. CHARGERS for computer & iPad/iPhone – electronics are useless without them.
  3. headphones – sometimes 2x pairs – studying without music might be impossible for some. My Bose over the ear headphones are not sound-proof, but they definitely cancel out noise better than earbuds! Having another pair might be nice if your friend forgets theirs, too πŸ˜€
  4. snacks – check out my post on my top 5 snacks on the goΒ for more details!
  5. a waterbottle – anything but glass.
  6. notebooks for class – only the ones I need that day!
  7. PLANNER. I don’t think I could live without this. Between my iCloud calendar and my paper calendar, my life is somewhat put together. Mine is a agenda and I love it dearly.
  8. Pencil pouch full of pencils and pens and highlighters.
  9. cash – at least $5. I always carry my debit card with me, but you never know when you need cash. Food stands, farmer’s markets, some places still don’t take cards! (I learned this from you, Mom!)
  10. sticky notes – I staple some to my planner pages to make a to-do list every day
  11. naproxen/acetaminophen/ibuprofen. Headaches often come without warning.
  12. gum. Again, you never know when you’re going to need it. Dates? Teeth just feel gross? Peppermint for nausea?
  13. chapstick & a small bottle of lotion. Essentials in North Dakota winters.
  14. Hair ties, bobby pins, a headband. In order to put your hair up and get s*** done, these items are required.

Here what I NEVER keep in my backpack (or have made the mistake of keeping in before):

  • lotion alone – if the bottle breaks or the cap comes off somehow (yes it’s possible), your backpack is probably ruined. Yes, this has happened to me before.
  • fresh fruits or vegetables – if you forget about them and they make it to the bottom, you’re going to have some serious regrets. Again, I learn from experience.
  • loose pens. Pens explode. Always, always, always keep them in a case!
  • glass bottles for juice/coffee/water. If you fall on ice, which is very possible in my homeland of North Dakota, you water bottle may shatter and ruin anything and everything. And if you have a water bottle of any kind, MAKE SURE IT IS ALWAYS SEALED. πŸ˜€ water damage is unfortunately irreversible.


I use a North Face Double Time backpack which is smaller than the others I’ve used in the past, but this size is perfect so that I don’t have the option to put textbooks in it and put a strain on my back. I hopefully have a lot of school left and I’d like to spare my lumbar spine πŸ˜€

Durability is essentially important in college and graduate school. I have used a backpack like this several times. Having a high-quality backpack is not something I can skimp on. It’s an investment that will last for years if you take care of it!

What am I missing? Likely not much. πŸ˜‰

Keeping all the essentials right here with me supports a healthy, busy lifestyle. What do you keep in your backpack? STAY TUNED FOR PART TWO OF THIS #backtoschool SERIES!








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