The 5 essentials that should be in your bookbag

By Serena Garcia, Staff Writer

As the beginning of classes draws near, students may be wondering what they should bring to syllabus week. Besides the obvious items such as a laptop and notebook, there are many other essentials that everyone needs on hand. 

Here are five must-haves for any Panther’s bookbag. 

  1. Various Writing Utensils 

This may seem obvious, but some often forget to bring an array of writing utensils for their classes. Every student needs a pen, pencil and a highlighter. A highlighter is especially key during syllabus week, when students should highlight deadlines and other important information. 

Many professors ask students to have a #2 pencils, especially when an exam is approaching. When exam season arrives, some professors tend to use Scantrons, for which #2 pencils are necessary. Personally, I like having both pencils and pens handy in my backpack. In this age of technology, many have opted to use their laptops and tablets as their preferred way of notetaking. But some people continue to choose the paper route as the main way to write down assignments, take notes or even doodle. 

  1. Umbrella 

Unfortunately, Pittsburgh’s weather is unruly, so carrying an umbrella is a must when living in this City. It may be sunny and hot in the morning, but in the afternoon, rain and clouds might appear.

Personally, I find the smaller umbrellas the perfect size to fit in any book bag, big or small. But your umbrella, your choice. If you find yourself on campus without an umbrella, don’t fret — you can stop at the Pitt Stop or the University Store on Fifth to find a Pitt-themed or Pitt-inscribed umbrella. Don’t be like me and get caught in a rainstorm with soaking clothes and a soaked backpack 一 it’s not a good feeling. 

  1. Reusable Water Bottle

Going from class to class, you’ll definitely need to stay hydrated throughout the day. The perfect way to keep your water nice and cool is by having a reusable water bottle. Not only are you keeping up with your water intake, but you are helping save the environment as well. A reusable water bottle is a must-have in your backpack. Instead of wasting your dining dollars or your own money on a plastic water bottle that will be thrown out in a short amount of time, you can invest in a nice water bottle. 

While many may opt for the well-known Hyrdoflask, there are other more affordable options that fit a college student’s budget. If you need inspiration, you can find an assortment of water bottles at Marshalls or TJ Maxx, or on Amazon. 

  1. Chargers 

Whether your devices are charged or not, everyone should have chargers in their bookbag. The worst feeling is when you are entering the last class of the day with a battery depleted and no charger in sight. 

Before leaving my apartment in the morning, I make sure to check that I have three chargers handy — laptop charger, phone charger and Airpod charger. Having all three ensures that all of my devices will last the whole day, including through all-night study sessions in Hillman or a coffee break at Saxby’s. A charger is an essential for every college student, and is a day-to-day necessity. 

  1. Wallet 

Like the writing utensils, this may seem like a gimme, but many students forget their wallets. I, for one, have done it on multiple occasions. Having a wallet is a way to make sure that you have all of your important cards, money and IDs on you. Some people may opt for a phone wallet, perhaps Pitt-themed, to keep all of your necessities on the back of the phone. Some may want to carry a small wallet that can hold cash, a few cards and your IDs. If you’re out on campus all day, you most likely will find yourself needing either your Pitt ID, cash or some type of credit/debit card. Whether it’s a stop at Dunkin’ on Forbes, a trip to Stack’d on the corner of Forbes and Oakland avenues or maybe even a visit to the Pitt Stop, a wallet will always come in handy. Plus, when traveling around the City and in and out of campus, you’ll always need your Pitt ID to access free bus rides and you may need it to enter certain Pitt buildings. 

For any college student, your bookbag is your lifeline 一 without it, you would be lost in the world 

of academia. Whether it’s carrying your laptop, tablet, assortment of notebooks or a folder full of syllabi, a student’s backpack is carried anywhere and everywhere. Before embarking on this fall semester, be sure to check your bookbag to ensure that you have everything you need.