What’s In Our Bag?: 12 Essentials for the Fall Semester

Hey there, collegiettes!

With the school year in full swing and the struggles of college life slowly returning, the girls of Her Campus Penn State thought it might be nice to share a few products and causes that have helped us start the fall semester off right. We all know maintaining our sanity between class lectures, weekly meetings and extracurriculars can be borderline impossible at times, but with a motivated mind, a generous heart and a bag full of the best brands, we promise it will all become a whole lot easier.

Read on to find out what go-to goodies and worthy causes you’ll find in our bag this semester.

1. Advice to keep us going... from Actually She Can

Girl power. That’s all there is to it with the new #ActuallySheCan campaign. This campaign was designed for “strong, smart, and driven women,” and with the campaigns short but powerful pamphlets, any girl is bound to feel empowered and on top of the world. In this specific edition, there are tips on how to survive a break up, handle job interviews, and ways to make the best of any situation thrown at you. It’s like a mini magazine for all the strong feminists in the world with amazing advice and tips on life that will make any girl feel on top of the world. I am so excited to see what the future has in store for them!
-Stephanie Friedman

2. Women to aspire to... from My Social Canvas

It seems like all over campus, stickers have quickly crawled onto the faces of our laptops. They’ve helped to personalize our plain cases into something that, in a sense, is another way of reflecting our personalities. I’m a feminist, and am all for female empowerment. You can tell by the tons of stickers that decorate my laptop case. I instantly fell in love with the stickers from My Social Canvas because they emphasize that an educated woman is a strong, powerful and beautiful one. My Social Canvas helps aspiring designers to get their ideas out in the world, while helping a variety of causes which promote education for women. Not only are these stickers adorable, they’re helping to get girls across the world the education that they deserve. Now that is a cause I can definitely support. 
-Allie Maniglia

3. Something to satisfy our sweet tooth... from Zing™ Zero Calorie Stevia Sweetener

Living the college life can be challenging at times, especially when you’re not an avid coffee drinker, and the taste is just not your thing. Luckily, there is one product that always helps me get through a long day, late-night study sesh or any time I want to feel exhilarated with no added calories to my drink! One packet of Zing™ and I’m sure to be feeling great. I use my sweetener whenever I can in my room at Penn State because it gives me a burst of energy for my busy days! Add Zing™ Zero Calorie Stevia Sweetener to any of your drinks for a “Taste of Sweet Excitement!”
-Jacqueline Napolitano

4. Colorful confidence... from NYC New York Color

With colder weather coming our way, we all know it can also take a hit on our makeup routine. We can definitely get lazy, throw on a comfy sweatshirt, put our hair up, and stick to those great black leggings. It's easy to fall into winter's trap and forget about our looks, but this winter season your looks don't have to suffer! NYC City Proof 24HR Waterproof Eyeshadow is a great solution to our lazy days. Its size is perfect for on-the-go ladies, and its pen-sized shape makes it a whole lot easier to use than other messy eyeshadow palettes. And with so many different colors, it's great if you want a cool natural look for class or even before you go out on a Friday night!
-Kayla Dusing  

5. A challenge worth pursuing... from She’s The First

If there’s one thing that’s fun about baking, it’s making tie-dye cupcakes. They taste just as good as they look, and they always look amazing. From October 11 through November 1, join She’s the First in their #BakeaChange campaign! She’s the First is a non-profit that helps send young women in low-income countries to school, so that they can be the first in their families to graduate from secondary school. We all know baking some sweet treats is a great stress reliever and doing it for a good cause makes it all worth the while. So grab some cupcake mix and neon food dye, and join the fun! Visit their website for more information on the organization, and learn how to participate in your very own bake sale.
-Jess Cartwright

6. Reading that wasn't assigned by a professor... from Penguin Random House

With so much going on at college, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and stressed. Between trying to balance class, homework, clubs and other extracurriculars – not to mention a social life - it can be easy to feel lost under all the pressure and expectations. It's very important to always take a couple hours to just be by yourself - to relax and unwind so you can continue taking on all of your commitments. One of my favorite ways to do that is leisure reading. Whether it’s a modern mystery, like the sophisticated suspense novel We Are Liars or a riveting New York Times bestseller, like Every Day, I can get lost in a story for a while. And when I'm done, I feel so relaxed and ready to face the world once more.
-Colleen Byrne

7. Effortless beauty... from TRESemmé

What could compare to effortless beachy waves that keep us in denial of summer's passing? The Perfectly (un)Done Sea Salt Spray & Perfectly (un)Done Wave Creation Sea Foam from TRESemmé are great additions to any quick beauty shortcuts you may have up your sleeve. Say hello to that warm sea breeze you've been desperately missing this semester!
-Shannon Deuel

8. DIY inspiration... from Martha Stewart Crafts

It’s that time of year again when we get to start decorating for the holidays! First Halloween, then Thanksgiving and Christmas. With each holiday, it can be difficult to find decorations to match your style, especially when you don’t know where to start. But with Martha Stewart paints and glitter glue, DIY projects are a breeze and will leave your place looking festive and fun. Time to get crafty, collegiettes!
-Jenna Stoklosa

9. A cause to care about... from No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project

When was the last time you were the victim of gender inequality at your school? Though we all know this problem exists, more often than not, we do not know how and where it is happening. No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project is an initiative of the Clinton Foundation that aims to advance the full participation of girls and women around the world. College students just like us can view interactive charts displaying real data and statistics of gender inequality on their website. You can choose to view various gender inequality issues in specific countries. On top of that, you can read and watch stories of women from all around the world currently living the cruel reality of gender inequality.

As a whole, women are better off now than we were in the past, however that is not an acceptable reason to stop - we have to learn more about where and why gender inequality still exists. Reminding ourselves of the issues being faced by those less fortunate than us will help all collegiettes better understand the world around us and how we can begin to make a real difference.
-Jessie Taylor

10. Food to fuel our day... from Chipotle

Can’t forget about Chipotle! Stopping in between classes for a study break or after your late-night lecture is a must. You can even use a BOGO card and surprise your roomie with a spontaneous burrito. After all, two burritos are better than one!
-Paige Herer

11. Style that never stops... from Her Campus

Fall is upon us here at Penn State, so what better way to celebrate the changing colors of the leaves than to spread the Her Campus love? Check out all the sweet hear HC has in store for the semester at the Her Campus Shop! HCXO, Her Campus PSU.
-Samantha Grillo

12. Somewhere to store it all... from MZ Wallace

We know what you’re thinking. How could we possibly fit all these fabulous items into one bag? It’s easy with the MZ Wallace Chelsea Tote. This bag is perfect to carry around campus. It holds all of my purse essentials and more. To create a full outfit with the purse in mind, I like to wear a blouse and black leggings to keep with the classiness the bag creates. Whether it’s for class or for weekend activities, the MZ Wallace bag is perfect storage for all our back-to-school essentials.
-Katie Formichella

With products like these, our bags our helping us get back and give back all semester long. Join us in the #GettingBackGivingBack challenge by trying them for yourself and sharing with us why you believe this is going to be the best semester yet. 

Her Campus Penn State