I don’t know about you, but my school bag contains a myriad of really random assorted items. When unpacking them after a particularly intense Romantic Poetry class (thanks Professor Gray, you always know how to fry my brain), I was surprised to find a packet of spicy garlic infusion rub and a screw. As much as I would like to say I use those every day, it pains me to say that they are fairly useless. I’m quite ashamed that they even exist in my life.

So, what is actually essential in a Columbia student’s university kit?

1. Gum. Lots of it. Morton Williams has my back, constantly reminding me to stock up when I get to the checkout. 

Why is it essential? You will constantly run into random acquaintances when dashing to the far corners of Pupin or SIPA for that random elective. You don’t want to scare them away with breath that suggests you eat nothing but packets of spicy garlic infusion rubs.

2. A Columbia water bottle. Barnes and Noble will charge you a cheeky $30 dollars for a good one but it’s worth it.

Why is it essential? You will get dehydrated. All the time. You will also feel like an inferior outsider when everyone whips out their own water bottle in class and all you have on your desk is a pencil. Keep track of that sweet H2O intake. Warning: people steal them constantly. I lost two in a month when working out at Dodge. Don’t let this valuable commodity out of your sight.

3. A charging cable. 

Why is it essential? Professors are merciless when assigning random homework that will send your sorry being straight to the library after class to ensure you get it done in time. Your morning Instagram stalks will have already drained your phone’s battery and without a charger, you have to listen to the sighs of the dead souls in Butler as you start your impromptu work sesh.

4. Your ID card. Tip: buy a nice card holder so you don’t have to waste time constantly root through your stuff to scan in. 

Why is it essential? You cannot get in ANYWHERE without it. That being said, I’m proud to say my roommate and I successfully scammed the Butler staff into letting me in without it. Mwahaha. If you’re an incoming student, make sure you pick a nice picture to go on your fantastic piece of plastic. If you choose a grim passport one, it will haunt you when you stare at it daily.

5. A campus map on your phone.

Why is it essential? Random classes will request you attend lectures in faraway locations like Knox Hall, or you’ll make a friend who lives somewhere weird like Armstrong. To save you the embarrassment of asking where to go, download a nifty campus map. I still use it more times than I care to admit.

6. Juul pods. Not that I or Bwog condone vaping in any shape or form. I’m just saying you might need them… If you so choose to engage in such activities… 

Why is it essential? Well, besides being a type of currency on campus, running out of juice is depressing. We all live busy lives and dashing back to your res hall for a spare takes valuable minutes out of your day. Keep an extra pod in your bag and save yourself the grief.

7. A sweater. Preferably Columbia merch because we all love school spirit!!!

Why is it essential? New York weather changes in a matter of hours. Some professors also have a strange obsession with turning the air con on full to make sure you don’t fall asleep. I have been a miserable victim of this often and it has ruined my lecture. Barnes and Noble will plug you with some overpriced pullovers (approximately $40 – $60) that go with all outfits so you don’t have to worry about fashion.

8. A packet of spicy garlic infusion spice rub.

Why is it essential? Oh no, wait, that’s just me. If anyone wants a spare then hit me up. I’m desperate to get rid of it but feel too guilty to throw it away.

Go forth, students. Walk free knowing your bag has you covered for anything this wild university will throw at you. I believe in you.


Meme via Reddit