What’s in my backpack?: THE ESSENTIALS

When I was in elementary school, a week before school started, I would lay out all of my shiny new school supplies on my living room floor, looking over my supply list from Target at least ten times to make sure I had everything I needed. However, it is not like this once we enter into the college-sphere of things. I don’t have time to lay everything out on the floor and gaze upon the beauty of never-used pens and notebooks (I use my laptop for most of my note-taking, anyway). None of us have the time for this, even though it’s fun and makes us feel nostalgic.

But, as we all step into a new semester, a fresh start, like starting a new journal or chap stick, I do have some tips for how to pack your backpack, purse, or whatever you prefer.

Here’s my backpack.


Items: Camelbak water bottle. Macbook. Jansport (my favorite brand) messenger bag. Wallet. Glasses. Small headphones. Big headphones. Charger (ESSENTIAL). Notebook (amount may vary). Planner (they’re free in the MSC, but I decorated mine to be prettier). Nook tablet. Lotion. Highlighter. Sharpie. Pens. Phone. Pencils. Moleskin notebook (my blog journal).

*SIDE NOTE: Every student is provided with a Stout backpack when they pick up their laptops!*

Before I go through everything, lets get to what might be the most daunting, but also the most important item to have with you: THE PLANNER.

Dun dun DUNNNNN.

I’m totally serious. It won’t make you a nerd to organize your time and keep track of your now busier-than-ever-before life. It’ll make you really happy when you get to cross off a huge project deadline. Even though it’s hard to start new habits, using a planner is one you will not regret for the rest of your life. Even if you think, “I’m never going to need this class in the real world!,” you will definitely need a planner in the real world. Word.

Water bottle: You will need this when you think you won’t. Every time I whine about having too much in my bag and take out my trusty water bottle, I end up needing water more than ever. DON’T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU. Walmart has some awesome water bottles if you don’t have any, and so does the Stout bookstore. We have “hydration stations” all over campus, which make filling up water bottles soooo much easier than trying to maneuver your bottle to the perfect angle to get as much water as possible with just normal water fountains. Stout is the 2nd most sustainable campus in the UW system and we don’t want any plastic clogging up our landfills. We care about our Earth and you should, too!

Laptop: Enough said.

Wallet: All you really need at all times if your state ID and your student ID, and some cash. But I have some other things in my wallet, like my library card, other debit cards, and multiple Caribou Coffee gift cards.

Glasses: Self explanatory.

Headphones: Small ones are for the times where I’ll probably be interrupted and where I don’t need noise canceling. Big ones are for when I need to focus and I’m in a loud place like the MSC, and when I’m walking to class.

Charger: You will be so, so sorry if you forget this. Your professor will be mad, you’ll be mad. Everyone will be mad. This is essential. This is life and death. (I kid, I kid, but it will feel like it.)

Notebooks: Some professors prefer you to take written notes. Since I could write, I liked using gel pens and colored pens to draw or use in school, and I still like to use colored pens for notes because it looks nice and it’s like coloring…but important. I also totally understand for the folks who don’t have the best handwriting…taking notes electronically is probably a better alternative.

Nook Tablet: I use this for when I need to study my notes, but want to listen to music on Spotify. I also use it when I’m waiting somewhere, or don’t need the bulk of my laptop out to check social media, watch videos, or check D2L for assignments.

Highlighter/Markers/Pens: Attention! You can highlight in your textbooks. This was confirmed with a librarian when my roommate called to ask if we could. So, work that highlighter to the bone. The other things are pretty basic, essential items.

What I like to have with me, which I’m sorry I left out, is body spray and chap stick. This goes for guys, too. Those cold winds will get you. And sometimes those late nights make us skip our shower in the morning. There is no shame in this. Stay fresh.

I hope this helps you as you start a new semester or gave you a new idea on how to be more organized! Don’t be shy to comment with any questions you have for me! This goes for any post! (:



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