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Hey Students! You Should Keep These 8 Things In Your Backpack

Posted by Emily Cummings on 9/1/17 12:10 PM

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In case of those every day emergencies you need these eight essentials in your backpack, whether you’re on campus (or getting ready to travel the world). 

At college you might be spending your entire day on campus, living out of your backpack. One thing I quickly learned was to stash a little baggie full of essentials for the tiny emergencies I seemed to have happen to me right in the middle of my day. But once I got all these things together, I was totally converted to the backpack life, and not just for school. I brought a couple backpacks abroad when I was a BYU Volunteer in China and haven’t looked back. Backpacks are the way to go when you’re traveling.

Wanna try out China for yourself? Check out this free guide about what life is like there! 

So once you’ve picked out the perfect school backpack (that will also work for a semester living abroad), make sure to keep these 8 things inside at all times: 

Extra Pens 

Especially if you’re in school, you’re going to need extra pens in case you forget yours, your favorite blue gel pen runs out of ink, or the guy sitting next to you left his bag at home. Pens also come in handy when traveling internationally; now you won’t have to ask the stewardess for a pen when you have to fill out your immigration form. 

Extra Cash 

It can just be a couple bucks, but having some extra cash in your bag is a total life saver. Now you’re prepared to chase down the ice cream man, or pay cash for the cutie fruit stand you passed on your walk to campus (or while in Thailand). It’s also helpful when you leave both your lunch and your wallet at home.  I’ve also taken to packing around snacks in case this happens. 

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Phone Charger

Ever felt more helpless than when you watch the battery slowly drain out of your phone, knowing that you have no way to charge it back up? Stash a charger in your bag for emergencies and never feel helpless again.  Now you can check out these 15 apps to make college a breeze without worrying about a draining battery.


I’m not a big chapstick person, but when I need it, I have to have it. Like, now. I know you’re not supposed to lick your lips when this happen but I can’t help myself unless I have some chapstick to smear on. Do yourself a favor and keep a little bottle of lotion, chapstick and other essentials in your bag for a crisis. 

Mini Deodorant 

This doesn’t need much explanation — sometimes day on campus turns into spending all night on campus, and a quick swipe of deodorant or a spritz of perfume means you can go straight from campus to dinner without feeling like you stink. This is also a travel must — we love our long train rides in Europe and Asia, but we love them even more when we smell nice.  OH, the lives of busy students and busy travelers. 

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Extra Headphones 

This might just be me, but my whole day takes a turn for the worst when I realize I left my headphones at home. Now I have to walk around campus in silence, listen to the guy chewing gum next to me while I study, and can’t catch up on my latest podcast episode in between classes. Have a much better day by keeping a spare pair in your bag. 

Mini Medicine Kit 

Breaking in new shoes for the first day of school? Slice open your finger on your 10 page paper? Have a headache? Noticed that long chin hair right before class is about to start? Keeping a few band aids, a pair of tweezers, some pain killers, Neosporin, and a few other first aid essentials are going to come in handy no matter where you are.  (Bonus points if you have bacon band aids.) 

Volunteer with ILP

Now you’re ready for a new semester of school or a semester as a volunteer at a Romanian Orphanage. Keeping these essentials in your backpack will mean you’re pretty much prepared for any sort of adventure life can through at you … including a semester of adventures with International Language Programs (ILP)! Think about making a difference (and seeing some rad cities and countries) all over Asia, Europe, the Caribbean and Mexico. Get more info right here: 

International Language Programs

Topics: Student Hacks

Exploring The World For Over 25 Years

Over the years of assisting more than 6,000 volunteers in their desire to travel and make a difference in the lives of others, ILP has seen what works and what doesn't.

We've gathered our tips here for making your semester abroad a successful one.


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