What’s In My College Backpack (Too Much Stuff, That’s What)

I was a girl scout for only two years, but it still left its mark on me: I come prepared. This means different things to different people, but in college, it means that I never know when I’m going to start my essay, finish my readings, or decide to shop for mugs on Etsy. To be prepared for any of these very important situations, I stuff my backpack with everything I could possibly need to have a fun and productive day around campus.

 

When I was in high school, I used to watch makeup videos, and for a while there was a “what’s in my bag trend.” With a healthy dose of self-deprication, I’m bringing it back. Here’s what’s in my college backpack.

Note: the following is an artistically rendered version that does not include crumbs, loose change, or my missing student ID.

What's in my college backpack - see what I take with me for a fun and productive day around campus!- Sara Laughed

Technology

What's in my college backpack - see what I take with me for a fun and productive day around campus!- Sara Laughed

I’m a creature of the 21st century. Every time I go to class, walk to the student center, or head to the library, I bring my laptop. And my phone. And a charger for both, obviously.

Notebooks and binders

What's in my college backpack - see what I take with me for a fun and productive day around campus!- Sara Laughed

I like to have a separate binder for each of my classes and activities, and one notebook that I use for all of them. At the end of the day, I rip the pages from my notebook and put them in my binders. It saves me some space in my backpack! Both of the above items are from Greenroom.

I also bring my Staedtler Fineliners basically everywhere, making me look like the Hermione Granger of all my classes (why yes, I do color-code everything!). If you’d like to buy them, they’re cheapest here, on Amazon.

My planner

What's in my college backpack - see what I take with me for a fun and productive day around campus!- Sara Laughed

Oh, planner, how I love thee. The above planner is a daily academic planner from Emily Ley. I realized pretty early on while using it that I am better-suited for a weekly view, but I didn’t want to waste my gorgeous daily planner, so I’m now using it as a bit of a scrapbook. I usually bring my weekly planner to class – it’s a lot smaller, and I don’t use the daily one above for scheduling academic things. My scrapbook planner was just too cute not to show, though.

Self-care items

What's in my college backpack - see what I take with me for a fun and productive day around campus!- Sara Laughed

These items differ day to day. Sometimes I bring a power bar or another snack; sometimes my wallet, so I can buy a nice cup of coffee somewhere. My two constants are my asthma inhaler and my water bottle. The bottle above is from PaperChase in England.

Items not pictured

Below are some very important items that I often have in my backpack, as well.

  • Loose change from my last trip to the drugstore.
  • Loose change from England that I can’t spend and can’t throw away.
  • Crumbs from that time I put a croissant in my backpack.
  • A cardigan that I thought it would be cool enough to wear, but put away in the 90-degree heat.
  • Some orphaned bobby pins.
  • My tangled-up earbuds.
  • A tea wrapper.

Hey, I’m just being honest.

What do you carry around in your backpack?

Sara Laughed

Author: Sara Laughed

I'm Sara, a writer, programmer, and American in the Netherlands. This blog is about my life, discoveries, and mistakes. Follow along, and thank you for stopping by!

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  • Ehmm What do I carry arround in my bag? Wallet, books (because one is not enough), notebooks, planner, like a lot of markers and pens, highlighters, ruller, calculator, a super cool container with loose paper, a bottle of water, my cellphone and a sweater. Yes, is A LOT of weight.
    Pd: I am from Argentina and I love reading your posts.