What’s in my bag – campus edition
In my bag is everything I need to succeed in my degree (minus commitment, passion and a variety of other non-material skills). I prefer to keep my bag light so that I don’t break my back on the walk to campus, but here are the essentials. Let’s take a look inside…
*insert magical swishy noise here. Imagine a cool looking animation as we dive into a detailed illustration of my backpack*
The bag itself – you’ll want something that’s water-proof and comfortable to wear for a long time – campus is a big place and it can take 20-30 minutes sometimes to walk to the outer edges of campus from the central piazza. I’d recommend a backpack with padded adjustable straps. Throughout my school years I used to carry a shoulder bag and ever since switching to a backpack I’ve realised how much more practical it is.
Laptop – if you’re planning on buying a laptop before coming to university, consider what you need from it. You’re likely going to be carrying it with you all the time, so I’d recommend something lightweight and thin, but not too small if you want to do things like watch Netflix on it. I’m not clued into understanding specifications for computers, but if you need to run a certain program that you use on your course, take that into consideration too. Although a laptop isn’t necessary because there are computers available across campus, it’s always nice to have your own.
Books and notebooks – I use a different coloured notebook for each of my modules. I prefer Oxford Campus notebooks because the paper quality is AMAZING. Although you may prefer to take notes on your laptop, it’s always worth carrying some paper with you in case your laptop betrays you.
Stationary – no need to go wild with this if you don’t want to. I even stopped carrying a pencil case around with me because I never really used it. The only three items I ever used were a pen, a highlighter and a pack of sticky notes (I especially like the kind that are little tabs – I use them to mark important parts in books). I also carry a pack of coloured fine-liner pens if I want to write up my notes neatly.
Water bottle – stay hydrated
A plastic bag to keep that water bottle in – I once had a disaster where my water bottle leaked on the walk to campus and I arrived at my 9am seminar to find all of my books soaked. I spent the hour afterward drying them under a hand-dryer in the bathroom. That was not fun. A sandwich bag will do. Double bag it if you want. Don’t let your water bottle betray you.
Umbrella – please don’t forget your umbrella. British weather is unpredictable and the worst thing is sitting in a class while soaking wet. Carry it with you always.
Lunch / snacks – if you’ve got a long day on campus, don’t forget to bring food if you’re not willing to pay for meals on campus. Eating on campus everyday can get expensive, so I generally tend to allocate only one day a week where I’ll let myself buy lunch at a café.
Essentials – mints, lip balm, paracetamol, tissues, money, etc
Spare clothes – for if you’re going to be doing exercise at some point in the day.