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Back-to-School: What’s in my school bag?

All the essentials — plus a mask of course!

With many classes on campus returning to in-person delivery, students will be returning to classes with school bags tucked under their arms or on their backs. One question — what’s in their bags? In the hopes of giving readers some bag inspiration, or maybe an idea of what not to do, here are the bags of some Gateway writers!

Janelle’s school bag

Going from online to in-person means I have to make sure I am prepared for the day. Most things I had easy access to at home but now I won’t on campus. Below is what is in my bag that I would typically take for a day of classes.

Jin He
  • MacBook Air for note-taking and viewing one of the online lectures that I will be doing at school
  • AirPod Pros for when I need to tune out after class for a mental break.
  • iPad Pro a.k.a. my binder of notes.
  • Pencil Case with mechanical pencils, extra pencil lead, an eraser, different coloured highlighters, different coloured erasable pens,  quick-dry pen, and correction tape.
  • Ti-36X Pro Calculator — got to calculate those integrals somehow.
  • COVID-19 pack I put together with a few extra masks, sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes.
  • Swell water bottle — can’t be dehydrated now.
  • Folder to put handouts in.
  • Student planner with monthly and weekly layouts to plan out schedules.
  • Wallet with student ID visible in the clear window.
  • Keys with a 16GB USB stick.
  • Blistex lip balm and mints.

Emily’s school bag

My back to school bag includes my regular staples plus some new items for going to school during COVID-19. I got a new coffee to-go cup this year and a case for my AirPods as I will be using them a lot for zoom calls and lecture videos and do not want to lose them on campus! Armed with these tools, I am prepared for the chaos that my semester will likely be as I run from in-person classes to online ones!

Jin He
  • Ikea canvas backpack
  • Macbook Air
  • Atoma notebooks
  • AirPods with case
  • Nivea lip balm
  • Lunch containers and Stasher snack bag
  • Wallet
  • Pencil case
  • Hydro Flask water bottle
  • Swell to-go mug

Jin’s school bag

It’s my first time going to classes on campus, so this is a trial run. I’m carefully walking the line between “carrying too much” and “missing a crucial component,” but I’ll figure it out as I go along. My tote bag choice might bite me back due to its small size and stress on the hands from the handles, but for now I’d like to harness the aesthetic power of a tote bag in autumn.

Jin He
  • Water bottle
  • Paper notebook
  • MacBook
  • Pencil bag
  • Wallet and keys 
  • Deodorant
  • Hair clips: for when my styled hair inevitably starts going flat
  • Portable charger for my phone
  • AirPods
  • Lip balm
  • Hand sanitizer and disposable masks

Jin He

Jin previously served as the 2021-22 Production Editor at The Gateway. She also had a brief stint as 2022-23 Production Editor. She is in her first year studying pharmacy. If not sleeping, she can often be found supporting local artisans, obsessing over e-sports, and sporting some wicked earrings.

Emily Williams

Emily is the 2022-23 Editor-in-Chief, and previously served as the 2021-22 Opinion Editor at The Gateway. She is in her fourth year, studying political science and history. She is a lover of nature walks, politics, and times new roman font. She can often be found in value village, curating her signature look.

Janelle Henderson

Janelle is a second year Chemical Engineering student and a senior volunteer contributor for the Gateway. When she is not working process flow diagrams or pipeline systems schematics, Janelle loves to read and write with her AirPods in, listening to throwback playlists.

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