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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Millersville chapter.

Going back to school can be crazy. Whether you are in middle school, high school, college or any other type of education environment, having the essentials to not only survive back-to-school season but also thrive is so important. Here is my list of school essentials to not only get you organized and functional but also plain happy! Let’s get learning y’all :)

1. BackPack

Your backpack is the vessel that gets you through your day-to-day. A book bag needs to be sturdy and functional for your needs in school. A backpack is much more than something you throw over your shoulder don’t give a second thought about. Your bag also reflects a part of you, so you want it to be fun, to match your style, and scream YOU!

2. Pencils, Pens, & other tools

Your writing instruments are so important. It is not just throwing a #2 pencil or a ball point pen in a bag and calling it a day. Your choice of writing tool is specific to you and what makes you happy. For me, I need mechanical pencils and G2 black pens or Paper Mate InkJoy gel pens. I also think it’s essential to have highlighters, sharpies, and any other quirky tool you can find at your fingertips to use. Some bonus things to have in your bag could be fine point markers, washable markers, and colored pencils (especially for college students in majors like Art or Education).

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3. Notebooks, Binders, & Folders

These things should be a given, but I think that having fun notebooks just enhances the mood for each class of the day. You can also add some color and fun in your choice of binders and different folders for your classes. Although these seem like generic things, they can really make or break your mood, and having these ready to go will make your life easier.

4. Electronics

Although I do not think that relying 100% on electronics for school is a smart plan, they are an essential you need to have lined up. Everything from your phone to your laptop have to be the best they can be to meet your needs. Set yourself up for success by making sure everything is organized, updated, and charged for class.


My favorite thing to have in my bag is a really beautiful, clean, colorful planner for the year. Having a planner keeps you organized and gives you time to figure out what you need to get done both in and out of school. A planner doesn’t’ have to be paper, either. You can set one up on a device as well to stay organized with all assignments and activities.

6. Feel Good Playlist

Having a playlist that makes you feel happy, calm, and centered between class times is important. A playlist reflects you and sometimes a song is all that stands between you and an entire mood shift. I think a proper playlist has a good mix of songs and your favorite artists and needs to be at least an hour long.


Going back to school can be really nerve racking for some people. Here are some things I do to relax and make time for me during the school year:

  • Read a book you have been wanting to read or a book you wouldn’t normally read
  • Meditate (there are some amazing meditations on YouTube or on music forums)
  • Spa day
  • Find a new series to binge
  • Watch a Disney movie
  • Have a dance party in your room/kitchen/living room etc.
  • Try to cook something new
  • Try a new restaurant
  • Reach out to a friend you haven’t seen in a while
  • Color
  • Listen to music
  • Use a journal
  • Work out
  • YELL (yes that’s right, I mean yell. Find a place where you can let out all of the stress you feel)

There are so many other things that go into being ready for school. The start of a new school year can be tough and scary and exciting, but as long as you feel your best and prepare to be the best you that you can be, then you will rock the back-to-school season! Good luck and remember, you are so beautiful, powerful, and worthy of having not only an education but a say in your education.

Until next time –


Maddie Rose

Maddie Engleman

Millersville '24

Hello! I'm Maddie Engleman; A bit about me: I am a super senior at Millersville University this year, graduating spring '24. This fall is my 7th semester writing for HC which is so cool! I am an Early Childhood Education major and am minoring in General English. I absolutely love kids, writing, reading, cooking/baking, and crafting with my Cricut. I also enjoy spending time around animals! I love being a part of such an empowering platform and get to write pieces that impact people anywhere. HCXO ~ Maddie "Words are our most inexhaustible source of magic." - Albus Dumbledore (J.K. Rowling)