Staff writer Sadhbh Sullivan shares her top tips for packing your college bag this semester.

We are all guilty of carrying some of the most unnecessary items in our bags. In fact, the average college-goer’s bag is likely to contain several unwanted receipts, a broken iPhone charger and traces of the night out before.  Life is hectic, and there’s simply not enough time in the day to make sure that you have everything you really need. Needless to say, you should always carry a refill pad and a good pen in your bag.

While these are obviously beyond important, the following items are foolproof essentials just short of necessary to get you through a college day.

There are a number of electronics you are expected to have with you on a daily basis. While a laptop is a must for some, UCC provide laptops on loan for use in the library for four-hour periods. Your phone should never be too far from reach, and of course it would be useless without a charger, so try to make sure you have one with you at all times. From watching recorded lectures to listening to study playlists, earphones are also very useful, and should be stowed in your bag at all times.


Generally, I won’t leave the house without a packet of tissues. September just wouldn’t be the same without your yearly dose of the flu. While shops like Accessorize tend to stock some of the cutest packets of tissues you can find, you will catch me sporting a packet of Kleenex this semester. Alongside these, at this time of the year it can be useful to pack a bottle of hand sanitiser and a few sachets of Lemsip in your bag to minimise the extent of your back to university flu.

For the makeup lovers, oil blotting paper, or an oil blotting stick is essential. College days are long, and lecture rooms can be ridiculously warm at times. Keep a packet of NYX Professional Makeup blotting paper in your bag, or if you’re not quite on a budget try to get your hands on the Benefit Blotting Stick.


A water bottle is a must; staying hydrated is so important. The average student should aim to drink two litres of water every day. Luckily UCC gets this, with countless spots across campus to refill your bottle, from the main rest to the library and just about everywhere in between. Whether you’ve nabbed your favourite high street find or an empty bottle has emerged from the depths of your handbag, looks really don’t matter with this one.

Lip balm seems like such an obvious college bag essential, but we all tend to forget the little things. While “Chapped Lips” season is among us, it doesn’t fall within the never ending list of returning Autumn/Winter trends this year. Keep your favourite in your pencil case, so it will never be too far from reach.

College life can be stressful, but a little bit of organisation definitely eases the yearly transition back to university.