What Commuters Should Carry In Their College Backpacks

Hey, guys. I’m sorry I’m late on posting, but I pulled a muscle in my back last week and I was also sick, so I wasn’t able to publish this blog post on time.

As you all know, I commute to college, which means my entire life is in my backpack. You’d be surprised how forgetting one thing can impact your day, which is why I’m giving you a list of must-haves.

I take public transportation to school, so this post won’t include things to keep in your car like a blanket and pillow. This just contains everything you should put in your backpack.

Disclosure - This Post Contains Affiliate Links

//Easy Access

For me, this means things I keep in my purse that I need to be able to take out at a moment’s notice.

  • Phone – Fun Fact: I’ve only owned 2 phones in my entire life. I’m not one to upgrade when it’s not necessary, so I’ve made sure that my phones last years.
  • Wallet – I own two really nice and expensive wallets that will last me a lifetime, but before that, I bought cheap $5 ones from Wal-Mart. They get the job done.
  • Student ID – Because you want to be able to get into all the buildings
  • Car Keys – To drive home
  • Public Transportation Card – to take public transportation
  • Headphones – It really sucks when you check your purse and realize that you left your headphones at home.
  • Student Emergency Alarm – I come home in the evenings now, so it’s safer for me to keep a rape alarm in my purse. That’s a link to the one I bought. It’s really good and inexpensive.


This list contains things I need for classes.

  • Laptop – I finally got a new laptop last week. I’ve been talking about buying a new laptop since I started this blog almost a year and a half ago and it finally happened. It’s an awesome laptop that I’m sure will last me years.
  • 5-Subject Notebook – I’ve been using these since I’ve started college. They’re the best. I divide each class by tab and keep it in my backpack all the time. All my notes for all my classes are in there. Make sure to buy a good quality notebook because there’s nothing worse than cheap notebook rings that fall apart.
  • Planner – Whether you use an expensive planner or a bullet journal, I hope you keep it in your backpack so you can access it.
  • Pencil Case With Necessities – I have the most adorable Winnie The Pooh pencil case that I can’t find a link to. A friend of mine bought it for me at the Disney Store, but I think it’s discontinued. If you buy a good quality one, it’ll last for a long time. As for necessities, in college, you at least need a pencil.
    • Pencils
    • Pens
    • Highlighters
    • Scissors
    • Etc.
  • Books You May Need – I try to make sure that most of my textbooks are online. It’s usually cheaper that way, but if I need a textbook one day, I’ll bring it with me.

//Personal Care

These are things that people who live on campus don’t need to carry in their backpack.

  • Gym clothes – I go to the gym a lot (not in the last week because I hurt my back), so I keep gym clothes in my backpack all the time. Even if you don’t go to the gym, it’s smart to keep an extra set of clothes with you for any emergencies.
  • Deodorant – I carry it with me because I go to the gym, but it may be a good idea for you to carry it around anyway. I carry around men’s deodorant when I’m at school because let’s be honest, it works better. Especially when you’re gross and sweaty.
  • Lotion – Winter is coming, which means dry skin is too.
  • Chapsticks – for the days your lips need a little extra love.
  • Hand Sanitizer – Because public transportation is full of germs. I’m the opposite of a germaphobe, so I stopped carrying this around, but I should start again.
  • Umbrella – The day you forget your umbrella is the day it rains. Trust me.
  • Pads/Tampons – For obvious reasons. Unexpected periods are the worst.
  • Medicine You Might Need Or WantTo Carry
    • Asthma Inhaler
    • EpiPen
    • Ibuprofen
  • Mini Hairbrush – To fix my hair after I go to the gym.
  • Sun Screen – I put on sunscreen every morning. I used to keep a travel sized one in my bag, but it ran out.

//Food + Snacks

Buying snacks every day can get super expensive which is why I carry a bunch of snacks with me all the time. I try to keep a mix of sweet and salty snacks to satisfy any of my cravings.

  • Portable Water Bottle – I’ve mentioned this before. This is the best water bottle ever. If I put ice inside, it stays frozen all day. It might even freeze more water. It also doesn’t leak and has a cover for the mouth. Having a water bottle with me all day forces me to drink enough water. I encourage you to carry one around
  • Snacks – Here are examples of snacks I carry around with me
    • Trail Mix
    • Fruit Snacks
    • Crackers
    • Cheese Sticks
    • Protein/Granola/Breakfast Bars
  • Packed Lunch – This is one of the ways I save money during the week. Eating out all the time can get expensive.


I hope you enjoyed this post. These amazing photos were taken by my friend Cindy. I put an album of this blog photoshoot up on the MMW Facebook Page. You should go check it out.


What do you carry in your college backpack? What are some of your must-haves?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *