School Supplies You Need For 2020-2021 | 19 Must-Have Backpack Essentials For College

This post is about staple, easy, college outfits.

Unlike high school, there is a lot of variety in the school supplies you choose for your college classes. There’s no lists that are sent to you from the school, and everything is left for each person to figure out for themselves.

For my college classes, I tried to do everything electronically. This allowed me to cut down significantly on the amount of materials that I carried around with me in my backpack. Even with this in place, I still needed to carry some general school supplies. These school supplies consist of my favorite, ride-or-die products that are just unbeatable.

This post shows you my absolute favorite school supplies for the upcoming school year. As a college senior, I have gone through my fair share of school supplies, and these picks always ended up in my backpack and getting replaced when empty.

Here are 19 fantastic, essential, school supplies.



I previously used a canvas backpack from a local outfitter. However, I have now switched to a backpack that disperses weight much better across your back. The backpack that I now have is the Patagonia Refugio daypack, in black. This backpack offered a considerable amount more load bearing capabilities, on top of lots of organization pockets.


If you’re a regular reader of the blog, you’ll know that I cannot study or take notes without Muji pens. These pens are precise, they last a long time, and they’re perfect for taking notes and studying.

I personally buy these pens in bulk, but I included an option below to buy only a few of them and give them a try.


Sharpie clearview highlighters have been an integral item on my college school supplies inventory. I don’t think I’ll ever switch to another highlighter! They’re bright, they come in multiple colors, and the clearview function works surprisingly well.


I got a MacBook Air when I was a Junior in high school. I really love Apple products, especially their computers. In fact, in college, you’ll see almost everyone using MacBooks.

When I was a sophomore in college, I retired my MacBook Air and purchased a really nice MacBook Pro. This computer is absolutely fantastic, and allows me to run a ton of programs at once without my processor slowing down and not being able to handle it.


A portable charger is a must have for your college backpack. I can guarantee that your phone will run out of battery halfway through the day, and there will be absolutely no sign of an outlet around campus. Your portable charger is guaranteed to get a ton of use!


This is one of my favorite pencil cases that I have ever used. It holds quite a bit of stuff, and it folds into a little pencil cup for when you’re studying.


I can’t even count how many times I’ve been trying to hand in an assignment or paper in class and realize that I haven’t stapled it. A mini stapler is super cheap, and perfect for keeping in your pencil case.


These crop tops are super affordable, and come in a ton of colors. I love having lots of plain crop tops on hand, since you can pair them with any high-waisted bottoms for a trendy look.


I love using post-it notes to expand on key concepts, mark pages, or leave myself notes. Post-It notes are definitely an essential item to keep in your college backpack.


The paper quality and durability of Five-Star notebooks has never failed me, and I’ve used them for years. I really like the 3-5 subject notebooks, since they can cover you for an entire semester.


I can name quite a few instances where I would have wished that I had a permanent black marker on me while studying or in class, but didn’t. Now, I always keep both a normal tip and fine tip Sharpie in my pencil pouch.


A folder is really nice to have when you’re handed papers in class or at academic meetings. I had the bad habit of stuffing all of the papers I received in my laptop sleeve or in a notebook – they always got crumpled or lost!


While you may be using a pen very frequently in college, it’s an essential to have some regular mechanical pencils stashed in your bag.


White-out is crucial for fixing assignments last minute or saving a page of perfectly written notes from a little spelling error. I prefer the white-out that rolls out and is dispenses, rather than the liquid white-out.


If you don’t have time to find a bathroom to wash your hands, hand sanitizer is really nice to have on you. I just keep a little bottle in my bag for when I am unable to find an actual sink.


While we all have a calculator on our phones, some majors require at least a scientific calculator to complete your assignments. Scientific calculators aren’t expensive, and they’re very handy to keep around.


If you go to a large University, you’ll soon learn that parking is extremely scarce and you usually end up parking quite a walk away from the nearest building. If it begins raining halfway through the day, you’ll be so thankful that you have at least an umbrella for the walk to the bus stop or to your car.


Most Universities are equipped with water bottle filling stations throughout the entire campus. This is really great for the environment, but also for saving you some money! I recommend getting a nice, high-quality water bottle and adding it to your college school supplies list.


When you’re walking around campus, you’ll see everyone with some nice, high-quality bluetooth headphones in. Throughout the college day, there will be lots of instances where you’ll want to listen to music or watch a video, especially watching videos for classes. I recommend getting a pair of AirPods, or other high-quality bluetooth headphones.