This time next week I’ll be back in school. Classes will be in full swing for my senior year of college! I really can’t believe that four years has come and gone as fast as it has. High school felt like an eternity, but college? Over in a blink of an eye! I have to say I am pretty excited to be wrapping up my Bachelor’s Degree. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it and that I didn’t learn a lot but, I just have so much more of clearer picture now of what I want to do in the future. So I am excited to graduate and start working towards that rather than on a degree that I probably won’t use very much.
Even though we’ve been seeing ‘back-to-school’ ads since June practically, I have only started really getting prepared to head back in the last couple weeks or so. Back to school shopping still takes place for me even as a 20-year-old and I still get that little rush of nerves and excitement that comes with a new (school) year.
Since I’ve been getting ready lately, I thought it would be fun to share my Top Five Back to College Essentials! Everyone’s needs are different, and depending on the courses, sometimes my needs change! But these following things are my ‘must-haves’ to get the year off to a good start.
While most people now use Google Calendar or even the notes section on their phone to keep track of assignments, classes, and meetings, I prefer the old-fashioned, handwritten planner to organize my school life. Something about physically writing down my to-do list and being able to cross it off at the end of the day is so satisfying. I don’t use any of the expensive ones, like Erin Condren or Lilly Pultizer, I just grab a nice, simple one from Office Depot. No need to waste money on something that you have to buy every year anyways! And it turns out you can get some really nice looking ones for a fraction of the cost. Planners are my lifesaver during the semester and they help me keep my short-term and long-term obligations in line.
2. Stocked Tea Cabinet
Tea? You’re probably thinking “what does that have to do with school?”. But for me it’s an essential! I don’t drink much tea during the summer, but as soon as school starts again I’m back on the bandwagon. Something about a hot, warming drink during class keeps me focused and helps me focus more. I usually drink caffeinated varieties, so they give me a little boost of energy too! I’ve shared my favorites with you before, but I am always on the look out for new varieties to try. I always make sure to stock up on my grocery store run before the first week of school. Current obsession? Creme Caramel from Red Rose.
Depending on the class, I am able to use my laptop to take notes. I much prefer taking notes electronically as I am a much faster typer than writer and can included a lot more details. In these situations, I use Evernote to compile all my notes. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s an awesome program you can download to your computer or even your phone to take specific notes on any topic imaginable. You can create different ‘notebooks’ for each of your classes and the notes are automatically organized by date. The best part is you can search key words in your notes to find specific sections for future use. This is so helpful when you’re studying for a big test or trying to find an answer to something. It’s totally free (unless you want a premium account but I see no need for it), which I really appreciate as a college student. I am also a notetaker for Disability Student Services and using Evernote makes it really easy for me to send in my notes for disbursement.
You knew this was coming! I am the snack queen after all. The way my schedule has worked out the past few years involves me having classes mid-day and not being able to have lunch until late in the afternoon. It’s fine because I’m adaptable, but it does mean I have to do a little planning to make sure I have fuel to get through my classes! I reach for convenient, healthy foods that are easy to eat (and not too loud!) in public. Here are a few of my favorite on-the-go snacks. I also reach for Larbars, Thunderbird Bars, turkey or chicken jerky (like Wild Zora), dried fruit (like Made in Nature Fruit Fusions), and raw nuts. No Bake Banana Nut Protein Bars, Scuffins, Pumpkin Spice Protein Cookies, No Sugar Added Apple Cinnamon Granola, and Exotic Edamame Trail Mix also make regular appearances as snacks!
5. Fresh School Supplies
There’s something so fun about going to pick up new school supplies each year. Yes, I am 20 years old, but I still enjoy the ritual of heading to Office Depot or OfficeMax and picking out some skinny new pens, notebooks, highlighters, and binders. Although my school supply list has lessened quite a bit since my middle school and high school days, I still need to pick up a few key items from year to year. There’s something comforting about walking in on the first day knowing you’re prepared for the year ahead.
This year I needed a new binder for my math class, a notebook for notes in a class where I can’t use my computer, highlighters, and some new pens (I am very particular about my pens! ;)). Luckily I was able to get everything in one trip to Office Depot. Not only did I find everything I needed for really cheap, but they had some really cute new collections. Yes, I like getting ‘pretty’ supplies. 🙂
I picked up a binder (that was on sale!) and a notebook from the Divoga Metallic Pop and Gold Struck fashion lines, some Sharpie Clear View Highlighters, and a some TUL ballpoint gel pens. When I got to the register, the cashier said those pens are the best he’s ever used, so I’m excited to break them open on the first day. I was actually sort of upset I didn’t need more stuff for school! Everything Office Depot had was so cute and colorful! I was jealous of all the little kids with their page long supply lists. Ha!
What are you Back to College Essentials?
If you’re not in school any more, did you get excited for the new year to start?
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