Something pretty strange but really exciting happened to me the other day: I was wearing a tote bag, and another person who was passing by me as I entered the PCL had the same tote bag that I was wearing. It was funny when we complemented each other and went on about our days. After leaving the building, I started noticing more tote bags on my site; many people made their tote bags their finishing touch to the outfit. So as a tote bag user myself, I compiled the tote bag essentials, you should be carrying around campus.
Phone, keys, wallet, headphones
Laptop/iPad, notebooks, pens and pencils
Our other most important essential is necessary to complete these last few weeks of the semester. All of us tote bag enthusiasts must carry around at least one of these to finish strong in the winter. (From one UT student to another, you’ve got this!) Whether you’re hitting the books digitally or paperback, having a great color coding technique helps a lot when studying. Having some writing utensils is also essential for homework or even when we just need to write some thoughts down to alleviate the stresses of school.
Water bottle and snacks
Walking around can get tiring, and sometimes studying for a long time can be interrupted by all the grumbling you’re trying to suppress in the library. So, have your water bottle on you as well as a few substantial snacks. There have been way too many times where I’ve forgotten these and don’t have them when I need them the most, like after climbing up South Mall. So, take it from me when I say these are essential.
Why pictures? You should always carry around pictures of people you care about and things you like seeing. Print them out, and you can look at them while you’re walking to remember the fun moments you had, which is the point of why you keep them on a plastic-coated paper, right? All joking aside, I carry around my disposable camera prints with me to look at them whenever I want to reminisce or show them off to people I’m hanging out with. It’s a good conversation among others when trying to explain what is going on in a picture even though you may not even remember what’s happening in it.
Chapstick, hand sanitizer, hair tyes
These small essentials in a zip-up bag can be a lifesaver — I cannot stress this enough. Never leave with chapped lips, keep hand sanitizer handy in case public places don’t have any and if it’s too windy in this cold weather, keep your hair out of your face with a headband or hair tie. All of these can be really convenient when life gets a little rough.
Mask, books, sunglasses
Remember to keep your masks on to end this pandemic —don’t leave without it. Books can also be essential when you have some downtime at the lawn in front of the tower or laying in the hammocks at the SAC. And when the sun is actually a little bright, or you just want to add a cool touch to your outfit along with your tote bag, bring a pair of sunglasses. Once you use them more often, you’ll realize how much more convenient they are.
These essentials are what I, essentially, always need to carry in my tote bag when I am around campus, and I wanted to share some of them to make another student’s trips around campus a little more convenient. College students live busy and independent lives, and with a tote bag by your side, nothing can possibly come in your way. So show off your tote bag that has you prepared for being on campus and looking cute!
Featured image by Ivana Alexa Darancou