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Five Must-Haves In Your College Bag

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CU Boulder chapter.

School is in full swing, and if your professors are anything like mine, you already have a midterm coming up. I commute to campus, so I usually spend all day on campus. I try to keep everything I’ll need in my bag at all times so that I can make the most of each day. Here are some things I carry in my bag that I think you should too.

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Water Bottle

Hydrate! You’re walking all over campus, and with classes taking over, it’s easy to forget to do something as simple as drinking water. Get a reusable water bottle and take advantage of all the water fountains around campus. It’s also great for the environment as it reduces your plastic waste. 


Again, you’re walking everywhere and burning energy. A snack is a great way to keep your motor running between meals. Keep a cereal bar or a candy bar; they won’t take up too much space and it’s fine if you don’t eat it right away. I like having something sweet and something savory so that I have options. 

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Notebook and Pen

This might seem redundant because most of us take notes digitally, either with a tablet or a laptop, but some professors will ask you to take physical notes or to turn in in-class activities on paper. It’s good to be prepared. It’s even better if you have a notebook with precut edges, that way you don’t have the messy frills. It’s a small detail that makes a huge difference when turning in written assignments. It looks organized and clean, which is the type of impression you want to give your professors. 

Mints or Gum

If you’re anything like me, you’re on campus all day and you don’t want to go to the UMC bathroom to brush your teeth. Gum or mints are a great way to keep your breath fresh, and they’re a great way to start a conversation with someone. Whether you’re flirting or trying to make friends, nothing is better than when someone gives you a piece of gum. It could easily be the sixth love language. 

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If you don’t have it already, be sure to carry chapstick with you. It’s a $5 investment that is so underrated. Having dry lips is so annoying and can even be painful. I’ll sometimes fidget with my lips and I’ll end up ripping a piece of skin off. Not fun. Especially when it bleeds. The great thing about chapstick is the variety: you can have clear, simple ones, or colorful, flavored ones. I have a Burt’s Bees peppermint lip balm and it is amazing. It’s refreshing and I can feel a practically instantaneous difference when I apply it. 

The little things, like what you carry in your bag can make the difference between an okay day and a great day. It will also help you create healthy habits, like staying hydrated and keep you prepared for classes and anything that might come up.

Mariana Bastias

CU Boulder '25

Mariana Bastías is the Director of Outreach for Her Campus CU Boulder, where she is in charge of coordinating volunteer and social events as well as connecting with local businesses for partnerships. Her articles will range from profiles to movie and book reviews to current events to her own experiences. Mariana is double majoring in Creative Writing and Psychology, with a minor in Business, at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is the current manager of Brewing Market Coffee & Tea Emporium on Pearl St. Mall. As an aspiring novelist and poet, she has published a short story, Midnight Adventures, in Meridian Creative Arts Journal in their 50th edition, and she is currently working on a novella for her honors thesis. Whenever she can, Mariana likes to curl up with a book and a cup of tea and read the afternoon away. Her favorite novel is “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde, and she always pairs it with a cup of Earl Gray. Mariana is also an avid coffee drinker; as a professional and at-home barista, she’ll experiment with flavors and roasts. As a writer, Mariana loves filling notebooks with stories, poems, and observations of the world around her, as well as ideas for future articles.