Backpack Essentials

I bet everyone has one of these with them right now:

These are our “college survival kits” that we take everywhere with us. With your college semester soon approaching, we should begin packing for everything and anything. We don”t have to have a lot going on, but it is important to have anything at a moment’s notice. Better to have it and not need it, as my mom would say.

[This kid has the right idea!]

So here is a basic checklist of the essential supplies you should have in your backpack/survival kit before you come to college. (NOTE: This is a basic list for that is not major-specific.)

  1. Laptop

Whether you are a Mac or PC, having your laptop is a no-brainer. With all our online assignments and Blackboard, not to mention Facebook and Twitter, being online is another way of feeling connected.

  1. Notebooks

If you learn better by taking your notes down by writing them, then by all means take a few notebooks with you. If you’re feeling creative, having a separate composition notebook comes in handy. I’m on my 13th.


  1. Textbooks

The first week will be syllabus week, but learning how to pack your textbooks will be super beneficial for you. Just make sure you don’t try to fix all 5+ textbooks in there at once. You won’t be in each class every day.

  1. Planner

I will say I never used a planner in high school, but when I got to college, a planner has been one of my best friends. Sure, there’s the calendar app on most smart phones, but there’s something about that physical book that signifies that this event is important to your day.

  1. Pens, pencils, highlighters

Raid that school supplies section at WalMart and Dollar Tree and you will be set for a while. Color-coordinate your planner and practice that calligraphy. I would also recommend getting a pencil pouch to keep track of them all.


  1. Change of clothes

This one is more situational, but think about it: you never know what you’ll be doing that day in full and you don’t wanna go to gym in dress slacks and polo and you never know if your clothes could get dirty. Having a change of clothes would be supremely helpful.

  1. Water bottle and snacks

There may be couple times where you miss the food trucks on campus or the dining centers will be too packed. So having your water bottle (drink lots of water) and a few  snacks would be helpful. I have trail mix and fruit on the regular.


  1. Headphones and chargers

I like to walk around campus with music in my ears. But our phone doesn’t have unlimited battery so make sure you have a charger with you as well as a pair of headphones. Sometimes you have online lectures and you don’t need everyone hearing what you’re studying.

ron bumping

  1. Wallet and your Student ID

Your student ID is the master key into everything on campus so keep that with you. And if you want food, having your wallet isn’t a bad call to make.


  1. Keys

This is one that transcends your freshman year. People can get locked out of their rooms and I think everyone has at some point so having that janitor key ring doesn’t seem like a bad idea at times.

Now that you have this survival list, go forth and shop for the right tools to make college a breeze.


[NOTE: If your backpack starts talking, I can’t help with that.]

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