Backpack + Car Essentials For The College Commuter

With classes starting and everything, I thought I would share my backpack and car essentials with y'all! I did my research (via Pinterest and YouTube) to help create a list of items I might need throughout the semester.

Being #OverPrepared is my middle name:


First things first, I recommend investing in a good quality backpack. I actually purchased mine from L.L. Bean a few years ago. You can find it here. I also got it monogrammed to ensure there would be no mix ups.

Here is what I keep in my backpack:
  • Laptop + Charger
  • 3 Folders ("To Do," "Turn In," and "Important")
  • 3 Notebooks
  • Pencil Pouch (Highlighters, pencils, pens, and a mini ruler)
  • Planner (See how I organize my planner here)
  • Headphones
  • Phone charger
  • Emergency kit
    • Pads/Tampons
    • Hairties
    • Deodorant
    • Lotion
    • Chapstick
    • Advil
    • Mini hairbrush
    • Sunscreen
    • Nail file



I wanted to keep all of my textbooks on me at all times in case I wanted to do work between classes. I picked up a gray crate from Target to hold all of my textbooks in the back of my car. It was $4; a super cheap and easy way to organize your textbooks in your trunk. 


I didn't want to lug all of my school supplies around all over campus. I found this mini tote from Thirty-One. My mini tote includes a variety of school supplies:

  • Stapler
  • Sticky notes
  • Colored pencils
  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • Index cards
  • Large ruler
  • Post-it tabs
  • Calculator

Gym Bag.

A gym bag is essential. I don't want to lug my backpack all over campus. My gym bag includes:

  • Sneakers
  • Socks
  • T-Shirt
  • Sports bra
  • Yoga pants
  • Bluetooth headphones
  • Workout band
  • Refreshing mist
  • Makeup bag (Concealer, mascara, powder, and lip gloss)

Lunch tote.

Snacks are essential. I keep a variety of snacks in the back of my car for between classes:
  • Peanut butter pretzels
  • Kind protein bars
  • Granola bars
  • Gold fish
  • Veggie straws
  • Popcorn
  • Fruit
  • Extra bottle of water
  • Apple juice
  • Cherry coke (If I need a serious pick me up!)

That's pretty much everything I have in my backpack and car trunk. Let me know what your school essentials are!

Classes I'm Taking This Semester | Fall 2019

Believe it or not, I am down to my last semester at Cabrini University. I am majoring in psychology and minoring in both English and Spanish. My high school courses allowed me to obtain 30 college credits (which is equivalent to one year). I've also taken a number of summer and winter courses. Not to mention, I've taken 3 more credits than recommended each semester. With that being said, I am able to complete my college career in 2.5 years. Phew!

Here are the courses I'm taking this semester:

Honors English: Poet Priests - HENG 306

Going into college, I didn't have intentions on obtaining a minor in English. However, I am involved in the Honors Program, which requires me to take 4 honors courses. 3 out of 4 of my classes were English classes. I also came in with an English class. I need one more English class to complete my minor, so here I am! It would be silly for me not to complete the minor.

Brain and Behavior - PSY 304

Not going to lie-- I'm actually kind of nervous about this class. Lots and lots of memorization! But, I'm up for the challenge.

Research Methods I - PSY 341

This course is required for my major. I'm actually really looking forward to it! I think this course will help me decide if I want to take a clinical route. Right now, I'm leaning towards school psychology.

Senior Seminar - PSY 400 - DS

I am so, so thankful for the psychology department at my university. Senior Seminar is only offered in the spring. However, because I'm planning to finish up in December, a faculty member is doing this course with me 1 on 1. Like I said earlier, so thankful!

Lab Experiences in Learning - PSY 402 

Within the past year, I got involved in working with English as a second language (ESL) students. I have absolutely fallen in love with it. Part of me definitely wants to pursue school counseling in my future.

Latin American Short Story - SPA 321

The majority of my Spanish classes at CU have been made up of native speakers. So, sometimes I get a little embarrassed speaking it. Luckily, my boyfriend is super patient with me and let's me practice with him. I'm looking forward to getting some more practice in. I've learned to start getting comfortable with being out of my comfort zone-- that's when the best things happen.

Plan With Me For The New Semester | Fall 2019

A new semester is right around the corner-- let's get planning! If you know me, you know I love to plan and I love to do it in my Lilly Pulitzer agendas. This year, I picked up the Jumbo Agenda in Multi Postcards From Positano; I'm in love!

This planner is everything.

I've been obsessed with Lilly Pulitzer planners since I first discovered them in high school. Their weekly and monthly spreads, colorful patterns, and fun stickers make me gravitate to them every July they come out. Usually, I go with the large agenda, but this year I decided to go with the jumbo agenda. It has a ton of room for me to write all of my to-dos.

I specifically like the new layout this size offers. On the left hand side, there is a weekly spread. On the right hand size, there are three different sections: Notes, To Dos, and Don't Forget. I like the extra space this planner offers me for all of my extracurricular activities.

Establish a color coding system.

Having a color coding system allows you to maximize the space in your planner. I recently discovered the Take Note Dual Tip Highlighter Pens by Crayola. They're perfect for taking notes and filling out my planner. It's a pen and highlighter in one. Super convenient!

Here is my color coding system:

Red ➯ Due Date

Orange ➯ Extracurriculars

Green ➯ Fitness

Blue ➯ Personal

Purple ➯ Blog

Pink ➯ School Work

Stickers, stickers, stickers!

If you've been around for awhile, you might remember a post I did with Lavish Paper Co. 2 years ago.. If you don't, you can check it out here. In that post, I showed you how I use planner stickers to organize and maximize the space in my planner. I still have a ton of stickers that the owner sent me. I love them! They're super bright and fun-- which match my planner perfectly.

My favorite part about getting ready for a new semester is purchasing a planner and organizing it to my liking. Get creative and find a system that works well for you.

A Commuter's Back To School Wishlist

I am a bit new to the world of commuting to college, but I couldn't be more excited. Don't get me wrong-- living on campus is great! But, now I don't have to worry about having guests over at 2 A.M. when I have to get up at 5:00 A.M. for a class trip. Of course there are pros and cons to both, but my main motivator is saving some money on housing. (Plus, I only have one semester left!)

Because I'm commuting, I need to maximize my time to complete assignments. (It's no longer a 3 minute walk back to my dorm. It's a 30 minute commute!)


Again, to help me organize my life. You'll see my planner color coding system in the weeks to come!

Planner Stickers

I love planner stickers. They're a fun way to jazz up and organize your planner to maximize space.


Because I won't have a drawer to throw random handouts in, a folder will come in handy!

Gym Bag

I won't be able to run back to my room before hitting the gym, so a gym bag packed with my essentials is... essential!

Hair Ties

I'm always losing hair ties. Having a stash in my car will come in handy when I'm headed to the gyro about to take an exam.

Lunch Bag

(I actually got this one for Christmas, but wanted to include it anyway!) I won't be on a meal plan this semester, so I'm going to have to pack my own snacks and lunch/dinner.

Bluetooth Aux

A Spotify playlist is essential for a 30 minute commute-- 5 out of 7 days a week.

Bubble Umbrella

A bubble umbrella protects you against the rain and the wind. The parking garage is on the opposite side of campus compared to the psychology building. A bubble umbrella will come in handy during those ugly days.


A crate like this one is great to store textbooks in. This will come in handy so my textbooks aren't all over the backseat of my car.


For all of my essentials!! School supplies, snacks, and all of the other works. This will help me stay organized.