Backpack Essentials Every College Student Should Have

As millions of students head back to campus they all have at least one thing in common: the bag on their backs. Besides having a pen, pencil, notebook, and books in your backpack, there are a few essential items that should not be overlooked as you pack for the first day of class.

Water Bottle

Drinking water will help to wake you up, especially if you have an early morning class. Water suppresses your appetite, so drinking water during a 45 minute class will help control your hunger before it gets out of hand.


I’ve had countless days where I get a hunger attack in class. I forget about my professor’s lecture because I am focused on my growling stomach. Having a snack in your backpack will help curb your hunger and you won’t have to spend money on the expensive (and unhealthy) snacks at the student center. Make sure the snack is healthy like an apple or trail mix. And, don’t leave the snack in your backpack if it can melt.

Student ID

Student IDs are convenient because they can act as debit cards while on campus. You can deposit money into your account and use your student ID to pay for printed paper from the library, food at the student union, or even flash it for a discount around town. Read the rest of this entry »

The Eco-Friendly Bag for Back to School

rickshaw-eco-friendly-bagAre you in the market for a new school bag? Do you also want to lower your carbon footprint? Then you’ll want to check out Rickshaw Bagworks’ Zero messenger bag. The “Zero” means that there’s zero manufacturing wastes created by making the bag. Plus, the bag is made entirely from recycled fabric in San Franscisco. It comes in three sizes, so you can pick the pack that matches your workload.

The new tweed styles are particularly fashionable for this fall. This classic fabric ensures that your bag will be in style for a long time. If you’re looking for something a little more eye-popping, they also carry a whole rainbow of colors, all with a stain-resistant coating.

Read the rest of this entry »

Food Bank Gives Students Food Through Backpacks

hungerWhen I hear backpack, I usually think of something I use to carry my college survival kit. For some elementary students in Moberly, Missouri, a backpack is so much more than just a fabric bag to carry pencils and books in.

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Six Backpack Essentials

backpackI consider it my college survival kit. It’s the one thing I have with me every day when I venture forth on to the college campus. I’ve only left it at home a few times in the three years I’ve been in college and something bad has happened to me every time I have done so.

What could I be talking about? My backpack.

Backpacks are wonderful inventions. They allow you to carry everything you need in a stylish, hands-free bag. Mine is hot pink and purple, but you could just use a discreet black one if you do not want to draw so much attention to yourself.

The color and design are not what really matter though. What matters is what you have inside your college backpack. When I wake up in the mornings, my brain usually has some cobwebs cluttering it up. But I just grab my backpack and head out the door because I know it has everything in it that I will need to be (at least) moderately successful and happy that day.

So, for your viewing pleasure, I present my six backpack essentials.

1.    A pencil or a pen. Let’s face it: You should take at least some notes in class. Or if you are not going to take notes, you need something to doodle with while the professor drones on and on about ionic bonds or that interesting time period in the past century. I recommend taking notes, but I’ve seen some pretty cool dinosaur sketches in lecture classes that would never have been possible without a writing utensil.
2.    A notebook. This kind of ties in with the pen or pencil necessity. I try to keep my notes for every class in their own separate binder, but when I forget the binder, it’s nice to have something to write on besides my hand, forearm or jeans.
3.    A few spare dollars. Sometimes I really need a soda or candy from the vending machines on campus. And unfortunately, they don’t take credit cards. It’s always a good idea to keep about five dollars in cash on you. Don’t keep much more than that though because if you lose your backpack, you don’t want to lose your life savings as well.
4.    Hand sanitizer. Fall is flu season, so try to stay healthy by washing your hands whenever possible. When it’s not possible, just blob some hand sanitizer on your hands and feel safe to enjoy those M&Ms you bought with the five dollars you have stashed in your backpack. (Aren’t you glad you read this article now?)
5.    A music player and headphones. I go to a large university and it takes me about 15 minutes to walk from one end of campus to the other. I don’t really mind the hike though because I can always whip out my iPod and jam out to the Black Eyed Peas or Lil Wayne while I’m walking. Just try not to sing along too loudly; trust me, people will stare.
6.    Cell phone. This one is pretty self-explanatory, but in today’s world where people like to be in constant communication with other people, it’s important to keep your cell phone handy.

Of course you can put other things in your backpack. What do you keep in your backpack?

Let me know in the box below.

Consumer Reports Rates the Best Backpacks

north face jester backpackFor the college student, finding the right backpack involves a lot more than just figuring which pack is large enough for their organic chemistry book, but also compact enough to not render them with a hunchback come spring. So, rather than risking money and the health of your lower back, Consumer Reports did all of the work for you by testing hundreds of different backpacks and rating them according to five specific criterion: Durability, construction quality, safety and convenience, comfort and resistance to rain.

Here is what the experts at Consumer Reports’ National Testing and Research Center came up for their top backpack picks:

Best Overall: The North Face, Jester. With an overall score of 80 out of 100, the Jester came in as one of the best packs for its all-around durability for those students 5’9″ and taller. The Jester costs approximately $55 and can be found online or at retail stores specializing in outdoor equipment. Read the rest of this entry »


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