25th Hour

What’s in My Bag: Back to School Edition

T-minus 5 days to school starting and its starting to get real. Although I’ve been back on campus all week, I’m taking this weekend to get settled into my routine. Since I live so far away from campus, I have to fit an entire day worth of supplies into my bag every day so here are my tricks to fit your life in your bag.


The Bag

Last year, I decided I had enough of dragging my gigantic backpack back and forth from school every day. It was bulky, heavy, and honestly not aesthetically pleasing. I started my quest to find the perfect bag.

I found this one by Street Level from ModCloth early last year, which is exactly the right size for my laptop without being too bulky. It had a few pockets and a zipper closure. I used it so much it got worn down so I finally broke down and bought a new bag.

I was devastated to find out that they had discontinued it, but I bought another Street Level Handbag, which is slightly larger but lacks the structure that the old one had. I’m really loving it and I’m sure once classes start I’ll be grateful for the extra room!

I Only Buy Apple Products

My electronics are the most important thing in my bag. It almost always has my laptop and phone. To protect my laptop, I use an Incase neoprene laptop sleeve that has served me well through the last five years and two laptops (it might be time to get a new one). My phone is in a Sonix tulip case that I am in love with.

To organize all my chargers and headphones, I have everything coiled in a makeup bag. This trick has changed my life. I never have to dig for chargers and I never leave it at home. Also they never get tangled in each other since I coil them before they go in.

Also, since everything I use regularly is an Apple product, many of them use the same charging cables. For example, the Airpods (which I cannot recommend enough!) charge with the same lightning adaptor as the phone. This makes it easy to keep everything organized since there aren’t any extra cords.

Survival Kit

For the last 6 months, I’ve carried a mini-pack of essentials for every day life. At first, I felt a little like a mom with an endless purse of goodies, but now it is a lifeline for me.

The bag includes Purell, moisturizer, concealer, chapstick, and a bunch of other daily essentials. I usually include period supplies like tampons, Advil, and chocolate for those rough days.

Personal Organization

Of course my bag is never complete without my bullet journal. Since I use it to record all my homework and keep my other commitments organized, it is essential to have with me at all times. I use a Leuchtturnm1917 dot grid notebook, which is thin enough that it doesn’t take up too much room in the bag.

I include my pencil pouch, which is a repurposed makeup bag as well. I like to take my notes in different colors depending on whether they’re from lectures, the textbook, or meetings with classmates and professors. I usually go through a few packs of the assorted color Pilot G-2 pens every year. It also includes a couple of sharpies and dry-erase markers. Our libraries have a lot of whiteboards without markers and I find working on problem sets visually to be helpful (especially when the rest of your study group and chime in).

Finally, I never leave home without a super thin basic notebook that collects my random notes. I bring this into meetings with advisors and into chapter for my sorority. It collects everything from mindless doodles to grocery lists to notes for a blog post in a casual format so that I can organize my thoughts later. Lately I’ve been loving this set from Rifle Paper Company because they are so thin that they’re easy to carry around.

School Supplies

Although most students take notes on their computers, I actually prefer to take class notes by hand because sometimes it can be hard to format all the math correctly. I have a notebook for each class, which is color coded to match the associated two pocket folder. I only bring the notebook to school and tuck any handouts or graded work into the pages until I get home and can put them into the folder.

Although I absolutely adore ornate Papersource notebooks, I found that often they can be too chunky for the bag. Instead I usually buy a pack like this of super simple ones and pair them with equally basic folders. More than anything, this is a money saver because I go through notebooks really quickly.

The last thing I include in my bag is a book. I read a lot, but more often during the school year this is the book assigned in my required literature or philosophy class. This year I’m taking a class on Latin American history so I might have to find some space for something a little more fun.


I hope you enjoyed this sneak peak into my bag! It really made me excited for the year to start.

What do you keep in your bag? Should I add anything?

Let me know on Instagram @xoxorosana.blog

Good Luck with the new year!!

Xoxo, Rosana


This post includes Amazon Affiliate links, which means if you decide to purchase any of the items I recommended, I may receive a little something in return.

Hello! My name is Rosana Rabines! I'm a student, stationery enthusiast, and runner constantly reorganizing my life to make the most of my college experience in Chicago.

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