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College bookbag survival guide


Cassandra Wuerstle, Editor-in-Chief

Are you still trying to figure out ways to make life as a college student easier? An easy solution is to do as the boyscouts do and “be prepared.” What do college students have on them daily? Their book bag. So below is a collection of book bag necessities that will help you be ready for anything and everything this semester throws at you.


Hand sanitizer

College is a lot like a big, social pre-school. People don’t always wash their hands, or they sneeze on things and then go on with their day. Carry hand sanitizer and avoid the yearly Behrend plague. Always use it after touching the public keyboards, they are germ hosts that nobody thinks about.


A small stapler 

Professors always request that papers be stapled when turned in, and if, like most students, you find yourself printing last minute before class, don’t be surprised when all the staplers are empty. Get ahead of the stapler rush and keep a small one in your bag, others will also ask to use it and you will be a class hero.


Smart phone

Smartphones are basically small computers. Get your life connected by making sure your phone has quick access to things like Canvas, email, and google drive. This will make putting information into your personal accounts quick and easy.


Water Bottle

Listen, college students are dehydrated, don’t be one of those students. Get a reusable bottle and stick it in your bag, designate it for only water, and make a goal to refill it once a day. 


Cash stash

So many people only carry plastic, but having cash on hand is a good practice. Having spare money for when you left your wallet at home and need lunch, or for paying people back on the spot is a great way to reduce stress in your day to day activities. 


Extra pens always

This is a University, where the best and brightest come together, the last thing you need is to be asking people next to you in class if they have a spare writing utensil. Overpack your book bag with pens and pencils so that even as you go through the semester leaving pens behind on every desk you cross, you still have some to spare.


Your student ID

Whether you enjoyed that picture they took of you back in hot and humid August or not, that Student ID is yours for the next few years, and there are no redo’s. Professors ask for your ID number on exams, faculty ask for it to look up your information, you need it for food, and god forbid you get locked out of your dorm. Just pick a pocket of your bag and keep it there, or make room in your wallet, because you are going to need it at some point when you least expect it.



This one is super easy, and doesn’t take up much room, grab some lip balm or chapstick. This way when your walking to class on a brisk winter morning and your face gets chapped from the wind you can save it with a little chapstick. Chapstick isn’t limited to lips it’s also a good fix for any severely chapped places on your hands or face that pop up while you’re on the go. 



One pair is never enough, always carry headphones, and drop a spare in your book bag.  You know the pair that are 5 years old and you never use anymore, but refuse to get rid of? Yeah those, get them out of your desk drawer and throw them with you cash stash for a rainy day when you leave your regulars at home. 


Back up charger

If you have back up chargers for you phone or laptop, toss them in your bag. If your bag goes where you go, so will a charger for all your devices. When your phone inevitably dies from scrolling on instagram all day, it doesn’t have to be the end of your social media adventures until you make it back to your dorm.


Whether you need to cover coffee breath or forgot to brush your teeth in the rush to class, gum is always good to have around! Gum is also a good way to keep up your patient appearance when you’re waiting for a boring class to end. Finally, there have been studies that showed students who studied with specific tastes performed better memory recall when testing on information they learned paired with that taste, so gum can also help you cram for exams!