Book bags are definitely a must. After all, you’re at college to learn, and books are an essential component. Notice I refer to them as “book bags” and not “backpacks.” Backpacks are for 9-year-olds and campers, not trendy female college students. It can be a little of a challenge to find a bag large enough to hold that giant ancient history book and your laptop, but they are out there. Consider your options:
1. Messenger bags – Messenger bags are made for this purpose, so they tend to help keep you the most organized. They often offer loops for your pens and small inside pockets for your calculator or your other academic tools. However, messenger bags are often made as unisex accessories, so be sure not to go for one that is too masculine. The last thing you want to do is show up for class with the same messenger bag as your cute chemistry partner.
2. Tote bags – As these are intended to be used as purses, you probably won’t find many with all the nice organizational amenities of messenger bags. On the upside though, these are designed for women, so you’ll have a much greater range of styles and colors from which to choose. Totes range in size too though, so make sure you pick one that is large enough to hold your books, laptop and whatever else you’ll be lugging around campus on a daily basis.
With a tote, you probably won’t have separate pockets for your books and laptop, so if you do plan to take a laptop with you to class, be sure to invest in a laptop sleeve. Laptop sleeves are designed specifically to protect your precious hardware and are tailored for the specific size computer you use.
3. Briefcase – Yes, you are actually old enough for a briefcase. No, they’re not all old-fashioned brown leather with gold clips. There are plenty of fashionable briefcases, especially in fine leather. The nice advantage of a briefcase is many come with wheels and a handle that extends so that you can pull it around campus rather than hoist it onto your shoulder. Although the bag-on-the-shoulder look is arguably more fashionable, the wheeled option will save you a lot of backache, literally.
Regardless of which bag you select, make sure you select a quality bag in a color you really like because this tends to be an accessory you don’t change out often.