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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Back-to-School Necessities

Hey y'all & welcome back to the Southern Stylista!
This is a blog post that I've been promising for a long time, but I'm glad that I waited until a few weeks after school started because now I can truly share with you the things that I feel are absolutely necessary to make it through school, whether you're in middle/high school or college. 

As a college senior, I've been around the block a few times & have tried a million things that haven't worked or have been a waste of my time & so I've narrowed this down to the things that I feel have really always helped me through the years. 
So here we go!

Binders (preferably 2-inch): 
The four pictured below are Avery Dimension brand (from Target or Wal-Mart). I prefer the binders that come in bright colors so that I can color code my classes and so I don't accidentally pick up the wrong one for the wrong class. Also, I prefer having a separate binder for each class because I'm extremely OCD, but if you can do with less-go for it! I didn't take pictures of them, but in each binder there is a 5-Star brand folder clipped into the binder clips to hold extra papers, etc. I prefer the 5-Star brand because I've had the same ones since I started college my freshman year & they're still in great condition. 

The monogrammed binder covers here came from a blog via Pinterest over a year ago, which I can't seem to find. But there are so many tutorials on Pinterest that cover this topic, or you can simply download the Monogram App or Marley Lilly App and make a monogram, save it to your phone, download to your computer, & print it off! Easy, peasy!

Five-Subject Notebook: 
I usually don't like using spiral-bound notebooks because once you take a paper out, you can't put it back in, but this semester my classes are a lot less note-taking & more discussion so I've found that spiral notebooks are perfect for jotting down parts of the discussion that you want to think about later! This Mead notebook came in lots of fun colors, but once again I just chose this color for color coding purposes!

I don't care whether you chose a Vera Bradley (like this one, from last year-it's a 2-year version), a Lilly Pulitzer, Kate Spade, Erin Condren, or Target brand. Go get yourself an agenda.
I'll be making a post about how I organize & use my agenda hopefully tomorrow or later in the week, so stay tuned. But know that my agenda has saved my life so many times! *Plus, isn't this print just so much fun?*

These pens are my favorite for taking notes! These are the Pilot G-2 07 brand (and one Frixon Ball Clicker 07 by Pilot that was free-but I really like!)
These come in so many fun colors, which are once again perfect for color coding. They also help keep my attention during note-taking & I use a different color for each day so that I know where my notes for each day start & stop. The Frixon pen is also erasable (& not your old middle school erasable, this one really works!)

The pencil bag is actually an Ipsy makeup bag, it fits all of my pens, pencils, & high lighters perfectly!


These are my absolute favorite highlighters. The orange & pink ones are Sharpie gel highlighters, which I love because they are no mess (they don't leak or bleed through pages!) & the colors are really easy to see. 
The other two are also Sharpie brand, one is the retractable & the other is the chunky version. I like both of these, but not as much as the gel ones!

Spare Pens/Pencils: 
I do not say this lightly, when you come to college people will come to class unprepared & see you with your pencil bag full of goodies & try to take advantage of you-don't let them!
I keep my least favorite pens/pencils in a separate pocket of my backpack & when someone asks for a writing utensil I hand them one of those, that way I won't be sad if they don't ever give it back (because chances are that they won't). 
Bonus points if you spotted the Honor Roll pencil in the middle or the Sheraton pen that's beside it. 

These are things that I keep in my backpack at all times, kind of like J-Lo in the Wedding Planner, I'm prepared for everything. 
I keep a set of Post-Its just in case I need to write something down & stick it on a page in my textbook or on a page in my binder. 
I keep a stapler because you never know when your teacher is going to give you a million handouts.
I keep two flash drives for downloading things from the computers in the library or bringing projects to class. 
I bring a calculator because I may be out of all of my math classes, but sometimes you still need to do some quick calculations!

I got this Northface backpack back in 2011 after I graduated high school & it's still in just as good condition as it was back then (and I'm pretty rough on it!) They no longer have the plaid print in the Jester, but they have so many other cute colors! Sometimes I wish I hadn't gotten the plaid, but then again, I've never seen anyone else with it so that makes me happy. 
I really like this backpack because it has a large pocket that has plenty of room for all of my binders/books/agenda plus a front pocket that keeps all of my pens, etc. neatly contained. The two side pockets are great for stashing my keys, wallet, water bottle, sunglasses, etc. while I'm in class.
Plus, the back is padded & the straps are really comfortable, even on long walks all over campus!
 Oh & ladies, suck it up & get a backpack instead of one of those cutesy tote bags. It'll save your back and shoulders, I promise!

Y'all are probably thinking, why is this girl listing an umbrella on her back-to-school necessities? But I'm telling you, you need an umbrella to stick in one of those mesh side-pockets of your backpack. I don't know how many times I've walked to class in the sunshine & had to pop this baby out on my way back to my truck. This umbrella was actually a Christmas gift from my boyfriend's family & is no longer on sale on the Coach website, but there are so many cute (& cheaper!) options at Target or TJ Maxx!

Little Extras (That just make life easier!):

Washi Tape:
I didn't understand what all of the talk was about when I first started hearing about Washi tape, but since that moment I have found SO many uses for it! I'll tell you about my favorite way to use it in a later post (hint; my agenda) but it's also really useful for sticking up little notes on my calender in my room, closing envelopes, etc. All of the things you can do with regular tape, but much more fun! Plus this tape is easier to write on!

You've already seen where I always keep a pad of Post-Its in my backpack, but I also like to keep them on hand while doing reading for class or studying for tests. The full sized ones are great for making notes on & the tabs are great for marking your place (or jotting down your number for that cutie that sits two rows over!)

Pencils & Pens:
I've already mentioned my favorites, but I raided the school supplies clearance section at Target the other day & found these on sale, I always like to keep some extras on hand, because you never know when you're going to run out! Plus, it's always better to snag things on clearance than have to pay full price later. 

White Out: 
White out is a must for me because I cannot stand to just scribble things out & I definitely don't have time to just tear out a page & rewrite the entire thing! This Bic white out works really well & is dry as soon as you put it on the page, so you can write over it as soon as you finish!

Small Notebooks:
These notebooks are perfect for jotting down ideas, whether it be in class or for blogging. 
I had coupons for these so I went on & got them, they can't "go bad" or anything, so I know they'll get used before the semester is over with. Aren't the colors just so much fun? They'll be easy to dress up with a monogram or some fun preppy stickers.

Well, that's that. I hope y'all enjoyed a little look into my backpack & my school necessities. I've gotten a system down & I'm really happy with how it works & I hope y'all got some ideas for things that you might be able to do a little differently & more easily!

I'll have my How I Organize My Agenda post up soon, so be on the lookout!
& make sure to follow my Pinterest board JSU (my school!) for ideas for your dorm rooms/apartments, tips for freshman-seniors, study tips, and all sorts of fun ways to decorate your notebooks *so many printables*!
Until next time. . .

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