College Life, Lifestyle

Back To School? These Are The 12 College School Supplies You Need To Have

This post may contain affiliate links, which means The Zillennial Zine receive a commission if you purchase through our link, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure here.

college school supplies

There are hardly any college school supply lists and it can sometimes be tricky to figure out exactly what you might need for your day full of classes. Well, if you’re stuck, don’t worry. I’m now in my fifth (yes, fifth) year of my undergraduate degree and I’d like to think I have the backpack essentials down. Here are some things I keep in my bag, and I think you NEED in your school bag this semester:


GIF by The Good Place - Find & Share on GIPHY

While college schedules look different for everyone, if yours is anything like mine, one day I might have back to back to back classes while on another, I might have a few hours of downtime in between. Regardless, I’m usually away from my apartment all day and often don’t think about eating throughout my busy day until I’m already starving. Keeping a few snacks in your bag is the perfect way to make sure you won’t go hungry throughout the day, and you won’t spend all your money on campus food.

Water bottle

Water Drinking GIF by Rosanna Pansino - Find & Share on GIPHY

We’re getting through the essentials here, and believe me, this is a HUGE essential. We all know hydration is key, so this one shouldn’t be a huge shocker. This bottle gives you drinking goals throughout the day, which can be really helpful for when your busy day distracts you from drinking water.

Hand sanitizer

Seth Meyers No GIF by Late Night with Seth Meyers - Find & Share on GIPHY

This one makes more sense now than ever before. While I don’t mind using hand sanitizers in classrooms or around campus, having one on you is always great, especially if it smells like anything other than the horrible alcohol scent. This pack of hand sanitizers offers fun scents and cleanliness!

Laptop (and laptop case)

Cat Laptop GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

I used to not carry my laptop around every day and try to take all my notes on paper. While I still enjoy handwriting things, I’ve come to learn that it’s just not all that practical to be carrying around so much every day. Keeping everything digital also makes it easy to turn things in when I’m running around if I forgot to sooner. Don’t forget a laptop case though! Ones like this one help protect your laptop in your backpack all day.


Kate Mckinnon Snl GIF by Saturday Night Live - Find & Share on GIPHY

This is my ALL TIME must have. I just don’t understand how some people get by without planners. I certainly would forget a whole bunch of assignments and meetings without one. This one has a great daily breakdown for writing out assignments!


Book Write GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

If you’re more of a handwritten note taker, this one will probably already be at the top of your college school supplies list. However, even though I like to type my notes out on my laptop, sometimes there are things you really do just want to jot down. A small notebook like this one is a great option to just keep in your school bag.

Mini stapler

Office Instrument GIF by Verohallinto - Find & Share on GIPHY

One surefire way to make friends in classes is to carry a mini stapler with you. Eventually, it will come in handy, and you will be prepared! Plus, how can you say no to one as cute as this one?

Post it notes

Post Its James Patterson GIF by Middle School Movie - Find & Share on GIPHY

I love leaving myself little reminders on sticky notes and I feel like they help me keep track of things and at least feel like I have my life together. Also, cute colorful ones like these are a great way to add some color to your notes or your space.


Ukulele Hammock GIF by Northern Illinois University - Find & Share on GIPHY

This one might be super specific to my college campus, but hammocking is a great way to spend time between classes and get some fresh air throughout the day. Not to mention, it’s super relaxing and a pretty peaceful way to knock out some homework or readings. I have this one, and it works great for me. Plus, it’s super compact so it’ll fit in your backpack way easier than you’d think.

Reusable utensils and straw

Infinite Loop Looping GIF by CmdrKitten - Find & Share on GIPHY

I always try to carry my own reusable utensils and straws to lower my single use plastic usage. It also is a great idea to carry around utensils and a reusable straw in case you end up needing them! I’ve accidentally forgotten a fork for my salad many times. Sets like this one even include chopsticks! You’ll have your bases covered for sure.

Hand lotion

Season 5 Bathroom GIF by Friends - Find & Share on GIPHY

It is always nice to keep a hand lotion, well, handy! I don’t know about you, but I cannot handle when my hands are super dry, ESPECIALLY when I am handling papers. This one is a great option and smells like lavender, which can help de-stress throughout your school day.

Extra mask

Mask Be Safe GIF by Aaron Taos - Find & Share on GIPHY

Reality is, if you sneeze in your mask, you’re not going to want to be wearing that thing for the rest of the day. Help yourself out and just keep a spare in your backpack.

Now that we went over our favorite college school supplies, what will you bring to class? What are some of your essentials that aren’t on this list? Let us know in the comments.

Other Lifestyle Articles

Beauty Articles

Pop Culture Articles

Health + Wellness Articles