What’s in My Bag for Grad School

Graduate students often live on campus. I began this degree by spending at least eight hours a day on campus for class, work, and assignments; and that is nothing compared to time spent on campus by other grad students. All of this time on campus means that I have to take with me everything I need for the day. I have to seriously consider what I need to take and how I am going to transport it.

I have a lot of bags; tons. I switch bags weekly at a minimum. I like the different aesthetics. While I enjoy the activity of packing a bag for the week or day, I have found that I can fall into the trap of over packing. I have made the deliberate choice to reevaluate what I need to carry on a weekly basis. Even though my carry setup isn’t perfect, it does weigh less and work with a variety of bags. Here is a quick look on what I carry and why.

  • PSX_20190708_174730Timbuk2 Command Messenger (bag in use at the time of writing this article). I love the fabric choice and colors. It can be dressed up or down and has adequate organization features.


  • Tom Bihn small organizer pouch with essential oils in roll-on bottles. Not everyone believes in essential oils, but they have helped relieve tension after long days.
  • Seagate 1TB portable hard drive (x2). I have to back up all my files and keep them organized. Portfolio time is coming up again, which makes this even more important.
  • MacBook charger, RavPower 10000mA portable charger, LG-G5 replaceable battery, microfiber cleaning cloth, micro USB cable, & USB-C braided cable. Keeps my devices charged and ready for use.
  • SMS wired ear buds & Jay Bird wireless ear buds. Gotta listen to some tunes when studying or walking to and from class.
  • Nintendo 3DS XL. It’s good to take a break every now and then to avoid burnout on long days.
  • Scripture. Religion is important to me (I mean, I do attend a privately run religious school). So having scripture on me to study in the morning before class is critical to having a good day.
  • Apple Magic Mouse. Sometimes the track pad doesn’t work that well when you have to take a screen shot or move multiple files around.
  • Fisher Space Pen Cap-O-Matic (x3; Black, Blue, and Purple ink), Pentel Graph Gear 1000 in .7 and .9mm, Bic Brite Liner and Sharpie Smear Guard Highlighters, & Pilot G-2 07 (multiple colors). For writing notes, marking information in textbooks, and planning out my days and thesis.
  • Page Markers/Book Tabs. For marking key information in books that I need to find quickly.
  • Rickshaw Bagworks Diplomat Organizer (x2), Efficiency Supply Checklist notebook (x2), & Field Notes with graph paper (x2). All part of my planner system.
  • Warby Parker Sunglasses & Warby Parker Eye Glasses. Because my eyes need protection from the sun when walking and driving, and they need to see during class.
  • Protein Bar. I get hungry.


And that is pretty much it. Some days I’ll bring a text book I need but that changes daily. Occasionally I remember to bring a lunch with me, or pack a jacket or umbrella depending on weather. However, this is what I always have in my bag. What’s in yours?

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