Back-to-School Essentials for College Students

Back-to-School Essentials for College Students
Lifestyle 2021 | 4 min read

As you transition into college, you’ll learn what items are essential to your success. This brief list details some necessities that will make the coursework a little easier.

When you’re On Campus You’ll Need...

1. Laptop Backpack for School
Your old-school bookbag might not make the cut now that you’re headed to college. With all of the books, electronics, and other valuables you’ll be toting around, you’ll need a high-quality laptop backpack. Voted the 2020 Top Laptop Backpack by Forbes, the Signature 2.0 with Antimicrobial Liner is designed to elevate your carrying experience on campus. Its minimalist aesthetic takes your look from grade-school to young professional. But where this laptop bag really shines is in its durability and functionality. This laptop backpack for men and women showcases a water-resistant, vegan leather outer and premium YKK metal zippers for a sleek and sophisticated finish. If you happen to spill coffee on your bag, you can easily clean it up with a damp cloth and mild soap. 
To maximize your carrying capacity and organization, this laptop backpack is equipped with plenty of storage features. The SIgnature 2.0 with Antimicrobial Liner is designed with a convenient clamshell opening. This allows for quick access to items in the main compartment and internal pockets. The spacious main compartment is the perfect spot for an emergency toiletry bag (especially for commuting students), notebooks, textbooks, snacks, hand lotion, and other small items. It contains two mesh pockets that keep chargers, power banks, and stationary, organized. For delicate items like sunglasses or readers, there are two velour-lined internal pockets that come in handy.
No college laptop backpack would be complete without a dedicated space for tech gadgets. This laptop backpack for women and men has a padded laptop pocket. You can safely store your MacBook Pro, iPad, and other devices. Other storage space includes: a front pocket, shoe compartment, anti-theft side pockets, and more. 
And because you’ll be trekking around campus with a full backpack, the Signature 2.0 with Antimicrobial Liner features padded shoulder straps and a breathable back panel. These ergonomic compression straps and back panel minimize shoulder and lower back strain. With several intentionally-designed compartments and thoughtful features, this computer bag is perfect for the school year ahead.
[Shop more laptop travel backpacks here.] 

2. Laptop
In this day and age, having a laptop in college is a lifeline. It’s how professors and teaching assistants will communicate everything to you. Things like curriculum expectations, homework assignments, test grades, and feedback, will be found online.
3. Reliable Wallet
Everyone needs a reliable wallet, right? But as a college student, you’ll be reaching for your student ID a lot so it's best to keep it handy. Since most campuses will use this as a reference for checking out library books, reserving a study space, or entering student events, you’ll want to know where your student ID is at all times. Plus, it’s important to keep your cash and credit cards safe.
4. Pencil Pouch
For most courses, professors will allow students to use their electronic gadgets for in-class learning and note-taking. However, there are always professors that will either prohibit electronics or recommend doing work on paper. Of course, this is partially determined by what you’re studying (try doing calculus on a computer), but it is better to be over-prepared than not. Be sure to have a stocked-up pencil pouch with these essentials: pencils, erasers, highlighters, blue pens, red pens, and White-Out. Whether you’re peer-grading term papers or sketching aircraft models, you will be ready to learn.


5. Women’s and Men’s Watch
Your daily schedule will get hectic and it’s easy to lose track of time between classes and other priorities. To eliminate a lot of stress, you should wear a wristwatch. This will help the overall flow of your class day and/or workday.


6. Planner
Sure there are electronic calendars, but a physical planner will help commit things to memory. Due dates, test dates, office hours, work schedules--you can see your schedule with an overhead view. 
Tip: When you receive your course syllabus, take some time to write down all of the important dates and homework assignments for the class. You can see how quickly your schedule fills up with studying and homework, which will help you manage your time in other areas of your life
7. Binders and Notebooks 
This one is a no-brainer. Some courses will recommend a binder or notebook depending on the area of study. But it’s good to be prepared to scribble down important information or take notes that you can’t easily do on a laptop. 
8. Loose leaf paper and folders
If you don’t prefer to keep a notebook, loose-leaf paper will be your backup. Oftentimes, professors or teaching assistants will have you turn in pop quizzes or in-class assignments that will be graded or used for attendance purposes. 
9. White out + sticky notes
You’ll get used to writing most things in pen. But that also means you’ll be making a lot of mistakes! Keep White-Out handy just in case. Another must-have are sticky notes. You can use these for quick notes that you can’t write in your textbook. If you’re renting a textbook or plan to resell it after the course, you’ll want to keep the book in the best shape possible. 
10. Emergency Toiletry Bag


Whether you’re on campus for an hour or the entire day, it’s nice to have a small toiletry bag of hygiene products. This “emergency kit” will come in handy whenever you need to freshen up for an impromptu meeting with an advisor, professor, or other campus authority. Since these interactions are crucial to your success as a student, you’ll want to feel your best going into these meetings. Alleviate the insecurities of having bad breath and body odor by keeping a travel toothbrush, mouthwash, and perfume/cologne in the Signature 2.0 Toiletry Bag. Or, use this compact women’s and men’s toiletry bag for daily necessities like contact solution, eye drops, feminine products, and/or travel-sized stain removers. Having these small items on hand can really come in clutch when you’re pressed for time.
11. Small Stapler
You probably never thought to carry around a mini stapler since a teacher has always provided one. But this underrated college essential can be the difference between turning in your assignment and not. Most professors and TA’s will not accept assignments that are “dog-eared” a.k.a. attached by folding the corners. Many will insist that papers be properly stapled because 1) they have hundreds of assignments to transport to and from the lecture hall, 2) they do not want the additional headache of losing/misplacing papers, and 3) it’s overall more professional. 
12. USB Flash drive
Always. Save. Your. Draft. If you want to prevent a homework nightmare, you should save your progress every 5-10 minutes. Your computer will be working in overdrive after all the uploading, downloading, and constant use so you don’t want it to crash in the middle of your work. As extra “insurance” you’ll want to transfer all files onto a USB Flash drive as a backup. This auxiliary storage is also crucial for transferring files between computers. For any projects or presentations that you may share with the class, you'll need a USB Flash drive.
13. Scientific Calculator
A scientific calculator will be essential for any STEM courses. To keep up in these classes and to complete the homework, you’ll want to make sure you have a reliable scientific calculator.
14. Index Cards 

One of the best study aids are homemade flashcards. By customizing index cards with the subject of your choice, you can encourage active recall to improve your memory.