The start of a new school year brings the joys of back-to-school shopping. While you’re hitting up Target, look around and think about some of the things you might need while you’re trekking across campus. If you’re starting your first year at UF, you should know about these must-haves every collegiette needs in her backpack.
1. A water bottleLadies, we live in Florida — the Sunshine State. While there are water fountains available all over campus, it’s a bit of a hassle to remember if there was one down the hall from your microeconomics class. Carrying a bottle of H2O is the easiest and healthiest way to quickly quench your thirst. Getting up while your professor is in the middle of lecture may cause a distraction. Investing in a cute Camelbak or Brita water bottle will save you from any problems and keep you hydrated in this sticky Florida weather.
2. SunglassesSunglasses can serve two purposes. The first is to shield your eyes from the unforgiving sun while you’re walking around campus. And the second is to help you avoid the glances of students passing out fliers around campus. While the second purpose might not be the most acknowledged reason for sunglasses, it’s a good way to avoid having sheets of paper flung in your direction.
3. HeadphonesListening to music is a great way to pass the time. If you’re on the bus, riding your bike to school, hanging out on Turlington Plaza between classes or studying away at Library West, having something good to listen to will always get you in the mood for whatever you’re doing. Be prepared to lose them during your first year, so be sure to have another set of earphones or headphones on hand for when that happens. If you’re getting a new phone, earphones are usually complementary!
4. UmbrellaProbably one of the most important things you can have in your backpack, an umbrella will save you from any downpour. I advise getting a small one that you can easily place in your bag and forget about until you really need it. An essential during the Fall semester, an umbrella will not only protect you from rain but also prevent you from getting stranded anywhere on campus.
5. Makeup bagDon’t go crazy, ladies. You don’t need to carry your entire makeup collection to school. A simple and small makeup pouch will do. Bring along some finishing powder for the sunny and humid days when the sun is not forgiving to oily skin. Include a lipstick in the color that makes you feel invincible for those days when everything seems to be going wrong. Be sure to add your mascara in case you want to bat your eyelashes at that boy you like in your English class, and you’ll be set.
6. CashIt’s very easy to swipe your debit or credit card without even thinking about what you’re purchasing. If you’re new to budgeting, carry cash in your wallet so you can keep easy track of your expenses. Carelessly swiping that card can become a bad habit and before you know it, you’ll have no money in the bank. Begin adopting good spending and budgeting habits by carrying cash and keeping track of how many times you take money out of your account.
7. A phone chargerThis is small and easy to remember — or easy to forget. Either way, your phone charger should never leave your side. Whether it’s plugged in and charging your phone while you’re in bed or stored away in your backpack, having your phone charger on hand will save you if you’re spending the whole day on campus. Avoid walking back to your dorm or taking the bus at night with a dead phone. There are outlets available in every library and classroom, near the North Lawn and at the Reitz Union, so you have plenty of charging options when you’re in need of some juice for your phone.
8. Tampons/padsIf you’re in between classes but have no time to go home, having your period on campus might be one of the worst things that’s ever happened to you. While you could ask someone in the ladies’ room for a tampon or pad, chances are you won’t get lucky. To avoid an embarrassing disaster, always make sure you’re carrying a few in your backpack because it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Sure, books and laptops are useful backpack essentials, but having these eight things in your bag will make sure you’re prepared for any emergency. Dead phones, surprise periods, awkward encounters and sudden rain storms ain’t got nothing on you, collegiettes! Being prepared is the name of the game.