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

Whether you’re a fashionista, a minimalist or a scholar, you probably bring a bag to school every day.

The most commonly found forms of school bags include tote bags (AKA totes), backpacks and messenger bags.

But which method is the best for carrying school supplies? I tested each for a day to see which one has got it in the bag. 

Messenger bag

I’m sure we all remember the time when leather messenger, or crossbody, bags were all the rage, especially wearing them strictly one one shoulder.

For some reason, I always aspired to have a bag similar to the one Jim Halpert wears on The Office.

I wore my messenger bag every day in middle school until the strap broke (and even for a little while longer after that).

When it came time for me to decide which style of bag to wear for this challenge, I went back to my roots and singular strap.

While it may be a classic, sleek look, it was far from practical.

Since it’s supposed to hug close to your body, you don’t want to make it look too bulky with all your stuff.

Because of this, it was hard to decide between having a good look or actually being able to carry all of my things. 

The other downside to the messenger bag is, if you’re carrying anything more than a laptop, your shoulders will hate you.

If you only wear it one one shoulder, you’ll be lopsided while you walk.

If you wear it crossbody, your shoulder and neck will ache.

They might be preppy, but they’re deadly on your shoulders.


My current ride or die: the backpack.

This is easily the most common form of school supply bags found on campus.

While they may not be the most attractive, and make us all look like turtles in the swamp, there are cute options out there.

While they may be heavy, they evenly distribute the weight across both shoulders and your back, causing less of a strain.

I liked how I was able to carry a decent amount of stuff in my backpack without it being too bulky. However, I didn’t like how I had to completely take the bag off each time I just wanted to reach for my lip balm.

Tote bag

Tote bags are the ultimate form of expression when it comes to bags. The basic structure of a tote is so simple that you can put almost any print or pattern on it, making it your own.

The tote offers easy access to your things, but depending on the size, doesn’t allow for that much to be put inside.

It’s certainly easy to drop your things in it and go, but since there’s no structure or organization within the bag, it’s difficult to find things right when you need them.

Overall thoughts

My favorite choice is the same as the majority of people wear to school: the backpack.

Although it may not be as trendy as other options, it’s the most efficient.

As a student, cuteness goes out the window once you buy your first pair of Birkenstocks, and bags are no exception.

So give in to the ugliness and wear your backpack with pride.