Class Essentials: What’s in your bag?

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The amount of stuff you need to cram into your school bag depends on a variety of factors, including how many classes you have scheduled each day, the amount of time you spend studying between classes, and even your major. Before you get to school, it’s impossible to figure out which bag will carry everything you need.  But in order to get an idea, let’s take a look inside the average student’s bag to see the necessities that every student must have with them.

Pencils and Pens

Bring both and bring plenty of them. You do not want to be the student who doesn’t have one; you want to be the guy who’s always making friends by lending out your writing utensils.

School ID

Your ID should be permanently attached to you at all times (losing it is like losing your arm).  But if you don’t want to wear a dorky keychain than you school bag may be the ideal solution.  Just don’t ever forget your bag in your dorm.So, you want something that’ll give you easy access to zipper pocket. 


Even if you don’t like taking notes by hand, you should keep a paper notebook in your bag. You never know when your professors will require you to hand in something unexpectedly or ban laptops in their classroom.


The library computers are almost always crowded, just when you need them the most. So, bringing your own laptop to class may be the best solution. Plus, notes I took on my computer where always more neat and organized than the old-fashioned variety; I preferred having my notebook.  So, make sure your bag has plenty of room for your computer.


I hardly ever brought books to class and in the rare event that I did need one, the person next to me was usually willing to share.  But some professors will insist that you bring your text with you, and some classes will have homework you can’t complete without the book.  So make sure you have room for at least 2-3 hard cover books (if you need more than that, every once in a while, you can always grab a reusable shopping bag). That way you can bring what you need to study and for class.


More and more teachers are utilizing online resources for distributing syllabi and other handouts, but not everyone has caught on yet.  Keeping a folder or binder for each class will help you to keep track of all the important papers and notes. Although you shouldn’t ever need to bring all of them at one, make sure that 2 or 3 will fit in your bag with your computer and books.


Whether it’s your laptop, cell phone, or iPod something is always having problems retaining its power. Bringing the power cord is always a clever idea; just make sure you arrive at class early enough to find a good spot to plug it in. And consider a bag with lots of pockets for these types of odds and ends.

Flash Drive

Always useful tools to have around, a flash drive will probably save your life one day (figuratively speaking). Sure you can email everything to yourself, but what happens when the Wi-Fi isn’t working or the file is too large to send? I always kept a spare flash drive in the inside zipper pocket of my bag.

Ethernet Cords

Just like your flash drive, Ethernet cords particularly come in handy on days when the Wi-Fi connection is a little too busy.  There’s almost always somewhere to plug in at the library or in the classroom, so keeping the cord ready in your bag may be the perfect solution to your Internet problems.

First Aid Kit

I didn’t know anyone who carried first aid supplies with them, but I wish I had.  I can’t tell you how many times I had to use toilet paper to clean up a scrape I’d received on my way to class. (Yes, I am a klutz. Why do you ask?)


Never go anywhere without your headphones. You never know when the homework you planned to do between classes requires you to watch a video, or when you won’t be able to focus in the library because of all the excess noise.  Headphones are the easiest solution.

Graphing Calculator-

If you’re a mathematics or engineering major a graphing calculator is a must have in your bag.  It also may be a good idea to keep a set of spare batteries as well. If your calculator dies during a test, it’s your grade that’s going to suffer.