The leaves are turning, the temperatures are cooling and we are all stressed. It must be the middle of the fall semester! Those exams, papers and late-night group study sessions might get you down sometimes, but your backpack shouldn’t. It literally shouldn’t be filled with so much stuff that it keeps you from being light on your feet. Your assignments, projects, papers and exams can pile up in your backpack, making it heavy, messy and just a general nuisance to carry around.
So, keeping your backpack filled with only the essentials is a must to reduce the physical stress on your body. Let’s face it, us Spartans walk around a lot. Since we spend so much time on our feet, the last thing we need is a heavy backpack dragging us down. Below are some super helpful tips that will reduce the physical strain on your body so that you can come back to your dorm, apartment or house feeling good and ready to tackle whatever challenges ahead.
Tip #1: Store Your Things at Home
This is the one tip to rule them all. Keep your stuff at home (no seriously, do it). We don’t need to lug around every paper and textbook we own. This tip applies to everyone that came before it. Plan what you need, buy the right supplies, get the right backpack and finally make sure you don’t store everything plus the kitchen sink in it. When you plan out what you need for the day, consider how much stress it’s going to put on your back.
Tip #2: Get a Multi-Subject Notebook
Notebooks are a must. But why notebooks, what about just one notebook? These multi-subject notebooks are total lifesavers. The ones made by Five Star are great, but it is important to find the right notebook that works for you. One should be able to last you a semester, if not the entire year. It saves you some clutter and can store a ton of info. Investing in these will make space in your bag and save you from clutter.
Tip #3: Flippy Folders are Your Friend
“I said a flip flop the flippy the floppy to the flip flip flop and you don’t stop the rock it to the bang bang boogie”… for anyone who didn’t get that reference it’s okay. This just means we’re super excited about flippy folders! These are a complete lifesaver. They have two pockets, can store hole-punched assignments and are super flexible. They hold a lot and won’t take up a lot of space in any backpack. They’re inexpensive and easy to find. Invest in these; they are a complete game changer.
Tip #4: Backpacks with Comfy Straps
Knowing we are in the middle of the semester, this tip might be best used for next year. If you haven’t already, try and find a backpack with substantial straps. Nothing is worse than when your backpack straps grind into your shoulders as you’re walking across campus. It hurts, it’s uncomfortable and it doesn’t look cute being in pain. This backpack by Dakine is particularly great. But, find what works best for you, keeps you comfy and stylish all day long!
Tip #5: Pack for Your Day
This is probably the most important tip of all! Most people have a bunch of classes. It just isn’t realistic or practical to carry around binders, notebooks and supplies for every class. So, try taking five minutes in the morning to organize what you’ll need for that day. Carry only the essentials that are needed for your day. Get into a routine in the morning of packing up your bag. Five minutes in the morning should save you five hours of hurt throughout the day! Below is one of our VIM members, Charlotte, with what she brings on a typical fall day to campus.
These tips should not only help save your back, but also your sanity. Midterms are around the corner, the last thing you should worry about is carrying around your backpack. Hopefully, you’ve learned how to give your back a break, but also your mind.