Backpack Essentials For College
These are the 5 college essentials for class that I always appreciate having stashed in my bag.
First up is:
7. Stain Remover Pen
A stain remover pen is just the thing you need when an inopportune coffee spill happens. And if youre a bit of klutz like me, that usually a weekly occurrence. One of these has saved my white shirts and pants more times than I can count!
A Tide to Go pen is a kind of out there unexpected college necessity, but Im attached at the hip with mine. I like to keep one in my backpack and in my purse because its small, portable, and I know my track record.
To me, its well worth having one within arms reach when something stains my favorite piece of clothing.
8. College Planner
Another one of my backpack essentials for college is a planner. Its a major help for keeping your sanity while going to school.
You may have not needed one in high school but trust me here. Its going to make staying on top of your class schedule, assignment due dates, social outings, and everything else A LOT more manageable.
I always like to simplify my life in any way possible and a planner helps me achieve just that.
9. Breath Mints
Coffee is an almost universal staple among college kids and coffee breath is a real thing.
You may not have time to brush your teeth in between classes but you do have time to pop a mint in your mouth. Breath mints are an unexpected, but much needed, thing to bring to college that will get steady use.
10. Water Bottle
Which is why:
Folders And Paper Clips
You can have at least one folder for each course youre takingand possibly more if you have different types of papers to organize. Always try to keep paper clips handy and in your student desk, just in case. For some courses, three-ring binders may be useful for sorting and organizing documents by topic.
Best Laptop For College
So many classes are taught partly or totally online these days, I recommend students have their own computer, if theyre able to afford one. An inexpensive laptop is fine for most students. You dont need a pricey MacBook Air or kitted out gaming computer for school work.
My recommendation for an affordable laptop for college students is the HP 2019 14 laptop. I can write a fairly extensive review of this laptop because I own one. In fact, its the laptop I use for both my online teaching and my work here at The Prudent Professor.
HP 2019 14 laptop pros
A major advantage of this laptop is portability. It doesnt have a CD/DVD drive, so is very lightweight. Thats a big plus if youll be carrying the laptop in a bag or backpack all day. The specs say it weighs around four pounds, but honestly it feels lighter than that.
The 14 screen is obviously smaller than what youd find on bigger laptops and desktops. However, I find this screen size sufficient for my academic work, as well as for web browsing and streaming. Plus, if youre used to streaming and web surfing on a smartphone, a 14 screen looks enormous.
My 14 HP laptop downloads fairly fast, though download speed depends some on your internet connection too. It also has good battery life for a laptop in this price range. I can usually stream live TV for 4-5 hours on battery power.
HP 2019 14 laptop cons
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Best School Supplies For College: Post
Post-it Super Sticky Recycled Notes, 3×3 in, 6 Pads
Post-it Z-Notes – One Each of Neon Rainbow Yellow, Green, Purple, Pink, Orange – 100 Sheets per Pad – 76 Mm X 76 Mm
Post-it Flags Assorted Color Combo Pack, 320 Flags Total, 200 1-Inch Wide Flags and 120 .5-Inch Wide Flags, 4 On-The-Go Dispensers/Pack
What To Bring To College: The Importance Of Organization
Before we introduce our ultimate college packing list, it’s critical that you understand the overall importance of organization regarding what to bring to college.
You’ll notice the word storage on our college packing list that’s because living in a small space means it’s more important than ever to stay organized.
You can start your organizational system before you even move. Start by labeling all the boxes or storage containers you’re bringing with you to college. Label makers are great, but duct tape and a sharpie work just fine as well. You don’t want to be searching for your charger on your first night in your dorm because you can’t remember which box you threw it in.
One-up this strategy by packing your dorm items as they’ll be stored once in your room. If you have a bedside rolling cart, for example, put the items in that cart that will be there once you move in. You’ll save yourself a bit of unpacking and know exactly where your stuff is when you need it.
Some things that are college-specific can be packed in advance, but you’ll probably wait to decide what clothes to bring with you. Packing your clothes last is actually a great idea. Make a day of it! Chances are that you can stand to donate some items, and you’ll have to decide carefully what to bring to college and your dorm. Clothes will also be the last thing you unpack once you’re moved in, since you’ll want to take some time to organize.
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Notebooks Paper Binders Folders
Some students like to devote a notebook or folder to each class, while others prefer to keep everything together in one binder or five-subject notebook. Notebooks are great for keeping papers together without any stray sheets. If you will need to turn in hand-written assignments, make sure the pages tear out of your notebook cleanly or have some loose-leaf paper available for these occasions. Don’t forget to also pick up some printer paper.
School Supplies Every College Student Needs
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Final Thoughts On Things Every College Student Needs
So, that covers it! My list of unexpected things to bring to college with 22 college necessities ends here. I hope its helped you feel more prepared and confident about tackling your first year of college.
When youre ready to start packing for college, be sure to use my complete college packing list .
Seasoned college students what are some necessities for college that you cant live without?
Id love to know what things youre more than happy to keep around! If you think I missed any big college necessities leave a comment below.
Apple Watch Or A Smart Watch
A smart watch can be a game changer in college.
You can configure your smartwatch to complement your busy college schedule from working out at the gym to studying for your next big test!
I personally have and use on the daily an Apple Watch Series 4 in the 40mm size. You can get the bigger size if you need a bigger screen though!
My favorite Apple Watch app is the built-in exercise app, which helps me monitor my daily steps and calories burned throughout the day.
The Apple Watch can also be a great motivator for you to get up and get moving with the close your ringsnotifications.
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Families Can Pay A One
Cost for the school supplies is a one-time fee of $30 per student for enough school supplies for the entire school year . Families will continue to provide students with backpacks and lunchboxes, along with school planners at middle schools. Families can pay the one-time school supply fee online or by check/cash at their school.
Families providing their own school supplies:
- Elementary School supply list:
- Pencils, Highlighters, Large Eraser, Folders, Sticky Notes, Colored pencils, Crayons, Pencil box, Scissors, Glue sticks, Composition notebooks, Black permanent marker, Ruler, Loose-leaf notebook paper , Washable markers
Why Do We Provide School Supplies
Bellingham Public Schools strives to provide a free, public education of the highest quality for all students. Buying school supplies in addition to the many other fees associated with school and activities is a financial hardship for many families. Our community generously supports our schools in numerous ways, and so much is already asked of parents related to fundraising and fees. Our schools will purchase the supplies students need for learning, as we do with books and other materials.
- Reduce the school supply financial hardship to families as much as possible over time
- Eliminate waste for supplies that arent used by the end of the year as well as parents time and gas money and
- Support families in using time saved from school supply shopping to focus on setting learning goals for the new school year and planning for time and space at home for reading and homework.
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Shopping For School Supplies
It would be hard to miss the abundance of school supplies in stores as everyone gets ready for the big “back-to-school” rush. In late July and early August, retailers pull out their best deals on everything from glue sticks to laptops. If you’re a bargain shopper, this is the time to stock up.
If you do find yourself on campus without some studying necessity, the school bookstore also stocks the usual array of pens and Post-it notes. You may pay a premium for a folder stamped with your school mascot, though. The campus bookstore will probably be your best choice for special supplies required for specific classes like art materials or lab goggles.
If you prefer to shop from home, most major office supply stores have an online presence, including Staples, Office Depot, and OfficeMax.
The School And Desk Supplies You Need To Get Back To Campus
Fall semester will be here before you know it, so its time to get serious about back-to-school shopping. Before you do, try to put together a school supplies list and overall college packing list. These will help you organize and prioritize your shopping tripsboth online and offline.
You will definitely want to try to get an array of desk supplies that will help you complete coursework more efficiently. Here are key items you can put on your college packing list to get you ready for the year.
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Elementary School: Grades 1 To 3
You blinked and your babies have hit grade school. Before your little ones can shop for themselves, its important to keep them outfitted with every essential. From kids backpacks to folders to a new pair of gym shoes, check off all the items in this back-to-school shopping list for grades one through three.
Ready To Start Your Journey
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More than ever, college students are facing specialized academic demands and increased technology usage, which can leave them unsure of what school supplies they need for class. Students often have to take the hefty costs of tuition and other fees into consideration when deciding to invest in products for learning.
This list features 30 standout gadgets and college school supplies that address a variety of needs.
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Stapler And Stapler Remover
Whether you are organizing your notes or turning in a paper, having a stapler on hand is a must. There are plenty of crazy professors out there who will deduct points off your assignment if you turn it in without it stapled, so always keep a stapler in your backpack and in your dorm for easy, stress-free due date days.
School Supplies For 2021
The following items will be provided for general classroom use:
- Dry Erase Markers, Dry Eraser, Copy Paper, Zip Top Bags , Disinfectant Wipes, Hand Sanitizer, Boxes of Tissues
- Backpacks/lunchboxes provided by family
- School supplies provided by school:
- Pencils, Highlighters, Dividers, Large Eraser, Folders, Sticky Notes, Colored Pencils, Loose-leaf Notebook Paper , Washable Marker Set, Pencil Box, Pencil Caddy, Scissors, Glue Sticks, Composition Notebooks, Black Permanent Marker, Ruler, Crayons, Earbuds/Headphones
- School planners/ Sports & Activities Fees/ASB paid by families
- School supplies provided by school:
- Pencils, Highlighters, Pens , Loose-leaf Notebook Paper , 3 Binders, Dividers, Large Eraser, Pencil Pouch, Graph Paper Notebooks, Folders, Sticky Notes, Colored Pencils, Laptop Earbuds
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Pencils / Mechanical Pencils
Yes some of us still use this archaic form of writing. There are lots of benefits to writing down notes with pencils: being able to erase mistakes, the ability to sketch out a design. Just make sure you buy a sharpener or additional lead.
Best Binders For College
I recommend that college students use binders to organize their class materials. I know theres a big binder vs. notebook debate. Notebooks are easier to carry in your bag or backpack, but I think the structure of notebooks is too limiting for most college students. You cant easily rearrange or add to pages in a notebook, so you have less ability to organize your class materials.
I think standard one-inch 3-ring binders are sufficient for most students and most classes. I prefer white binders, but binders in a variety of colors are nice, too. If you take care of your binders, you should be able to use the same set for at least several semesters.
I wrote an entire post on how to organize your college binder. You can see my suggestions for binder accessories there as well.
While I strongly recommend binders, if you decide to use spiral notebooks instead, Mead makes some of the best notebooks for college. I would get at least one college ruled 2 subject notebook for each class, so youll have interior pockets for class handouts and assignments.
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Additional School Supplies For College Students
Weve covered the major supplies youll need for college: an affordable laptop, a quality bag/backpack, binders to organize your class materials and notetaking supplies. Here are some suggestions for other study supplies you should consider.
You probably already have some of these. If so, you should take those to college with you. Again, you dont need to buy all new stuff for college. You should also wait to buy some of these items until youre sure you need them.
One thing you wont see on this list is a planner. Dont get me wrong, its essential that you use a planner in college. But, its important that you buy the right planner for your time management style. I think many of my studentstime management struggles come from using the wrong kind of planner. I didnt include this on the list, then, because you need to put a lot of thought into choosing a planner. It may take time for you to find the planner that works best for you.
Stapler. Please bring or buy a stapler. If I had a dollar for every student who asked me for a stapler while they were turning in their paper, I wouldnt have needed to start this website.
Hole punch. If youre using binders for your classes, youll need an inexpensive hole punch for class handouts and other materials.
Dividers. You should also consider getting dividers to label different sections in your binder.
Paper clips and binder clips. You should be able to get these in a set, so you dont have to buy a box of 1,000 paper clips.
Elementary School: Grades 4 And 5
While standard pencils are still a must, kids in higher primary grades start needing more advanced school supplies like permanent pens , highlighters and even calculators. Think of buying a bigger backpack for these years as binders and folders need more space than that old stuffed animal your little one couldnt leave home without.
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Best Backpack For College
For the longest time, I was a backpack girl. Then, I switched over to and loved messenger bags. Lately Ive been using backpacks again. I love both messenger bags and backpacks, and am pretty much a bag fanatic. We wont go into how much luggage Ive bought over the years.
Bags are a really personal thing, so I was hesitant to put this on the list. But I found a backpack that I love and think is a great backpack for college students: the Yamtion 15.6 backpack.
Why I recommend the Yamtion 15.6 backpack
I chose this backpack for several reasons. First, it has a separate, padded compartment that fits the 14 laptop I recommended above. I figured if I was going to recommend a laptop, I should recommend a backpack you can carry it in, right?
Second, this backpack can hold a lot. It has many pockets, which is great for organization. It even has an anti-theft pocket in the back where you can store small items like your phone or a thin wallet. The backpack also has mesh side pockets, for carrying a water bottle or small umbrella.
The backpack has other features that you dont normally find in a bag in this price range. It has a USB charger for charging your phone or laptop. if youre a commuter student or on the go a lot, you might buy a power bank so you can charge your electronics right inside your backpack. Another neat feature is the luggage strap on the back of the bag. This is a nice added touch, one reason this will become my primary traveling backpack.