College Essentials: What To Bring to Your College Classes

This semester, be ready for anything when you include these college essentials for class on your shopping list.

College Student Holding an Iron Flask Water Bottle

Class Essentials

Ready for a pop quiz on what to pack for college? If you want an A+ in being prepared, here's the big question you need to answer: What should I bring to college?

Whether it's the first day of college or the end of the semester, these essential items make the honor roll for being practical and ultra-functional:

  • Portable Charger

If you're wondering what to bring to your college class, a portable charger is a must-have, especially since smartphones are practically glued to everyone's hand these days. It's hard to imagine getting through the day without a smartphone, but it could become a reality when your battery dies. Whether you forget to charge your phone before leaving for class or need to use certain apps that are a major battery drain, a portable charger will ensure that you never end up with a dead device.

  • Headphone Case

Staying organized saves time, and it's a lot easier than you think. Step one is to keep your backpack or other small bags from turning into a jumbled mess. One of the worst culprits to a messy bag is a set of easily tangled headphones on the loose. The best solution is a headphone case with a sturdy zipper closure. Look for one in bright, eye-catching colors so it's easy to spot in your bag. When your stylish and secure headphone case becomes a habit, you'll never have to spend time untangling your headphones again.

  • Cloth Bandanas

The great thing about a cloth bandana or scarf is its versatility. Keep a rotation of them in your accessories collection and store a clean one in your backpack for multiple uses throughout the day: Use it as a face covering, handkerchief, and an emergency rag for any spills or accidents. Available in every color and pattern imaginable, cloth bandanas or scarves can be easily coordinated to match any outfit.

  • Hand Sanitizer

Other college essentials for class include hand sanitizer, especially when you can’t wash your hands in the restroom with soap and water. While hand sanitizer may seem like an obvious day-to-day essential, it's important enough to mention, especially since the CDC recommends using it when soap and water are not readily available. According to the latest guidelines, they advise cleaning hands with hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

  • Durable Backpack

Now that you know what to bring to college, you need a sturdy backpack with lots of storage compartments to keep all your essentials organized, including an outside cup holder for your water bottle or coffee tumbler. You should also look for a padded laptop sleeve incorporated into the interior, which will keep your laptop safe no matter how much of a beating your backpack takes on a typical day. Small zipper compartments also make it easy to keep small items organized such as keys, cell phone, lip balm, mints, and hand sanitizer. Adjustable padded shoulder straps are another feature you'll appreciate, particularly on days when your backpack is extra heavy with college essentials for class.

Don’t Forget Your Stainless Steel Water Bottle

When making a list of college essentials, don’t forget your number one: A stainless steel water bottle. It’s important to stay hydrated and healthy so you can focus on school. Instead of relying on vending machines, which often have a limited choice of sodas with lots of sugar, bring a stainless steel water bottle filled with water or your favorite beverage.

The best water bottle for college is made with a double wall of vacuum insulated stainless steel, which helps maintain hot and cold temperatures for several hours. It also keeps it from sweating, giving you an easy grip when you're on the move. The best water bottle for college students is a model that includes practical accessories for convenience such as a carabiner or easy storage options, protective boots, and a slender, cup holder friendly design.

First day of College Tip: Choose the Right Water Bottle Accessories

When deciding on what to take to college classes, consider whether you'll be doing high impact exercise such as bicycling or walking long distances on campus. In this case, figuring out what to bring to class is easy — a stainless steel water bottle filled with icy cold drinks for maintaining healthy hydration.

If you're driving to class or using public transportation, most likely you'll be doing low impact movement like walking to and from class before making the commute back to your apartment or dorm. In this scenario, you won't be working up a sweat and needing cold hydration. Instead, a stainless steel tumbler cup filled with your favorite coffee drinks will fit nicely in most cup holders, allowing you to enjoy your commute with every warm and soothing sip. The caffeine will also give you the boost you need to stay alert and focused during class. If your day also includes some vigorous exercise, it's a good idea to have both the water bottle and tumbler on hand for all occasions.

For cold beverages, such as ice water or sports drinks, a stainless steel water bottle with a BPA-free plastic straw provides fast and easy access to hydration with its no-drip design and flexible movement. It can also be cut with scissors to a specific length that suits your needs.

For warm beverages like coffee and tea, we recommend a practical add-on to your stainless steel water bottle — the stainless steel tumbler. Its small, low profile spout makes it perfect for slowly sipping warm beverages. Similar to the stainless steel water bottle, its vacuum insulation also helps maintain temperatures for hours.

Now that you're educated on the ABCs of what to bring on the first day of college, you can shop for everything you need to survive — and thrive — on campus this school year.