I am a chronic over-packer. You know that scene in “Toy Story 2” where Mrs. Potato Head is prepping Mr. Potato Head to go rescue Woody and she goes as far as to pack him an extra pair of eyes? Well, let’s just say I never knew I had so much in common with an anthropomorphic plastic potato. If it were up to my discretion, everyone should pack an extra pair of eyes–just in case.
So yes. I like to be prepared in case of emergency, and preparing for class is no exception. Here’s my list for the top eight most essential items you need to bring to class. In the words of Scar from “Lion King,” “be prepared.”
1. Snacks on snacks on snacks
I am constantly munching on snacks, especially in class. Sometimes it’s from necessity, sometimes it’s just to keep myself awake during a particularly boring lecture. Regardless, it’s all about what you’re snackin’ on, not why you’re snackin’. Instead of reluctantly forking over the $1.15 for a Twix bar at the vending machine, choose a healthier (and cheaper) option. Pack some granola bars (I like the Kind bars because I can actually understand the ingredient label) or a piece of fruit. If you have a longer lecture or lab, pack little baggies of cereal of pretzels to sustain you.
Sandy Cheeks from Spongebob said it best: “What’s that thing sea critters need? Water!” Even though college kids aren’t “sea critters,” we still need to keep properly hydrated in order to maintain tip-top attention levels for class. Luckily, there are some very aesthetically pleasing water bottles available on the market these days instead of those plastic ones. See? You’re establishing healthy habits and helping to reduce waste all in one!
3. Proper writing utensils
This one seems like a no-brainer until it happens to you: You’re getting ready to take a Scantron exam only to realize all you have to write with is a pen. Oh, the horror! Keep a little case of pens, pencils, highlighters and markers in your bag so you’ll always be ready for any writing fiasco.
Your mixtape might be fire, but not everybody wants to listen to it. Invest in some headphones and play your music as loud as you want without disrupting others. The bookstore sells relatively cheap ones if you’re like me and lose your headphones bimonthly.
Every day I make the cold, blustery trek to Morosky and every day as soon as I sit down in my desk I wish I had a tissue. Erie winters are harsh. Your nose will run, your eyes will water, lots of fluids will be running down your face. Pick up a travel pack of Kleenex. Bonus points if they’re the type with the built-in lotion. Your red, raw nose will thank you.
6. Hand sanitizer
People are disgusting. Especially since we’re in the midst of cold and flu season, carrying around a bottle of Purell isn’t a bad idea. Nobody ever wants to be sick. Keep this little germ buster in your bag and apply whenever you’re feeling icky.
There will be days when the tension headaches are rampant. Use this tiny savior to get rid of the throbbing pain. Plus, you will officially be the Best Person Ever if a friend needs something to cure their aches. Karma!
8. Hair ties/rubber bands
What can’t these things do? Use them to tie hair up, bind note cards together, flick at your enemies, whatever. Always a useful item to have on hand.