Life Hacks For Back To school Shopping

Back-to-School Shopping for College  July 27, 2015 – 09:57 am

In Class essentialsWe’ve been getting a metaphorical avalanche of questions about what, specifically, to bring to your college classes. The metaphorical snow of asks is piling up outside our window, so we decided to get literal and write you a handy list of the items we use most in classes.

Carrying The Weight

1. backpack | 2. minimalist backpack | 3. messenger bag | 4. large purse

If you only have one or two classes that day or you don’t need to carry your books, you can get away with a larger purse or even just carrying your notebook. I switched between a backpack and a tote bag throughout the week.

Click through for more school supplies you need to throw money at!

Jotting It Down

BUY A PLANNER AND USE IT. Open a new tab right now (here I did it for you), shop around, and buy that baby. Even if you’re too cool and grunge and use a crumpled piece of paper tucked into your flannel pocket as a planner, that works. Okay, preaching aside, note taking is kind of trial-and-error. I tried to use my 40-pound laptop from 1987, but it didn’t work for me (shocker). My favorite method is using a spiral notebook for each class, and snazzin’ it up with colored pens and post-its. You can also use a big binder with tabs for each section, or an iPad if your prof is cool with that. You should also keep a folder at home with all your syllabi and any handouts from throughout the quarter. Sometimes professors won’t post materials online that they hand out in class, or will make grading errors, so it’s crucial to hold onto everything.

Spicing Things Up

Lectures can run pretty long (spoiler alert: if you’re a writing major, get excited for 3-hour workshops throughout undergrad!) so you want to be prepared. I always had a non-smelly snack like trail mix or fruit snacks, as well as plenty of water. Earbuds during class are obviously a no-no, but they helped me relax between classes and on the walk back to the res halls. UCR also air conditions the rooms into oblivion, which is BEAUTIFUL given Riverside’s toasty weather, but a light jacket is a good idea. After a late night of studying or squinting at a book all night, I always relied on eye drops to make my contacts behave, and gum helps you wake up. Lastly, hand sanitizer is always useful, and to be honest it fit this color scheme really well, so I added it in.

Moral of the story: unless you stand on your desk or carve your notes into stone, you won’t stick out in a lecture hall. College is so much better than high school in many ways, but one of my faves is that everyone is so focused on their own studying and life that they don’t judge yours. I hope your back to school shopping is filled with glittery gel pens and devoid of screaming five year-olds in the folder aisle!


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