Must Haves for Your Fall Semester Bag

By Amanda Cohen on August 1, 2017

I understand that it’s only August, but it’s never too early to start thinking about fall. One of my favorite summer activities is back-to-school shopping (I know that sounds lame).

When some people think about fall they think about the changing leaves, sweater-weather, and tailgate season. I think about packing my school bag and what necessities that I need in said bag. Obviously, I need textbooks, notebooks, pens, pencils, etc., but I also need much more than that, and so do you.

If you want to know about the different fashion items that should be packed in your Fall bag and why these items are school bag necessities, continue reading!

Oil blotters

Oil blotters are the most underrated item in any drugstore, but you truly cannot live without them. Have a long day of classes and won’t have time to go home and freshen up? No problem! Grab one or two oil blotters and just go to town on your face.

I used to be an oil-blotter hater, but now I’m their biggest advocate. Not only are they effective, but they don’t take up any room whatsoever (and they’re pretty dang cheap). Make sure you add oil blotters to your list when you make your next CVS run!


Whether you suffer from chronically chapped lips or your school has the same climate as the Arctic, then you need to carry some Aquaphor with you. Aquaphor is truly a miracle worker and can be used for any dry skin (not just your lips). I use Aquaphor on my hands when they are super dry and nothing works better. Nothing.

If you put it on your lips it looks like a really good lip gloss, rather than something to dry your cracked lips. Move over, Vaseline, Aquaphor is here to save the day!

Hand sanitizer

It doesn’t matter if your campus looks clean and pristine — it is 100 percent dirty. Even if you are the most hygienic person in the world you are still susceptible to germs brought about by people who don’t wash their hands (you know who you are). Touching door handles, holding your phone, flushing the toilet, etc. creates a pool of germs that you need to avoid as best you can.

Make sure you always have hand sanitizer on you; it may not be glamorous, but it will help to prevent you from getting sick!

Under-eye concealer

I never wear makeup to class, but at times I look at myself in the bathroom mirror and cringe at the lack of sleep-induced dark circles under my eyes. If you have a presentation, or if you are just going to office hours, you don’t want to look exhausted, which is why you need to have under-eye concealer on you at all times.

It doesn’t take up any space, and it actually works. Sometimes, when I’m exhausted, putting on a little makeup can make me feel like a whole new person! Find a brand that is right for you and work it!


Walking to and from class may not be the best exercise, but you definitely can work up a sweat, even if it’s freezing. It’s totally normal to sweat when walking, but the aftermath of it can leave you with a funky smell. I’m not telling you to bring body wash and a loofa with you, but a small travel-sized deodorant can make you feel more confident when giving your crush a hug when you walk by him/her on your way to class!

Hand cream

Dry hands are uncomfortable, and can sometimes lead to your knuckles bleeding (ouch)! Bloody knuckles and tough hands can be avoided if you pack a small tube of hand cream in your bag. I recommend buying Nivea or Eucerin because they rarely leave any residue on your hands; plus they come in all different sizes!

If you need something supplemental to hand cream, you can buy moisturizing gloves for nighttime (not something that you should put in your Fall bag, but definitely an item I recommend you purchase).


Even as I type out the word “gum” I have people rushing over to me asking for a piece. You may think that gum isn’t a fashion item, but nothing goes against fashion more than bad breath. Always have a pack of gum with you, no question about it. I promise you can avoid tons of people fleeing to you to have some if you grab a piece very discretely (I promise it’s possible).

If you don’t like gum, then bring a tin of mints or something of that variety. I promise you will thank me for this suggestion.

Hair accessories

I know every girl has experienced breaking their one and only hair tie wrapped around her wrist because the hair tie is old and flimsy. Or, you decided to wear your hair down for a change but realized it was uncomfortable so you needed a hair tie to create the perfect top bun, but you didn’t have one. When this happens, you should always have a backup. Bring an extra one or two hair ties and a small clip just in case you need to pin back your flyaway hairs and/or baby hairs.

Never sacrifice fashion for school and make sure that you have these items in your Fall bag. Never again will you have to be caught without a hair tie, gum, lotion, chap stick, etc. Have fun shopping for these items, ladies and gentlemen!

I am currently a junior at the University of Michigan.

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