Bring more than your handy dandy notebook

An inside out view of what the average student should have in his or her backpack.

Jordan Sweidan/The Skyline View

An inside out view of what the average student should have in his or her backpack.

Getting through a semester in college, be it a community college or full university, can be a tremendously difficult battle that not all students may survive.

It is made increasingly difficult when the student doesn’t have the adequate “tools” to help them succeed.

So here is a list of things that can help you get through the semester, and possibly the rest of your college career. Admittedly some of these items might be “obvious” to some students, yet there are still many of you out there that don’t seem to have some, or worse, any, of these essentials.


The first item on the list should be apparent to all students. Whether it be a backpack, messenger bag, or any of the large purses some students carry, having something to hold all of your things is an essential part of succeeding in school. It’s a rather baffling sight to see students without a backpack; akin to seeing a worker at a construction site without a hard hat. If you’re a student who doesn’t have some sort of bag, do yourself a favor and get one.


Binders, folders, and notebooks, oh my! You don’t necessarily need to have all of these things, but it does help to have a variation of them to keep classes separate and organized. When in doubt, you can’t go wrong having a binder, with dividers for each class, and a notebook for your more “note taking” intensive class.


You ever have a classmate that constantly borrows pens and pencils? What about one that borrows said pen or pencil, and never returns it? The worse part is, they probably don’t have a backpack and will constantly ask for necessities all students should have. Yeah. Don’t be that student.

Flash drive

Handy little guys. Especially if you have classes that require typing essays, lab write ups,or thesis papers. It’s a great way to keep a lot of your work archived and easily accessible without the hassle of having a ton of paper. Not to mention it gives you an extra copy of your assignments, should anything happen to your computer or other work-related device.

Student Planner/Calendar

Having a planner or calendar will help any student keep up with due dates and deadlines. It’s a terrible feeling when a professor asks for an assignment, and either you forgot the due date or thought it was on another day. As long as you check your planner on a daily basis, then hypothetically speaking you should never miss a deadline.

Phone charger/Power bank

Although having an extra charger or power bank is not an essential item like a pen or notebook for school, it’s great item to have in your backpack. It will take away the stress of your phone dying half way through the day.


A laptop might be the least affordable item on this list, but it is also a one of the greatest investment for all students. In most cases you don’t even need a “top of the line” Macbook or PC Laptop, all you need is one that you can browse the web and type your papers on. A laptop can be a valuable to help you with all your school work.

Reusable water bottle

A must have for all students. Not only are reusable water bottles money savers, but they are also environment savers too. Most college students are on a very tight budget, buying a cheap reusable water bottle is great way
to keep hydrated without spending tons of money on plastic bottles that end up being wasted on the environment. Most, if not all, college campuses have hydration stations to promote reusable water bottles as well, so take advantage of the free resource that is also a necessity.