You can learn a lot about a person by sifting through the contents of their backpack. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve stocked my backpack with items to ensure that I’m prepared for anything that comes my way. These are the essentials that I think every college student should carry around in order to tackle the day!

A Raincoat, Umbrella, and a Sweatshirt. 

If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that New Orleans weather is wildly unpredictable. I’ve gotten caught in the rain more times than I’d like to admit, and have suffered through hour-long lectures soaked and shivering. Nowadays, I always make sure to have a raincoat and umbrella on hand, as well as keep an extra sweatshirt in my backpack.


I don’t start class until early afternoon almost every day of the week, which leaves my meal schedule a little out of whack. I’ve started carrying around little pick-me-ups like Hi-Chew, Z-Bars, and Annie’s fruit snacks to hold me over until dinner. Snacking on something small makes the day a little more bearable!

Cosmetic Case.

I keep a cosmetic case chock full of my favorite mini-makeup products in case I ever need to re-apply throughout the day. In addition to an array of travel-sized products, I always make sure to have a compact mirror, Chapstick, bandaids, and an assortment of hair accessories like hair bands, bobby pins and scrunchies. Having easy access to these items can be a quick confidence booster wherever and whenever.

Water Bottle.

I never leave my dorm without my Swell bottle. Being in college thus far, especially in New Orleans, I’ve realized how important it is to stay hydrated. I drink so much water without even realizing it and always keep a full bottle in my backpack. 

Headphones and Chargers.

 Prior to college, I never would have considered myself an avid headphone user, but now, I don’t go anywhere without them. I listen to music while walking to class, at the gym, and even while I study—it’s always good to have them handy. The same thing goes for phone and computer chargers; you never know when you’ll need them.  


I’ve always been an organized person, but when I got to college I had difficulty keeping track of my schedule, homework, and due dates. I began writing everything down in a planner, which provided framework and structure and helped me stay on top of all my assignments. Even if you don’t think you need one, I suggest investing in a calendar or planner to create a system that works for you.   

Having these essentials on hand will make your life so much easier, whether you get caught in the rain, need a midday pick-me-up, or just want to stay organized!

COVER PHOTO: Bianca Falanga

+ posts