34 Useful College Backpack Essentials for College Students

The most important essentials for your college backpack

Ready to embark on the epic quest of college life? You’re in luck because today, I’m unleashing the ultimate guide to loading up your trusty backpack with college backpack essentials that you need to conquer the academic realm.

Picture me as your seasoned backpack sage, sharing battle-tested wisdom from my own campus escapades.

So, grab your favorite pen (G-2 Pilot, anyone?), charge up that laptop, and let’s dive into the wild world of college backpack essentials.

This isn’t just a list; it’s your survival kit, your secret weapon for navigating the twists and turns of higher education.

Are you ready to transform your backpack into the ultimate sidekick? Let the adventure begin!

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1. A backpack

It’s not just any bag; it’s your daily companion, carrying the weight of your dreams (and textbooks). Pro tip: Go for one with extra pockets; it’s a game-changer.

2. Personal essentials

Your student ID is the golden ticket to all things university. Keep it secure, alongside keys and anything else you can’t live without.

3. Laptop, a bag and a laptop charger

The trio of triumph! Your laptop is your academic oracle, the bag its loyal guardian, and the charger, the unsung hero saving you from the dreaded ‘Low Battery’ notification.

4. Disinfectant wipes 

College is a germy jungle. Wipe down that desk, sanitize those hands – it’s your armor against the invisible army of campus germs.

5. Hand sanitizer

Trust me, you’ll need a hand sanitizer sooner or later.

6. A planner

The college roadmap – scribble assignments, mark deadlines, and plan your conquest of the academic realm. My planner was practically my personal Yoda.

7. Travel power strip

Power struggles in the library? Fear not! Your travel power strip turns a single outlet into a charging haven. Share the power!

8. Portable phone charger

Your phone is your lifeline, and a dead battery is your nemesis. The portable charger is your secret weapon, ensuring you stay connected in the wilds of campus life.

9. Headphones

Drown out the chaos with your favorite tunes or embrace the sweet symphony of study beats. Headphones are your escape pod from the cacophony of campus life.

10. Snacks

This is one of those must-have college backpack essentials, for sure. Because dining hall lines are an eternal struggle. Stock up on snacks to fuel your brain during those marathon study sessions.

11. Rain gear/umbrella

Mother Nature’s surprise exams are real. Always have your rain gear or trusty umbrella on standby to weather the storm.

12. Re-usable water bottle

Hydration station alert! Save your dollars and the environment – carry a reusable water bottle. Pro tip: Decorate it with stickers; it’s practically a college tradition.

13. School books and textbooks

The intellectual bricks of your academic fortress. Tote them with pride!

14. Chapstick

College climates can be ruthless. Don’t let chapped lips ruin your vibe – stash some chapstick for instant relief.

15. A stapler

The unsung hero of last-minute assignments. Trust me, trying to find a stapler minutes before class is a quest you don’t want to embark on.

16. School binder, notebooks, extra paper

Stay organized with a binder, jot down your thoughts in notebooks, and always have that spare paper for unexpected brainstorms.

17. A pen for touch screens

Embrace the digital age with a pen specially designed for touch screens. No more fumbling with fingers during those interactive lectures – be the tech-savvy scholar!

18. Pens, pencils and a pencil case

Your writing arsenal. Gel pens for smooth notes, a trusty #2 pencil for scantrons, and a pencil case to keep them all in check. Pro tip: Stock up, pen thieves are everywhere!

19. Spare money and a wallet

Cash is king, especially when your campus coffee shop only accepts the ancient currency.

Keep some spare bills in your wallet for those emergencies – like the irresistible scent of freshly brewed coffee.

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20. Tampons & pads

Ladies, let’s keep it real. Campus bathrooms might not always have your back. Arm yourself with your own stash to conquer unexpected situations.

21. Portable 3 hole paper punch with ruler

Ever needed to add that extra handout to your binder? This is one of those college backpack essentials that ensures your notes stay organized and ready for battle.

22. Flashcards

A timeless study weapon. Ace those exams by creating flashcards that are more effective than a magician’s deck.

23. Calculator

For those math classes that make you question your life choices. Don’t get caught without it during the dreaded surprise quiz.

24. Gum & mints

Combat the after-lunch slump or pre-class coffee breath. Your future self will thank you.

25. A face mask

Welcome to the pandemic era. Always have a face mask on hand for those moments when social distancing becomes a campus mandate.

26. A Tide pen

College life is messy. A Tide Pen is your secret weapon against coffee spills and lunch mishaps. Stay stain-free!

27. Hand lotion

Conquer the desert-like atmosphere of lecture halls with a handy tube of hand lotion. Your skin will thank you.

28. A hairbrush

Because looking presentable is a full-time job. Tame those locks before you step into the academic spotlight.

29. A safety whistle

For late-night campus walks or unexpected situations. Your safety comes first – let the whistle be your guardian.

30. A mini emergency kit

Band-aids, pain relievers, and other mini essentials. You never know when a minor crisis might strike.

31. A warm hoodie

Even the warmest campuses can turn chilly. Keep a cozy hoodie in your backpack for those unexpected temperature drops.

32. Instant coffee

When the campus coffee shop is too far or closed, your instant coffee stash will save the day. Because caffeine is non-negotiable.

33. A cosmetic bag

For those midday touch-ups or emergency makeup fixes. Your face is your canvas; keep it ready for the spotlight.

34. Sunscreen

Protect that precious skin during sunny campus strolls. The spray version is convenient and fits perfectly in your backpack’s cup sleeve.

35. A deodorant

Navigating the hustle between classes and squeezing in a gym session? Consider this your shield against unwanted odysseys.

36. Pocket tissues

Life is unpredictable, and so are unexpected sneezes or spills. Pocket tissues to the rescue!

37. Meal prep containers

Not only do they save you money, but they also turn your backpack into a portable buffet, ensuring you’re fueled and ready for whatever the academic day throws your way.

38. Sticky notes

The superheroes of organization! Stick them on your textbooks, planner, or laptop – wherever you need a gentle reminder or a flash of inspiration.

39. A compact mirror

A compact mirror is the secret weapon to make sure you’re always presentation-ready. Because you never know when you’ll bump into your crush or get tagged in an unexpected group photo.

40. Highlighters

Transform your notes into a neon masterpiece with the power of highlighters.


a pin that says in a large font college backpack essentials
a pin that says in a large font college backpack essentials

What are your non-negotiable college backpack essentials?

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