Back to School Essentials

It’s officially my last week of summer vacation! Does it even count as vacation if I worked 5 days a week and took classes online? It certainly doesn’t feel like it! To prepare for my first week back to school, I’ve decided to share some of my favorite back to school essential items! These will range from school supplies and classroom life savers to my favorite services.

back to school essentials

5 Subject Notebook

I will admit that I’m a notebook hoarder. I have somehow acquired so many notebooks and journals because every time I see a pretty one I am compelled to buy it. Don’t be like me! Find some self-control and get yourself a 5 subject notebook. Usually, I take five classes a semester. I also schedule all of my classes back-to-back on Tuesdays and Thursdays so I always have a four day weekend (this is a major pro move!). If I had to carry 5 notebooks around campus every day I would develop severe back issues! Say no to back issues and just get yourself a large notebook with 3-5 subjects and use a different section for each class. This way I only have to bring one notebook every day and I never have to worry about bringing my American Lit notebook to my Realism class.

Water Bottle

I don’t care how short your class is, you always need a water bottle! Get a nice reusable one and be sure it’s packed every day. Drinking water is a good way to stay awake during class, and you’ll thank yourself later. I like to carry a smaller bottle because I carry so many textbooks and I don’t need more things weighing me down. Luckily, there’s so many different styles and designs for water bottles, it’s always easy to find the perfect one.


I have tried to go without a planner. I have tried to write assignments on my phones and I’ve tried just memorizing them. Nope, bad plan. I always end up grabbing a planner a few weeks into the semester. This year I’m starting with a planner to begin with. It’s my senior year so it’s about time I get it right. Your planner can be as simple or complex as you need it to be. Some people need an entire page per day, others just need a basic calendar. I fall somewhere in the middle, as I like to include my blog and work related planning in my planner as well.


You know those teachers who always surprising you the final week of class saying all of your homework assignments are suddenly due from the entire semester and you have nothing? I have been betrayed by too many of those teachers! Protect yourself from the start and invest in a few folders. Make sure they’re pretty so you’re motivated to actually use them, and be sure you put all of your assignments in these bad boys.

Portable Phone Charger

I’m definitely not encouraging you to use your phone during class, but I know how much it sucks when your phone dies in the middle of the day! I go to work right after class, so this is definitely a back to school essential for me! You don’t have to awkwardly search for an outlet in the hallway if you have a portable charger, you can charge from the convenience of your backpack.


Whether you have long gaps of time between classes or you have a long walk home, headphones always come in handy. Sometimes I put them in without even playing anything just so people don’t talk to me when I’m studying! I have a long walk usually between campus and the parking lot, so I always carry headphones so I can listen to my favorite podcasts before class. I recommend getting a durable pair since they tend to get beat up by textbooks and binders in your bag!


Okay, hear me out. I’m not urging you to go dig up your old Hello Kitty lunchbox from third grade. If you have a meal plan, this probably doesn’t apply to you, but as someone who commutes to campus, it’s really important that I pack a lunch. An insulated bag makes it much easier to bring healthy snacks like fruits and veggies to class without worrying about everything going bad before I get a chance to eat it! They make a lot of grown up lunch bags, and they’re really inexpensive. Any insulated case will do, and mine is small enough to slip easily into my backpack. My classmates are always amazed at my wide variety of classroom snacks, and that wouldn’t be possible without bringing a lunchbox.

Amazon Prime Student

Amazon Prime Student is a back to school essential for sure! Amazon Prime Student gives you free two-day shipping, thousands of movies and TV shows, exclusive college deals, and more! There’s no cost with a student subscription for six months with an Amazon Prime Student membership, and it really makes back to school a stress-free experience. I love the two-day shipping most of all, but the unlimited streaming of TV shows and movies is a close second (Mozart in the Jungle anyone?!).

When I first went away to college, my dad set me up with an Amazon Prime Student membership, and it revolutionized the way I did my school shopping. I lived on campus my first year, so having Amazon Prime Student made it much easier to get any last minute textbooks or school supplies.

Happy back to school!

I hope this list gave you some ideas for back to school essentials! Back to school is a really exciting time, whether it’s your first year in college or your last, so make the most of it! What are your back to school essentials? Do you have an Amazon Student Prime membership?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.