QJ's declassified backpack survival guide

Everything you didn't know you needed to pack for the first day of class

So, I don’t mean to brag, but I would consider myself to be a bag-packing genius. It wasn’t easy, but after years of trial and error I’ve perfected the stress-free packing process for any occasion.

On the first day of class you wake up earlier than you’re used to, show up in real clothes as opposed to PJ’s and first day jitters inevitably kick in. Your day will be a thousand times easier if you can just grab your bag and go, knowing that you’re prepared to take on the day. With that said, here’s your handy list with all my pro-tips and secrets so you too can have a disaster-free first day.

1. Wallet

While this may seem like a no brainer, your wallet can be easily forgotten in the early morning rush. Make sure you have all the essentials!

2. Snacks (and water)

You just never know when those afternoon cravings will kick in. Not to mention, constantly buying food gets pricey. I always take a granola bar and a bag of crackers or almonds to keep my energy up throughout the day.

3. Your pillow

Make sure you always carry your pillow around with you. Your first day can be draining and you never know when you’ll need to take that spontaneous sidewalk nap.

4. A bulldozer

There is only one way to efficiently combat the many crowds at the bookstore and in the ARC. Make sure you always bring your handy dandy bulldozer to seamlessly plow through those less prepared.

5. Your books

Speaking of the bookstore, there’s nothing that shows your professor and your classmates that you are prepared for this adventure more than having the complete syllabus (even if you never crack it open).

6. Pool inflatable

I can’t think of a situation when a fun inflatable wouldn't be beneficial, whether it’s used for lounging (in or out of the water) or as a conversation piece. Some suggestions would be a swan, a donut or a killer whale.

7. Toaster

Trust me, waiting in line in the cafeteria for your bagel or bread to toast is no fun. If you bring your toaster with you, say goodbye to this common stressful problem!

8. Your space fan 

 Bring your space fan to class to prevent sweat from dripping onto the people beside you that you’re obviously interested in befriending (don’t worry, they’re probably as eager for companionship as you are).

9. The entire box series of Friends

“I’ll be there for youuuu…” Have you ever been in a situation where you’re like, man, I could really watch Friends right now? Bring along the box season to class to ensure you’re never in this predicament.

10. Words of encouragement from your real friends

Because above all some solidarity and some shared nachos will get you through this day.

You can thank me later.


When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.