Armstrong Back-to-School Essentials

Paige Scott, Staff Writer

back to school fall 2017
A few back to school items that are essential for success. (Mitchell Mc- Duffie)

With the second week of the semester under your belts, it’s time to switch back to school mode.  Everyone has a specific ritual to prepare for the semester, such as going school supply shopping or waiting a till the first week to buy textbooks.  Regardless, there are a few common back-to-school essentials that every Pirate needs to know to start their semester.

The most overlooked back-to-school essential is a planner, organizer, or agenda.  Many students fail to utilize the benefits a planner can provide.  When used correctly, an agenda can help you stay organized and keep track of due dates, meetings, and events happening on campus.  

However, the difficult part of having an organizer is remembering to use and look at it.  Once you are in the habit of jotting things down and checking it regularly, your planner will be a significant part of school. Nevertheless, when you purchase a planner, it is necessary to get a writing utensil.

Samara Johnston, a senior English major, says her back-to-school essential “…is a really good pen.” Pens are great writing tool to have during a busy semester in order to quickly take notes or write things down in your planner.

Different colored pens can help color code notes, outlines, and things in a planner.  Victoria Peebles, junior Education major, likes to pair her pens “…with a binder filled with separate dividers for each class to keep things organized.”  Whether it be an expensive gel pen or a cheap ballpoint, pens paired with an organizer can help keep you on task.

Although it is obvious that school can be mentally exhausting, many students fail to realize the toll it takes on their health.  It is important, at the very least, to remain hydrated during and in between classes.  Therefore, a reusable water bottle makes the list of back-to-school essentials.  

Armstrong makes it easy by having water bottle filling stations in several of the buildings on campus. By having a reusable water bottle at all times, you can stay hydrated and save costs.  Also, you help save the environment by reducing your plastic consumption!

S’well water bottles such as the brand S’well, keep liquids cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 hours, and come in all kinds of fun prints and colors.  Retail stores, like Wal-Mart or the Armstrong bookstore, have numerous options of cost-friendly reusable water bottles.

All over campus you find students with headphones in their ears.  It is almost unavoidable to listen to music in between classes.  Thus, a good music playlist is a back-to-school essential.

Whether you make your own or find one online, a good playlist can help keep you focused while studying, doing homework, and writing essays. Spotify has a variety of playlists designed specifically for studying and offers a student discount for Spotify Premium. So, pick your tunes, and get to studying!

The final back-to-school essential is a portable charger. During a full day of classes, your phone is bound to die. What’s worse than being stuck on campus with a dead phone? With only a few outlets in each classroom, it’s not guaranteed that you’ll find a spot near one.

Portable chargers make it easy to quickly charge your phone in your backpack or pocket. The convenience of the charger will provide an ease of mind and emergency solution to your electronic devices.  However, make sure it’s charged before you leave home!

In the event that you are struggling to transition into the semester, use these back-to-school essentials to help ease your way.  There are more options that you can use additionally, but these are common among the Armstrong campus.  Let the Inkwell know if these tips worked for you by commenting on our facebook page or emailing the news editor at