What's in my backpack?: Lacie's college essentials

Lacie Kraich on Tuesday, 10 April 2018. Posted in Student Life

 Hi there, everyone! I’m sure a million blogs about what you should pack for college are going to be popping up, so I thought I would hop on that bandwagon and talk about what things I carry around with me on the daily. Here is a short list of things I recommend picking up if you’re wondering what might be helpful to pack in your backpack.

*Disclaimer: I am an animator and art student, so things with an asterisk may not be as applicable to non-art students. 

  • Reusable water bottle/travel mug/metal straw

If you care about the environment, invest in these things. I carry them around for several reasons: 1- to stay hydrated, 2- to save money on coffee (I brew some at home and take it in the mug), and 3- to reduce my waste. The amount of trash you stop producing and the amount of money you save is astonishing when you start carrying these bad boys around.

  •  A planner with a good pen

I’m really big into staying organized. My mind is constantly running a marathon due to all the caffeine I consume, so keeping a planner is crucial for me. Writing down lists and things to remember helps me clear my head and tackle my priorities based on urgency. Having a good pen that I like to write with makes me actually want to use the planner to begin with.

  • Tablet/tablet accessories

As a 2D animator, I create a lot of digital art. I find it helpful to carry around one of my tablets (either my Wacom Cintiq or my Wacom Intuos Medium) just in case I need to work on an art project outside of the lab. I also carry around a tablet glove (I highly recommend this to any digital artist! It reduces friction on the fingers that touch the tablet, and it makes you feel like you’re in the Matrix), a tablet pen, and the cables needed to plug my tablet into my computer/a power outlet. I invested in a case for both of my tablets so I would have all of the elements in one easy-to-carry pouch.

  • A pencil case

Because running out of writing utensils before taking a test is the worst.

  • Chapstick

Because it gets cold up here. Trust me, you’ll need it.

  •  Hand sanitizer

Because germs. Trust me, you’ll need it.

  • Notebooks/*sketchbooks

Notebooks are a given- you need to take notes in your classes to succeed. I recommend packing a couple, or even a binder so you can keep the notes from your classes separate for easier viewing later. *Sketchbooks should be a given for art students- you will never improve your art if you aren’t drawing constantly. Carrying one all the time will help you remember to draw.

  • A hard drive or flash drive

Invest in a good hard drive if you will be transferring a lot of files or are in a major like mine where you need to back up a lot of work. If you just need some extra storage of files, get a cheap flash drive or two so you can back up your files from the first flash drive.

  • Ibuprofen

This is a lifesaver for me. Most days, I spend all day on campus and I get headaches or muscle aches pretty easily from staring at a screen hunched over. Carrying around some Advil or Aleve is the best decision I’ve made in a long time.

  •  Key ring/lanyard

It’s almost like a rite of passage to get a lanyard as a freshman to carry around your keys and ID. I recommend getting one or a big key chain to attach your keys and ID to. Right now, my keys have a big puffball and a stuffed dog keychain attached to them so there is no way I can lose them. Plus, it allows me to express a little bit of my personality to cashiers swiping my ID at the eateries on campus! 


There you have it, folks. A brief list of some essentials I carry around in my backpack. Hopefully, it will help you in your search for things to bring with you!