I always loved reading those “What’s In Her Bag” articles that celebrity magazines did, but as I’ve gotten older, I realize they don’t help me much at all. Sure, I learn what book Gigi Hadid is wearing, but not only do she and I have different budgets, we have different lifestyles to account for when packing our bags. A few weeks ago, I profiled five career women, women who are going to work in different fields each day, and looked at what’s in their bag. Now, I’m looking at what college women from across the country pack in their bags each day.
Rose is an incoming freshman at American University who graduated high school early and completed a gap year interning in Washington, D.C., traveling, and taking college classes as a part-time student in place of her senior year.
One of my biggest fears is forgetting something or being unprepared, so I usually carry a lot with me in a big bag. My go-to bag is a large purple bag I got from a Black Friday Bath and Body Works sale, of all places, but hey, it’s cute and gets the job done.What I keep in my bag varies depending on where I am going or what I am doing that day, but some essentials I always keep with me are my wallet, earbuds, a phone charger, and at least one portable charger. As the Gen Z-er that I am, I am on my phone way too much, and I never want to be out without it charged, so that last one is very important. Other items I almost always keep in my bag are mints/gum, granola bars (including my favorite, the Cascadian Farm Organic Peanut Pretzel bars), my NRA water bottle with conservative stickers on it, and my favorite Kylie lipkit in the shade “Candy K.”
I usually have a book or some sort of assignment with me, as I took classes throughout the school year and summer, and I always liked to use my time while on a bus, train, or plane to get work done. Other honorable mentions are things I often find at the bottom of my bag, including many pens, buttons, and stickers I received from conferences, as well as cough drops, a box of band-aids, and a nail filer, which I may not use often, but definitely come in handy.
Jordan is a graduate student at Ole Miss
I’m a grad student at Ole Miss and I carry a North Face Surge backpack. In it are my 3 spiral notebooks and folders for each of my three classes, my Emily Ley for Target planner, a pack of multicolored pens, my laptop (with all the FFL stickers), my Bluetooth headphones, my new iPad Pro, and of course, a fun book. I really like my organizational system of having a folder for each class: the left side of the folder is the to-do, and the right side is completed / returned. I clean it out each week. It’s something I picked up years ago and it helps me so much even in grad school!
Amelia is a junior at the University of Alabama and a Crimsonette
Hi! My name is Amelia Joy and I am a junior at the University of Alabama (Roll Tide). I am a second-year Crimsonette in the Million Dollar Band. Here’s what I keep in my Crimsonette practice bag! I use a limited edition Delta Zeta Lilly Pulitzer tote, here is one that is similar. Inside I keep a small makeup bag with some feminine products for emergencies, a ‘Kind’ granola bar in case I get hungry, and a small bag of gummy bears in case my blood sugar drops in the Alabama heat. I always have two water bottles, one is my Hydroflask filled with ice water, and one is our bottle given to us by the Million Dollar Band which I fill with Gatorade. Because our practice time is 3:30-5:30 I always throw my Neutrogena Cool Dry Sport Sunscreen in my bag. I also have my HOLY GRAIL face sunscreen…the Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral sunscreen. This sunscreen is a translucent powder that I put on over a tinted moisturizer everyday, and over a full face of makeup on game days (and I have super sensitive skin so you know it works)! Finally, I always have to have my sweat towel and my hand held fan. In the winter months I have my rechargeable hand warmer. While this is what I keep in my practice bag for Crimsonettes, it is absolutely applicable to any outdoor sports!
Lucy is a junior at Washington & Jefferson College
As a student in Pennsylvania, I use a regular double-strap backpack so that I have both hands free to catch myself after inevitable falls from the constant ice or rain. Inside said backpack, I always keeps lip balm, hand cream, gum, a water bottle, my Kate Spade Bella Bookshelf pencil case, a phone charger, earbuds, my TI-84 Plus CE, my Lilly Pulitzer agenda, enough Post-It tabs for the entire student body, and my books and binders for the day. I swear by the Staples Better View binders, which are “Lucy-proof” and therefore practically industrial strength. Then, I use one binder per course and label them accordingly using a combination of Microsoft Paint covers and calligraphy. If you’re like me and can’t bear to part with any of your class notes, you also will appreciate that these binders have an easy-to-label spine, making it quick to organize and navigate notes from year to year. I only carry my laptop when I am absolutely certain I will use it, seeing as I do not use it to take notes. In fact, I would probably break it if I kept it at all times. I also will occasionally carry my Expo markers and eraser for a quick way to review without wasting paper (if your school has lots of whiteboards). As a rule, I always have a couple number two pencils and puffy mints so I am prepared for quizzes and exams at a moment’s notice. I highly suggest to pack your lab goggles and any other lab supplies the night before (even if you have a night lab) because it isn’t worth the risk of taking a zero for the day.
Jillian is a senior Industrial and Management Systems Engineering student at West Virginia University.
I juggle a lot between my major, my jobs, and my political involvement, so my backpack and my purse are packed pretty efficiently. I have an Everki backpack that has pretty much every pocket you could want – a large slim pocket for a laptop and a tablet, a big pocket for notebooks and books, a medium and small pocket in the front, and a notecard-sized top pocket for easy access of smaller items. Also, I carry my laptop and anywhere from 1-4 notebooks in addition to miscellaneous items such as a rain jacket and a tennis ball (my version of a fidget cube for my ADHD brain). Pro-tip: always put your heavier items closer to your back – it decreases the strain you put on your muscles. I also carry a nalgene bottle (emblazoned with my favorite political stickers) to encourage drinking water throughout the day.