Backpack Essentials For the On-The-Go Student

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I remember on my first day of college classes that I was so nervous, and I had my backpack stacked full of notebooks, binders, and writing utensils. I was totally ready to make wave in the new environment that I had placed myself in, but as time went on, I realized the true necessities that I should’ve had that first day. When you’re traveling all day on campus, you have to be prepared for anything and I do mean that. It could be sunny outside before class, but once class is over, it could be raining cats and dogs. Or your classes are freezing inside, but its 90 degrees outside so you have to bring a jacket. Those are the little situations that could happen that you don’t plan on.

With this backpack necessities guide, hopefully you can get set for school and not miss a beat!

Backpack Essentials for the On-the Go Student


Imagine having to sit in a cold classroom for hours on end and your stomach starts growling. Yea, it’s not a fun picture to imagine and it’s definitely not fun in real life. For me, I have to have snacks in my backpack for those emergency situations where I’m hungry in class or when I have to quickly run out of my apartment before class. I can’t sit still and pay attention to the professor if my stomach is aching from hunger.

My favorite snacks to bring to class:

  • Cheez-its
  • Poptarts
  • Granola Bars
  • Chips


If you’re a student, then a planner is an absolute must. My personal favorite is the Erin Condren Life Planner. It’s a little pricier but it’s totally worth it in my opinion and you get to have fun with decorating with unique stickers. You can pick from a few different layout formats including horizontal, vertical, and time. By having a good planner that works for you, you’ll be able to stay organized, keep up with all of your assignments, and never overbook yourself.  

Here’s my planner so you can get a look inside! You can get a free $10 coupon for your order if you want to purchase this great planner from Erin Condren!

If you love my cover as much as I do, you can get it  or other cute covers from this great Etsy shop called StylishPlanner!


I never thought this was a necessity, until I needed lotion one day and I didn’t have any on me. As the seasons start to change, our skin starts to need a little more TLC than before and can easily become scaly. Keep those alligator hands or white, ashy feet away by keeping some lotion in your backpack. I also get the trial size or travel size just so that I’m not lugging around a 16 oz. bottle of lotion.


Sometimes you never know when you might need some Tylenol or aspirin on you. From headaches, menstrual pains, to accidently knocking your toe into a corner of a desk, you’ll never know when you or a friend might need a pain reliever on the fly. They have travel size Tylenol that is perfect to stash in your backpack or purse for those emergencies.

Female products

When I first started having a period, I always was taught to keep a few pads or tampons in my backpack as well as in any purse that I carried around. It’s just a safe precaution to do just in case shark week takes you by surprise one day! Plus you never know when you’re in the bathroom and someone else’s needs a pad because they didn’t think of carrying them on them too.  True story, this has totally happened to me and the girl was so thankful that had a backup in my backpack to give her.


Nobody wants to kiss someone with crusty lips nor does anyone want to look at your dry lips, so keep some chapstick in your backpack, just in case your lips need a little TLC on the go. My favorite chapstick by far is the original chapstick brand in the cupcake flavor. It smells like heaven and is super moisturizing on the lips.

Backpack Essentials for the On the Go Student


Tide to go pen

This is a recent add-on to my backpack essentials. When you’re clumsy like me, I’m always getting stuff on my clothes that I desperately don’t want to stay there forever. A tide-to-go pen will be your best friend for battling stains while in class or during lunch hour. It’s small and compact size so it won’t take too much space in your backpack nor weight you down.


I don’t think I need to explain this one for us millennials. I personally love playing music between classes or while I’m waiting for class to start. If you’re interested to see what songs I’ve been loving for the summer, then you can check out my playlist here on my blog. When you’re deciding on what pair of headphones you should store in your bag, keep you mind that you want comfort and accessibility. I wouldn’t recommend lugging around your big Beats headphones, but if you like to, then do you boo!

Computer & Charger

Once you go to college, your computer and charger will literally be the life of your college career. It’s the most important piece of information that you can carry around with you so it’s a definitely must have for your backpack essentials. I would recommend keep your laptop dimensions small and compact so it’s not too heavy, especially for those long walks across campus.

Water bottle

Staying hydrated while working hard on campus is an absolute must, if you want to get the full benefits of all of your work efforts. Keeping a water bottle on you while in class will leave you with no excuse not to drink water throughout the day.


You never you want to get caught on campus in a drenching down pour! Talk about ruining your computer or any textbooks you’re carrying around so keeping an umbrella on hand is a must-have for a college backpack. Keep it small and compact and you’ll never get stuck in thundering rain on campus again. Okay, maybe you will, but at least you won’t be soaking wet once you arrive to class or back home to your dorm room apartment.

Fluffy socks

Yes, fluffy socks are totally a must have, at least for me. I’m always getting stuck in a really cold room in the library or in a long lecture class that’ll actually take off my shoes and put on my fluffy socks. They keep warm and are super comfy so I can easily stay focus while in class or cramming in the library. For me, I just can’t hardcore study in shoes like I need to be comfortable.

Thanks for reading everyone! If you enjoyed this post and think that others would to, then please share this post on your social media accounts. It only takes a few minutes of your time and it helps me out tremendously!

What are your backpack essentials that you can’t live without?

  • These are some great tips! I’ll share with my friends starting college this fall 🙂

    • Makaela

      Thank you! I’m glad that you enjoyed the read

  • I love this list. I almost always forget snacks and an umbrella. This is the worst in the Spring because we get a ton of rain and the walk from my car to the school is dreadful.

    • Makaela

      Yes I used to too but now ever again shall the rain catch me guard! Lol

  • These are all great items that are essential to any college student! I still think about the fact that I never thought to buy an umbrella or proper raincoat until it was way too late. I’m glad you added it to your list!

    Lots of Love,

    • Makaela

      Thank you! I’m glad that you think so. An umbrella or rain jacket are definite necessities in my book. I’ve been caught in the rain too many times!

      Thanks for reading!

  • Great tips! I never thought about packing fluffy socks because it is ALWAYS cold in the classrooms, keep up the good work!

    • Makaela

      Thank you! I’m glad that you found this post helpful and interesting! I’m always cold so socks are a must for me