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6 College Backpack Essentials

Getting back into the groove of school can sometimes be a hassle, especially for freshmen. Transitioning from going to 7-8 classes in high school to possibly only a few classes with hours in between is something to get used to. You no longer have to carry your whole life around with you because you’re stuck in one building all day… or do you?

Aside from the usual notebooks and writing utensils, there are a few things you should keep with you just in case there’s no time to run back to your dorm during the day.


Here’s a look at some of my backpack essentials for every semester!


1. Water Bottle

Walking around campus in this heat can be extremely draining. Classes vary from being right next to each other to on opposite ends of campus. Although dropping in on the nearest campus Starbucks might be favorable, we all need to stay hydrated with some regular H20! Carrying a water bottle in your backpack will definitely help you stay hydrated, plus UAB’s campus has plenty of filtered water stations to refill while you’re on the go.

2. Electronics

Depending on how much space you have you may want to consider bringing your most used electronics with you. Of course, your phone is a must, but just make sure you silence it before class. I also like to carry my laptop around just in case I want to work on assignments when I’m not in class (I prefer handwritten notes!). You might also just want to spend some time outside of your room or in someone else’s, so it’s always nice to have your laptop for some impromptu Netflix binging. If your electronics tend to die quickly you might consider storing the chargers in the front compartment of your bag!

3. Planner

Although we are in the age of all things digital I still love using my planner! Carrying a planner around allows you to write down due dates or important reminders anytime and anywhere. Sometimes professors don’t allow phones out during class, and then by the end, you may have forgotten what you wanted to enter! Personally, I find having the physical layout in front of me is a lot easier to manage. Plus, let’s face it, planners can be super cute!

4. Wallet

A small wallet or card holder is a key essential for every college student! Your college I.D. might be one of the most important things your college will give you… aside from the beloved piece of paper we call a diploma. At UAB we use our Blazer ID for everything, getting into dorms, buying food, parking decks, laundry, you name it! If there’s one thing you want to find a place for it’s your i.d.

5. USB Drive

“Though it be but little, it is fierce.” I cannot begin to count the number of times I have needed to use a USB and didn’t have it. A USB drive is great for storing assignments all semester, especially for those classes that have cumulative finals. Having an extra copy of your work is important as well. It’s not a good feeling to have your computer crash and not be able to download your assignment… trust me.

6. Small Emergency Kit

I have always carried a small emergency kit in my backpack since middle school. The best part is that you can always customize these to fit your own needs. I use a small makeup bag and I store bobby pins, hair ties, feminine products, hand sanitizer, travel tissues, and band-aids inside. This comes in handy when you’re on the go and come across something unexpected.

Tamia is a senior at the University of Alabama at Birmingham majoring in mass communication with a journalism concentration. She is currently serving as one of her chapter's campus correspondents. 
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