College Advice Blog

Sep 13, 2012

5 Key Items Every College Student Should Have in Their Book Bag

There's nothing more useful in college than having a sturdy book bag to help carry all of your school-related belongings. But book bags aren't only designed to carry well, your books. If assembled correctly, it can become somewhat of a "survival pack"—after all, there are tons of unpredictable situations that occur within each day. That said, you don't want to be without these following items and should store them in your book bag every day.
An Umbrella.  I can't even recall how many times I got absolutely drenched my first semester in college walking to class or catching the bus because I failed to watch the weather the night before.  Compact umbrellas are definitely something that you should carry around in your book bag everyday just in case the weather doesn't work in your favor.  And trust me when I say it's very distracting and uncomfortable sitting in a cold classroom with your clothes soaking wet. To make sure you stay dry at all times and feel comfortable enough to learn, bring an "emergency umbrella."

A Solar Phone Charger. They're small and oh-so-convenient.  When I was in school I lived in an off-campus college apartment. So once I was on campus, I stayed there all day until I finished everything I needed to do—that included attending classes, finishing up homework, and sometimes getting together with classmates to work on group projects. But to help pass the time I would also compulsively text and check Facebook on my smartphone. To no surprise my battery died quite frequently, sometimes at the worst times—like right before a classmate would call to tell me where our group decided to meet at. Instead of going all the way back to your dorm room or college apartment to give your phone some juice, invest in a solar charger. You can charge it when you're walking to class or studying on the campus yard and you don’t need to worry about finding a vacant outlet.
Headphones. You may think that you only need headphones to listen to music on your smartphone or MP3 player, but that's not entirely true, headphones can really come in handy on campus if you're doing research on your laptop, iPad, or campus computer and need to play some sound bytes or audio clips from various sources. They can also work as earplugs if your surrounding elements are too loud.
Tissue.  Whether you're experiencing a freak sneezing accident or just need to put your gum somewhere, a pack of mini tissues can help keep you clean and avoid any array of potential embarrassing moments. Not to mention the restroom may run out of toilet paper.
Cash. Last but certainly not least, you need to have a stash of emergency cash in your book bag at all times. This can be as little as $5, but you need cash in case you leave your wallet at home and need to pay for bus fare, a light snack, campus parking, or need to purchase an item that does not accept debit cards. You want to make sure that cash is in your book bag at all times so store it someplace safe, like in a zipper pocket that you don't use too often. That way you aren't tempted to spend it if you don't need to but you know it's there.
About the Author
Patricia Garza is a freelance education writer that generally focuses her material on helping alternative learners find regionally accredited online colleges, but she enjoys covering traditional colleges as well. She welcomes your questions and or comments below. 

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