There are very, very, few things I miss about school. But oh my God do I miss school supplies. I’ve moved onto “office supplies” in my old age, but alas, my heart. Since kindergarten, I would spend hours perfectly choosing the right school supplies, organizing all my pencils and pens into pouches, and meticulously placing everything into my backpack.
One of my most distinct memories is the night before third grade. I was going through my school supplies list while organizing my backpack like every other normal ten year old and realized we forgot to buy erasable markers, a requirement for my class. One giant tizzy later, my dad goes out to whatever drug store was open late on a Sunday and comes back with not only erasable markers- but a PACK OF EVERY COLOR OF ERASABLE MARKERS KNOWN TO MAN. I’m talking giant value pack. Not just the standard blue, red, and black. I’m talking oranges and yellows and greens and purples! I’ve never loved anyone more.
Yes, I’m easily bought.
Anyway onto the list,
Planners are the key to life, especially when you’re in school. You have so many different teachers assigning you different crap, activities to schedule, plans to make, life to live, it’s important you have one consistent place to keep track of everything. Scribbling on different pieces of paper, adding things to your phone, and praying you remember just isn’t going to be as efficient.
If you’re extra like me, check out Personal Planner. They’re an amazing company that you can make an entirely customizable planner. If you’re just getting into the planner world, Target has some adorable and affordable options and was my go-to all throughout high school. And finally, if you’re out here living your best life spending money, Anthropologie also has adorable and wonderfully bound choices.
2. Trapper Keeper
Who’s a nerd- es me! I suppose these could be called “accordian document holders” if you’re looking online. But man oh man will this change your life. As an experienced scholar, but also a bit of a mess of a human being- I can firmly tell you having multiple folders is stupid. For some, who are extremely intelligent, organized, and will likely end up becoming doctors you could argue having a separate folder for each class will work. For me? I leave at least one at home or in my locker or at a friends or who know’s where at least once a day.
So to eliminate this, and also save some money, just keep everything in one place with a trapper keeper. Almost all of them come with labels you can write each of your classes on to keep everything separate, but when packing your bag you only have to make sure you have the one folder instead of going through your whole schedule. If you find one class is giving you a ton of paperwork that you’re not regularly using, maybe then get a separate folder that you leave at home for papers you’ll only need for at home studying.
3. One Big Ass Binder
Same principles here as the Trapper Keeper. Unless you have a class that tells you you need a specific binder for that class, I cannot stress how nice it is to just have one binder. Often times I would wait till after the first week of school to see if I really even needed a separate binder for the class. Usually, teachers will say that, but unless you’re turning it in- you don’t actually need it to be separate, you just need it to be large.
I insist my binders and any form of writing paper must be college ruled, and prefer to get a 5 or 8 subject Five Star depending on your class load. I like these the most because they come with dividers with pockets between each subject and usually also come with tabs. If you find a binder you love but doesn’t come with tabs, fear not you can easily buy some stick on ones you can write or even print labels on.
4. Crap Pencils and Pens
Now, my young beautiful naive children, this is very important. The amount of times I’d have to hunt my dumb friend down because they borrowed and then tried to steal one of my nice pens is just ridiculous. So after my sophomore year, I decided to just buy what I call “crap pens.” These are those cheap, awful pens and pencil that come in a Costco sized pack for around three dollars. By giving these out you are not only not concerned about someone returning your pen, but people are less likely to ask you for one again.
5. Good Pencils, Pens, and Highlighters
Ohhhh bebe now we’re getting to the good stuff. I think pens are very personal, I like both adorable kawaii pens but also appreciate a solid UNI Jetstream. But all the same, would insist you get multiple colors, or my personal favorite a multi-colored push pen. I love these because it’s easy to switch between colors when trying to quickly take notes instead of having to switch between four pens and losing caps like a madman. Also, a good two or three black ones as staples, then one red, one blue, and one fun pack for taking notes you want to highlight. Speaking of which, I also like to have a couple highlighters and a gel pen or two. This is an area where I often would waste money buying too many pens to only use up one over the year, so quality over quantity my friends.
6. Pencil Case
Still to this day I have a pencil case in my purse. I adore pencil cases. This is another thing that keeps all your crap in one area and keeps ink from exploding in your bag. And so many options! Hard case, soft case, long and slim, or wide and thin!
7. Index Cards
This is the only way I graduated College. Index cards are a must-have for any memorization needs. I found the best use of these was to take notes in class, then that day go home and transfer them onto index cards. By the time the test was announced, I already had everything ready to go and could spend 30-60 minutes a day studying instead of cramming my brains out. You can get traditional white cheap index cards or fancy colored ones on a ring. In my day I had extremely fancy ones from Martha Stewart that were amazing and I can no longer find on the internet but that’s probably for the best cause they were extra.
8. Post-it Notes
These are just convenient to have on hand, whether for real use or for putting rude notes on your friend’s desk. I like to keep the standard size and the thin marking kinds in my pencil case. This way you have options for reminders or making notes in school books you later would like to sell.
9. Mini Stapler
Last but not least, I would recommend keeping a mini stapler in your case as well. Chances are you’re going to have to staple together papers at some point or another, and it’s worth the three dollars spent to just know your homework is ready to go, instead of scrambling around asking your teacher for a staple.