What to Carry In Your College Backpack

college backpack

College is coming up so soon, so I thought I’d take y’all on a little tour through my college backpack. If you’re an incoming freshman, hopefully this will give you an idea of what you might need, too! I sorted all the items I carry into different categories, and then at the end of this post you can download a free checklist to make sure you remember everything!

What to Carry in Your College Backpack


Laptop– I have a 13in MacBook Air that I’m absolutely in love with. It’s so lightweight that I don’t mind carrying it with me everywhere. I really recommend carrying a laptop with you because I always end up getting work done at random times!

college backpack

Headphones– I use Beats Solo Wireless (they came free when I got my laptop!). I have to charge them, but they hold a charge for at least a whole week for me. Again, they’re lightweight so it’s always better for me to have them and not need them, instead of vice versa!

Charging cord– My phone is always dying. Always. So of course I have a separate cord that I keep in my bag for charging when I’m out somewhere!

School supplies:

Planner– I live and breathe by my planner. You’ve probably seen it here. I’m always jotting notes in it and checking my schedule.

college backpack

Pens, pencils, and highlighters– Duh! This is something that people are always asking for–don’t be one of them! I keep colored pens, mechanical pencils, and an eraser on hand always for note taking and assignments.

Notebook– I always need to take notes or jot something down, so I always have an extra notebook thrown in my bag.

Daily supplies– Depending on what classes I have that day, I’ll throw in those supplies… Like my notebook for nutrition, my goggles for chem lab, and my book for literature.

college backpack


Water– My Contigo water bottles are my best friends and I always have one while I’m walking around campus. Order them from Target because they’re awesome. I try to drink 3 full water bottles a day, so I’m always refilling (and peeing lol).

First-aid kit– This tiny little thing holds band-aids, neosporin, alcohol wipes, and tampons. Perfect for when a tiny emergency hits!

college backpack

Flashlight– Never, ever, ever walk home alone in the dark. But darkness does happen, phones do die, and you never know when you could need a flashlight! It’s a small thing to stash away until you need it.

Sound grenade– Again, I’ve never used mine, but I keep it just for safety. Here’s one from Amazon if you don’t know what I’m talking about: sound grenade. It’s basically a portable alarm; pull the pin and an alarm goes off, alerting people that you need help.

Snacks– Yes, snacks are a matter of safety. How can you survive and stay focused without a granola bar or apple thrown in your bag? I always like to have a snack to avoid having to spend extra money on campus!

college backpack


Don’t forget to throw in your wallet and keys before you leave the house!

Alright, all that’s left is to get your free checklist to make sure you remember everything you’ll need to pack your college backpack up right!

Enter your email to get your checklist and all the other resources at Practically Close!

 * indicates required

Let me know in the comments something else that you will/do carry in your college backpack! Don’t forget to share this post on social media so others know what to carry in their backpack, too!

12 Replies to “What to Carry In Your College Backpack”

  1. Great ideas for a college backpack! Have a good year

  2. I wish I had this post when I was in college! Good idea with the sound grenade, you never know these days! There were a lot of nights I was left walking alone to my dorm room! Thanks for sharing!

  3. I love that you included safety items. I deel like this is a big miss anongst students. Great list!

  4. I think you have it covered. College was a long time ago for me, lol. I do however have a child looking at colleges and I had never heard of the grenade and like the sounds of that for her safety!

  5. I love your book bag. When I go to class i try to bring the minimum amount of stuff.first aid kit is a great idea

  6. These are great ideas! I remember always having snacks with me. I got hungry quickly.

  7. oh snacks are indeed a must! And the first aid kit brilliant addition! I would have never thought of that!

  8. With only a backpack (and maybe a purse) to carry all of your must-haves around, it’s important to utilize your limited space wisely. Good tip on the healthy snacks… Healthier foods are going to make you feel fuller and better when you’re sitting through those boring class lectures 😉 Staying hydrated is super important in college. Not only does it keep your body healthy, but it also keeps your mind in check.

  9. Ahh, some interesting ideas. I remember having snacks always in my bag to feast upon whenever I had time;)

  10. Great tips! Especially the flashlight. I never had one of those when I was in college but it is such great advice. You have to be very careful these days with all the crazies running around. Love this post!

  11. What a great list of college backpack essentials! I liked the idea of first aid box as you never know when you need it most!

  12. This is a great list of college essentials. I love the sound granade one. Super happy that you never used one but it really is a great thing to keep, you never know what might happen. I’m sharing this with my sister who’s in college.

Leave a reply...