College x
Image via The Odyssey

Which also means you can’t forget your backpack!

There is no denying that students have to change their lifestyles in many ways when they go to college. Everything about higher education is different than their normal lives at home, which is a very valid reason for incoming freshmen to be concerned about the upcoming changes.

The best way to overcome a few of those anxieties is to be as prepared as possible in everyday situations by fully taking advantage of an essential part of a college student’s life: their backpack.

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College students depend heavily on their backpacks during the school day. They basically have to contain everything a student might need throughout the day, because between back-to-back classes and homework, students most likely don’t have time to run home and grab any necessary items that they may have forgot.

To break the cycle of uncertainty for incoming college students, here is a list of a few things students should always keep in their backpacks so they are ready for any situation at a moment’s notice.

1. Pencil Case

As obvious as it might seem, considering that you will be going to classes every day, it is so important to have school supplies on you at all times! Having a pencil, pen, highlighter and eraser with you ensures that you are prepared for any assignment thrown your way.

It’s also a good idea to carry a few extras of each writing utensil, just in case one breaks or runs out of ink. You can also use your extra pens to break the ice when meeting new classmates if you overhear that someone needs something to write with. Having school supplies ready to go will give you the peace of mind you need when entering your first class of your college career.

2. Headphones and Chargers

These are probably the most important things to have in your backpack at all times no matter what. College campuses have become technologically centered, so there is a good chance that you will be using a laptop or tablet in most of your classes, and we all know that using devices more frequently causes the battery to run out faster.

You will never feel more unprepared in your life than you will if you are sitting in the library working on an assignment, then your laptop dies, and there you are, stuck without a charger. By keeping your laptop or tablet charger on you wherever you go on campus, you will avoid the most helpless and panic-inducing feeling in the world of being disconnected.

Along those same lines, it is also very common for students to listen to music while studying or walking to class. Doing so is not 100 percent necessary, but some students really find that music helps them retain information. You don’t want to be sitting in the library, surrounded by students with headphones, wanting to listen to music, but having no way to do so.

Keeping a spare set of headphones in your backpack will at least give you the option of listening to music whenever you want, and the possibility of doing so will take another small load off of your mind throughout a long day on campus.

3. Tide-To-Go

There is nothing more embarrassing than walking all over campus with a stain on your clothes. Without the option of quickly running home to change, there is not much else a student can do other than rely on their trusty Tide-To-Go pen. Within seconds that stain will be gone and you won’t have to hide from the world for the rest of the day!

Knowing that you are prepared for a situation in which your clumsy side gets the better of you will put your mind at ease, allowing you to focus on far more important aspects of life, such as friends and school work.

4. Umbrella

No matter where your school is located, you are bound to be surprised by a totally random rain storm at some point during your college career. If it is already raining before you leave for the day, it’s a good idea to wear a rain jacket and have a larger umbrella with you so that your backpack can stay nice and dry as well; however you won’t always have the opportunity to plan ahead.

Sometimes a perfectly sunny day can take a turn for the worse, usually at the most inconvenient times. In order to always be prepared, you should keep a small umbrella in your backpack at all times. Most of them do not take up too much room, but they will certainly come in handy if need be. You’ll be dry as a bone walking to class, and everyone around you will wish that they had been as prepared as you are.

5. Pain Relief Medicine

Trust me, this item is more important than you think. You will be thanking yourself for having this with you when you are only ten minutes into a lecture and already have a throbbing headache.

Not only will the medicine make you feel better, but it will help with your grades as well. If you have medicine on you, then you won’t be forced to go home and miss a lecture due to something like a headache. You will also be able to focus better in class if you aren’t distracted by the amount of pain you are feeling.

I hear people ask for pain relievers at least ten times a day at school, so if you want to be more prepared than the majority of those around you, make sure to stick this in your backpack before you leave the house.

6. Planner

Last but not least, having some kind of planner or date book is a must for all students. You’ll never know when a teacher or classmate will say an important date or assignment that you need to remember. The easiest way to stay on top of every class or club you are a part of is to write everything down.

Learning to keep your life organized on paper will also help prepare you for life after college, given that most jobs require employees to have top-notch organizational skills.

There are many other items that will certainly help students out on a daily basis, but the items listed above are a good place to start. Having a few of these items will allow students to eliminate some of the unknown as they entire the entirely new world of college life. Being prepared will help them to have a sense of control and stability in their new life that will help them to have an easier and more seamless transition from high school to college.

Writer Profile

Annie Farrell

James Madison University
Writing, Rhetoric & Techincal Communications

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