We all love shopping right? Duh! Well, I especially love shopping for school supplies to the point where I look forward to it every new school year or semester! I love getting organized for new classes by color coding binders, folders, and getting new pens, and desk supplies. I am obsessed with stationary items so school supply shopping is just so soothing to me.
I must say, I am kind of a pro at school shopping because I am very organized and mindful when shopping in regards of price and items to buy for certain classes. My friends often ask me to come with them shopping and we turn it into an event because I love school supplies that much!
So I am here to share with you my secrets for school supply shopping and help you chose the best supplies for a successful school year.
This one may not be in everyone’s budget and I totally understand but I do believe a laptop is a necessity in college with all of our papers we are writing, homework assignments, research, and seeing as classes are becoming more online based now a days and steering away from paper and pen assignments. Most of my classes post things online instead of handing out paper copies and all of my papers and homework are turned in online through a dropbox because my classes are so large and my professor doesn’t want 200 people turning in 8 page papers.
Helpful Tip: Check out Best Buy’s deals and student discounts for cheaper laptops.
Helpful Tip: Ask for gift cards to Best Buy, Apple, Microsoft, etc. to help pay for one for your graduation party, Christmas, or Birthday to help pay for the majority of the costs.
2: Book Bag
Get a GOOD quality book bag for college! You will be carrying a lot of things inside of it and it will be thrown around more than you think. It needs to be sturdy and big enough to carry all of your books, binders, notebooks, laptop, and folders. I use an Nfinity book bag which is the brand I used in cheerleading. There are so many pockets inside and it is very durable. I spent $100 on this book bag for school and I don’t regret it one bit. You may be tempted to purchase a cheaper $30-$40 book bag that was cute but in reality that book bag will only last you this year IF YOU’RE LUCKY! So then next year you’re going to spend another $30-$40 and by your señor year you just spent $120-$160 on 4 book bags when you could have spent $80-$100 on a good Northface, Nike or other book bag that will last you all 4 years.
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This one is up to your preference and what you think your classes will be like and what your schedule looks like. Let me tell you why. If you have 4 classes back to back then you probably don’t want to carry 4 binders in your book bag because you will break your back carrying all of that or bust your book bag. You could buy 2 binders and combine 2 classes into 1 binder to lighten your load.
BUT! If you classes will be mostly digital with little to no actual papers then why buy binders? Just go with folders. This way you can carry 4 folders in your book bag easily for a busy day. This is my favorite method because I don’t like hole punching papers into a binder and they are too bulky for the small college desks.
I use 1 folder for each class to keep things light and organized.
When shopping for notebooks think about your note taking style. If you will be buying a laptop for school will you be taking your notes on Word? Will you even need notebooks? If you will be taking notes on your laptop you can always just buy loose leaf paper to keep in your dorm for when you need scratch paper for whatever.
If you like hand writing your notes then you need to decide how much notes you will actually be taking. If you plan on taking a lot of notes you can do one of two things: Buy a 1 subject notebook per class or buy a Portfolio notebook with filler pads. I currently use a portfolio pad because after I take notes I rip them out and staple them together and put them in that class folder and with notebooks I hate the little fringes you get when you rip out the pages. But that is totally your preference!
If you don’t take that much notes then you can go with a 5 subject notebook so you have all your notes in one notebook!
5: Flash Drive
A flash drive is a very important thing to have in college to hold all of your files. This is especially true if you don’t have a lot of storage on your computer. You will more than likely be doing a lot of projects, papers, book reports, power-points, you name it! I run out of storage so easily on my laptop because I fill it with pictures and videos so I use my flash drives to keep my files off my computer. You can also use your flash drive to transfer your files from your laptop to the library computers to print out like I do as well.
6: Writing Utensils
I am not exaggerating when I say I am very picky about the type of pens I use. They have to write a certain way, feel a certain way in my hand, and be a certain point size. For notes I only use Pilot G2 pens in size .385 because I love the little lettering it writes. These pens are so smooth it is ridiculous. For writing in my planner I use the PaperMate Felt Tip Pens in size .7 because I love the colors they come in how they write for planning! I would get a lot of pens and a lot of different colored pens for color coding notes and your planner! It helps so much!
I only write in pen because I am very picky and weird. I hate using pencils, but if you are normal and like using pencils then be sure to get some pencils!
Helpful Tip: If you are like me and only write in pen be sure to pick up some white out for your mistakes!
If you don’t like color coding your pens then I would get different colored highlighters so you can differentiate dates, people, and vocab words in your notes. And they have those AWESOME highlighters with those clear tips so you can see when to stop high lighting. I wish they had these when I was in high school, but now yall can benefit from them!
This is my favorite item to shop for because I am obsessed with planners. I guess that is very obvious seeing as I started my own planner business! If you are a college student you NEED a planner! No excuses. You cannot keep all of your assignments, meetings, appointments, quizzes, and finals straight in your head. All of your brain capacity will be used up studying endless amounts of flashcards, trust me. Do not try it, just get a planner!
If you want to shop small and support a college business then shop Paper Trail Planners for your planner to keep you organized this semester. I started this business my sophomore year to help create customizable and affordable planners for college students!
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8: Index Cards
If you are a flashcard type of person then your obsession has just got BIGGER because you will be living off of these for your classes. Invest in about 4-5 packs a semester if you really love using them as a tool for studying.
Helpful Tip: there are index cards that come in packs on a spiral so that you can keep classes separate and organized without rubber bands!
9: Sticky Notes
I sometimes like to plan things that may be subject to change with sticky notes inside of my Paper Trail Planner so that I don’t end up writing something in (with pen) only for it to change 2-3 times. Because all of those scratch outs will drive me INSANE. I also love to use sticky notes for writing down to-do items or reminders for myself and the sticking them up by my desk so I see them frequently and don’t forget about them. You can also put sticky notes on your food in the fridge so your roommates don’t “accidentally” eat your food.
10: Stapler, Tape & 3-Hole Punch
If you went with the binder option then a 3-hole punch is a necessity, for obvious reasons. You will also need a stapler for your papers and notes, and having tape handy for those last minute DIY projects never hurt anyone.
Of course you may need other supplies such as a calculator, scissors, a ruler etc. but I can say these are my top 10 supplies that every student for sure needs to be successful and organized!
What are your favorite school supplies that you can’t live without?